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Try-scoring hero Matt Hema wants more from Cambridge in trip to Rosslyn Park




Matt Hema's winning try for Cambridge against Canterbury. Picture: Chris Fell (27719273)
Matt Hema's winning try for Cambridge against Canterbury. Picture: Chris Fell (27719273)

Matt Hema shared the anxieties of supporters after Cambridge again put them through the mill before sealing a sixth straight win by beating Canterbury 29-28 in National League One.

The Kent side arrived at Volac Park have only taken one triumph and one try bonus point all season, but they put Richie Williams’ team to the test before being denied victory in the final play of the game.

Two tries from Andrew Henderson and one from Hema helped Cambridge to a 21-7 lead after 49 minutes, but Canterbury rallied to go 28-21 ahead.

Ben Penfold, on his 100th appearance for the hosts, reduced the deficit with a penalty, and then Hema made a sharp break on the diagonal to go over in the corner in the last play of the game to give Cambridge victory.

“It feels amazing to get the win in the last minute, and personally get the try, but we know we’re a lot better than that,” said the New Zealand centre.

“We made it hard for ourselves and going forward, against a side like Rosslyn Park, we need to be better than that and we’re looking forward already, but six wins in a row feels good.

“In the last few games we’ve been just getting it in the last minute, so I don’t know about the supporters, they must be getting heart problems because we were getting nervous out there. It feels good to get it in the end.

“We seem to do these last 20 minutes where we get ourselves into a corner and have to fight out of it, and we find a way somehow.

“Against Rosslyn Park, we need a full 80 so we need a review of this and have a good week of training, and hopefully get seven in a row.

“It’s frustrating as a side as each week we keep saying we’ve got more in the tank, but we keep rocking up and making it hard for ourselves. But at the end of the day, we’ve won six in a row and got the five points so you can’t be angry with that.”

As for what went wrong against bottom-of-the-table Canterbury, there was a simple answer from Hema.

“It came down to basics really,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a scrappy game because they play quite frantic, and we fell into that level of playing style.

“We knew we needed to do the basics, but slipped up on taking kick-offs and allowed them to get back into our half, so weren’t clinical.

“Fair play to them, they were moving the ball quite well and we just lost concentration on defence and then slipped up on attacks as well.”

Cambridge travel to third-placed Rosslyn Park this Saturday (February 1).



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