Blues Slaughtered By Saints

The Blues were soundly thrashed by Northampton at Grange road on Monday night.

The Blues were soundly thrashed by Northampton at Grange road on Monday night. The Saints ran in eleven tries as the pace of the midfield proved too much for the Cambridge defence. Cambridge managed only two tries in reply as the match finished 73-14.

The Cambridge Captain, Dan Vickerman, lined up against the club he is contracted to part-time but it was a Blues old boy playing for the Saints who had the greatest impact on the game. Joe Ansbro, who played in two varsity matches at Twickenham and the U21 fixture while he was a NatSci undergraduate at Robinson, scored a hat-trick and set up two tries for his winger Nick Greenhalgh. The Blues were unable to compete with his searing pace as he danced through the midfield time and time again, breaking tackles as he went.

The writing was on the wall when the Saints scored twice inside the first four minutes. The second try was the result of truly woeful Cambridge defence as they failed to cover the blind side after the kick off and Northampton scored from the first phase. Ross Broadfoot did manage an interception try against the run of play to score under the posts but the Saints quickly reasserted their dominance to surge 33-7 ahead. Just before the break the Blues showed signs of life as they displayed quick hands to score a well worked try in the left hand corner which Broadfoot duly converted.

The second half however, left Cambridge fans with nothing to cheer about as they were dismantled by the Northampton back line. The Blues forwards were unable to slow the ball at the breakdown as the Saints had no problem in securing quick ball which they shipped out to their rampant midfield. Having scored within five minutes of the restart they then proved they could score from anywhere as they collected the kick-off inside their twenty-two before Joe Ansbro again sprinted round the Blues centre pairing before switching with Nick Greenhalgh who went in under the posts.

Vickerman and the Cambridge coaches will be asking many questions when the team next trains, not least about the fitness levels of the squad. They were unable to compete at all in the second half as the Saints scored forty unanswered points. Doubts were also raised about the composure of the team as they repeatedly panicked under pressure. A good illustration of this was given by fly-half Sandy Reid when in the last few minutes of the game, with nothing left to lose he took a quick penalty in the Blues twenty-two. When faced with the onrushing Northampton defence however he reverted to his ten-year-old self and kicked the ball away, straight down the middle of the field to the dangerous Saints back line. Nothing could better encapsulate the lack of direction and coordination that the Blues displayed in the second half of the match.

This defeat should serve as a wake up call after what had previously been a strong start to the season. The victories against Loughborough and Blackheath can be forgotten about now as the Blues have to come to terms with their shortcomings in this match. They next play Saracens at Grange Road on the 19th.

Entry £1, standing. £2 extra for a seat in the stands.