England Young Guns Blast Blues Away
The Tab watches as the Blues crash to a heavy defeat
Cambridge 7 – 59 England U20s
Despite a promising start, the Blues were demolished by England’s future stars. The students were no match for their professional opponents and the match was effectively over by half time.
In the early exhanges the Blues’ dogged defence repelled a flurry of England attacks. Winning their first share of possession Cambridge counter-attacked and a slick move from the backs saw Dave Riley under the posts to put the home side 7-0 up.
From then on the U20s reigned supreme. Gloucester centre Jonny May leaving three Blues players for dead to score a try between the sticks that was duly converted by Jake Sharpe.
Cambridge dug in and inched up the pitch, cheered on by the home crowd. But the Blues’ efforts were in vain. The U20s turned the ball over and the imperious Catterick finished a length-of-the-field move in the corner.
The English onslaught didn’t stop there. Despite being willing in the tackle, the Blues continuously conceded ground in contact to their beefy opponents. A penalty for hands in the ruck was awarded and May helped himself to another try.
The U20s dealt the killer blow, sneaking another on the stroke of half time; Harlequins’ speedster Sam Smith tearing through the Cambridge defence on a great angle. The Blues left the field trailing 26-7 with a mountain to climb in the second half.
After the interval the match became, at times, a bit of a procession. The U20s continued to dominate at the set piece, denying the Cambridge backs of any telling possession.
The Blue’s only real chance of the half fell to captain Jimmy Richards, who would have been under the posts had he managed to gather his own grubber kick.
Cambridge didn’t go down without a fight though and ex-captain Dan Vickerman didn’t give an inch when two England props squared up to him.
Despite their resilience, the Blues were unable to stop the U20s from scoring. As the tries flooded in and speed merchant Smith completed his hat-trick, onlooking fit-college diva Kat De Rome added insult to injury, observing that, “The England boys are much better looking.”
Amidst the English dominance at the breakdown and endless overlaps there were some moments of magic for the Blues. Flanker Ed ‘Bear’ White’s try-saving tap tackle stands out.
Overall, Cambridge simply could not keep up with the U20s. The Blues’ efforts were valiant but they were always on the back foot. The U20s’ final try under the posts in the dying minutes of the game completed the thrashing.