Downing And Out: Division 3 CCK in Cup Shock

Two tries from Tom Donovan saw CCK shock Division 1 high-fliers Downing in the second round of Cuppers. Read more here

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CCK 18 – 5 Downing

Third Division outfit CCK shocked Downing in Round 2 of Cuppers, cruising to a convincing 18-5 win over the Division 1 side.

Downing went into this encounter as real contenders for the Cuppers title and were overwhelming favourites to roll over their opponents who languish in the depths of Division 3.  However in a game dominated by the forwards, CCK, comprised of players from Clare, Corpus and King’s, made their opponents look distinctly average and were well worth the wide margin of victory.

The forward dominance of CCK began from the kick off after an early knock-on from Downing. The CCK front row of Stuart Brown, Peter Taylor and captain Rob High proved a formidable obstacle for the Downing pack to contend with.

Nevertheless it was Downing who were first to get on the score sheet, Jason Roberts running in a break-away try after an poor kick from CCK. The subsequent conversion was missed, which was hardly surprising given the windy conditions.

CCK responded superbly and constant pressure kept them rolling up the field, providing solid platform for the backs to work off.

Furthermore the CCK back line was able to capitalise on the poor service from the Downing scrum-half, putting their opponents under yet more pressure.

The CCK backs looked especially dangerous with ball in hand and it was no surprise when CCK scored their first try with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Winger Tom Donovan found himself on the end of an excellent move and showed a great turn of pace to score in the corner.

Continued indiscipline from a shell-shocked Downing led to a CCK penalty, which was expertly executed by full back Josh Wilson to give the Division 3 side an 8-5 half time lead.

Any expectation of a Downing fightback was short lived as CCK came out all guns blazing after the break.  Wilson slotted another penalty to give his side a 6 point cushion over the pre-match favourites.

Downing, struggling to get to grips with the conditions, were unable to retain possession for any significant length of time and rarely ventured into the CCK half for the rest of the match.

Their lacklustre pack offered little resistance. Loose forward Dom Rustecki was a constant menace at line outs and proved to be a thorn in Downing’s side for the rest of the encounter.

With Downing’s kicking game offering little in terms of penetration, CCK were in control of the tie but couldn’t find the killer blow to put the match beyond doubt, twice failing to score whilst 5 yards out.

However the pressure soon told when Tom Donovan again showed some strong and impressive running to score in the corner. Josh Wilson’s impeccable kicking gave CCK an 18-5 lead which they never looked like losing with only 10 minutes to go.

A disheartened Downing never looked like making a comeback and CCK saw out the rest of the game with consummate ease to secure an historic Cuppers upset.

One disappointed Downing player told The Tab: “We deserved to lose. Good luck to CCK.”

Having despatched one of college rugby’s supposed top sides, CCK advance into the quarter-finals, where they will face either Homerton or Hughes Hall.

Meanwhile Downing will be left to reflect on a match in which they never competed and must regroup as they prepare to go head to head with Jesus in the coming weeks in the battle to secure second place in Division 1.

For The Tab’s photos from today’s game, click here.