Blues Sink Navy
Jimmy Richards secures his first win as Blues captain. Full match report and photos HERE.
Cambridge 27 – 7 Royal Navy
In the last of the armed forces series Jimmy Richards secured his first win as skipper as the Blues rolled over a weak Navy outfit at Grange Road.
The Blues started the match brightly. The forwards nicked Navy ball at the lineout and after several phases the ball was shipped out to winger Rob “The Angler” Stevens, who steamed up the blindside to finish in the corner.
Although Richards missed the conversion, the Blues had set down a marker. They soon settled into a rhythm with several of the backs putting their skills on show. Jimmy Richards demonstrated his ability to launch huge miss passes while the Bastareaud-esque Freddie Shepherd made use of his brutal hand-off, albeit at the expense of passing the ball.
Despite their evident superiority, the Blues struggled to put more points on the board in the first 20 minutes. Numerous chances were created, perhaps the best following a sublime back-of-the-hand pop pass from Will Jones that unleashed Richards along the touchline but the fly-half was hauled down just before the line.
It took a set piece move from a lineout and some limp-wristed Navy tackling for the Blues to score their next try. Taking a flat pass Fred Burdon was able to shrug off tackles and faced with the full back he coolly slipped the ball to Shepherd who finished off the move.
Yet another line-out move provided the foundation for the Blues’ next try. As the ball was spun wide James Greenwood cut a good line and ghosted past some pedestrian Navy defenders. Having drawn the full back he put Stevens in for his second try of the half. Richards missed his third successive conversion attempt; nevertheless the Blues were now 15-0 up.
The Navy never really established themselves in the first half. They had little possession and what ball they did have they preferred to kick away. Their woes were compounded by a Blues try on the stroke of half time.
A lineout in the Navy 22 was duly driven over by the Blues forwards with Charlie Baird scoring the try. Kicking duties were handed over to Burdon who fared no better.
The second half was a much more closely contested affair. The Navy back line began to fire as they were provided with a better platform by their forwards. The seamen secured some good field position as they set up camp in the Cambridge half.
Yet against the run of play the Blues scored again. After some argy bargy between Vickerman and the Navy forwards, a penalty was awarded to the Blues which replacement 10 Ross Broadfoot stabbed into the corner.
The Blues forwards outmuscled their opponents at the lineout and after a powerful drive Tom Harris piled his way over. Broadfoot’s sweetly struck conversion sailed over.
The Navy weren’t prepared to give up without a fight though. Playing for pride they worked their way onto the scoreboard. Against a dozing Blues defence the revitalised Navy began to smash their way through tackles.
Their open side flanker showed a surprising amount of gas as he burst through a hole and raced away from the Cambridge defenders. Good support ensured the move was finished off under the posts.
The Navy fight back continued and in the dying minutes they looked set to score again but it was too little too late, giving the Blues a comfortable margin of victory as the full time whistle blew.
Overall, the Blues saw off what was a relatively weak opposition. Dynamic forward play and pace out wide proved too much for the Navy to contend with. However they were lucky to concede just the one try in the final period of the match as complacency began to set in.
Click here for match photos