Uncle Sam Slammed By Cam

The Tab rounds up the Blues’ summer fixtures. An undefeated tour of America surely has the scum quaking in their boots.

america Blues blues rugby curufc penn state Rugby tour

Prospects look bright for the light Blues’ defence of their Varsity crown after a supreme summer campaign. While there remain some areas to work on, the Blues made light work of a talented Old Blues side before completing a clean sweep of victories on their tour of the USA.

The Blues’ preparations for the tour got off to a flyer with a resounding victory against a spirited old boys XV. Despite the departure of several of last year’s Blues and alleged telephone threats from ex-Blue Will Jones, CURUFC put in a strong team performance to see off the Old Blues.

Ex-Blues Will Jones on the charge

The Blues’ performance generally impressed team spokesperson, Jamie Gilbert, although he emphasised the need to work on a few areas over the coming tour and season at Grange road, particularly the forwards. This was only a minor criticism and, given that the match was played off the back of two days training, a little rustiness was to be expected.

The tour kicked off with a closely fought encounter against the New York Athletics Clubs on Travers Island. Despite starting brightly the Blues ended up trailing 10-12 at half time with NYAC unlucky not to have notched up a larger lead. Any fears about jet lag were soon dispelled as the Blues’ backs eased into action. Cambridge eventually prevailed 43-24 but the number of points conceded demanded some work on defence in training.

Next the Blues faced Penn State University. This match was used as an opportunity to test-drive some new combinations of players and to give some young players their first starts. Penn State proved to be tough opponents and the scoreboard was unused until 30 minutes into the first half. After a spirited half-time talk the Blues upped the intensity and aided by some impressive individual performances saw off the opposition 44-15.

Penn State's Indoor facilities

The Blues completed their hat trick with a well-earned win against a physical Old Blue side. Playing to commemorate September 11th both sides put in strong performances. Old Blue’s tight and direct style of play gave the Blues’ defence its sternest test of the tour. However, despite defending with only 13 men for a period, the Blues defence held firm and the Old Blues only managed 4 penalties.

It took the Blues 65 minutes before they could really break down their counterparts but their class did eventually begin to tell. The match ended 36-12 but this does not fully reflect the closeness of much of the encounter.

The America tour, then, was a complete success. The team put in a number of good performances and despite a few early concerns about the integrity of the defensive line the game against the Old Blue showed that the side is more than capable of digging in when required. While any predictions for the varsity match would be premature this early in the season, the Light Blues certainly don’t look like they’re going to be giving up their title without a fight.