Blues Engineer Promising Victory

The Blues kick off their Varsity preparations with victory over the Royal Engineers. Includes VIDEO match highlights.

Blues blues rugby Cambridge University Engineers Freddie Strachan Royal Engineers Rugby

Cambridge 29- 15 Royal Engineers

Last night the Blues beat a well drilled Royal Engineers side, the champions of the Army league, with some occasionally devastating rugby.

Highlights of the match at Grange Road

The game began slowly, both teams making a number of basic errors early on.

Indeed, it took a while for the blues to warm up, and it was not until the end of the first half when captain and Varsity match hero Jimmy Richards ignited the game, combining with fly half Greg Cushing to dance through the Sapper’s defence for a superb try.

Until that moment of inspiration, the first half had been a terse and at times scrappy affair. The Blues did manage to generate some quick ball, but lacked any venom, Cushing’s one dash that set up Cambridge’s first try was the only highlight of the half before Richards went over just before the whistle.

Fortunately the Engineers, whilst solid in defence, were desperately conservative in attack, leaving their fly half with no option other than to spray desperately wild kicks aimlessly into the Cambridge half.

The second half however was a completely different game, with both sides becoming more adventurous and growing in confidence.

Almost straight after the break winger Paul Lowden ruptured the Engineers line, putting over Fred Burdon who finished off an easy two on one to extend the Blues lead to 22- 10.

The Engineers swiftly regrouped and camped themselves doggedly on the Blues’ line, consistently heaping pressure on the Cambridge defence. Nevertheless, the Blues defence held firm, flanker Tom Stanton leading from the front with a crunching tackle against the Sapper’s nippy little Fijian scrum half.

Whilst the Engineers had most of the possession, the Blues were shattering on the counter attack. A burst of quick hands sent Loudon on a brilliant run almost the entire length of the pitch from which he scored under the posts, giving the Blues a 19 point cushion.

The Engineers did not give up, answering the Cambridge try with one of their own, their rather meaty centre barrelling over from short range.

The Sappers then turned up the heat further by introducing a oversize Jonah Lomu-esque winger to the game who, on the one occasion he actually caught the ball, galloped up most of the pitch, bowling over Blues defenders as he went before captain Jimmy Richards, a midget in comparison, saved the try by cutting the big man in two with a vital tackle.

Realising that this man mountain of a winger was having some success and making ground, the Engineer’s new tactic seemed to be to pass it to him whenever they could. However, he was easily contained by some good defence, and the Blue’s again pounced on the chance of the counter attack, with three-time Blue Sandy Reid demonstrating his magic hands.

They were however, unable to convert again, but the Blues should be proud of their solid defence and the comfortable score line against a strong and well drilled opposition.

The Blues continue their Varsity preparations against Blackheath on Wednesday 13th at Grange Road (kick off 19.45). The Varsity Sevens tournament takes place this Saturday from 10.00 at Grange Road.