Blues Slip Backwards

The Blues failed to improve on their performance last week, losing 34-49 to Cardiff.

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Cambridge Blues 34- 49 Cardiff Blues

The Blues failed to improve on last week’s promising performance as they lost to Cardiff in a high scoring match.

From the off the Blues did not seem as if they had properly woken up, getting off to the worst start possible with Cardiff scoring in the first minute, the result of the home side dropping the kick-off and failing to tackle the Cardiff scrum half.

The Blues seemed to momentarily re-group, earning themselves a penalty kick in the Cardiff half after a good stint of possession. However, uncharacteristically, captain Jimmy Richards pushed the kick wide, failing to alter the score board.

Cardiff, however, were beginning to play some brilliant rugby, although perhaps it was made to look more brilliant than it was by the lacklustre Blues. Only two minutes after Richards’ missed penalty, Cardiff’s outside centre dashed through a gaping chasm in the home defence to draw the full back and put the winger away in the corner. A cracking conversion from the touchline brought the score to 0- 14 after only 11 minutes.

This seemed to shake the Blues to life a bit, and they managed to earn another penalty in the Cardiff half. This time Richards made no mistake and slotted it over from close range.

Blues skipper Jimmy Richards with his men. Photo: Tim Sherrington.

Richards continued the good work with a darting break up the wing, getting stopped just shot of the Cardiff line. The Cambridge pack then demonstrated what they can do by driving the ball over from short range, Johnian Tom Stanton touching it down, bringing the score to 10 -14.

The two teams then traded penalties, making the score 13-20, before another lapse in the Cambridge defence just before half time allowed the sprightly Cardiff full back again to dart straight through to score under the posts.

A sorry looking Blues outfit left the field trailing 13- 27 at half time.

Things went from bad to worse after the break when the Blues again let through an early try. The crowd debated whether it was really the Blues’ fault, as the Cardiff winner delicately chipped Rob ‘Jesus Try Machine’ Stevens before collecting it himself and scoring in the corner. Even Stevens looked a bit stunned.

The away team achieved another breakthrough ten minutes later, utilising the overlap to put the winger through again in the corner.

With Cambridge now 13-39 down the Blues finally seemed to snap into gear. On the hour mark the Blues pack again drove the ball over from a lineout, touching down next to the posts.

A more organised attack, and fewer dropped balls, saw the Blues finally demonstrate what they are capable of. Another good lineout in the Cardiff 22 set up the platform for Will Balfour to step two Cardiff defenders before diving over the line.

Cambridge now looked a bit more on form. Cardiff did respond by kicking over a massive penalty from the half-way line, but it did not dent the Cambridge surge.

It was a good lineout again that laid the groundwork for Rob Stevens to burst throught the Cardiff backline before drawing the full back to put his team mate over in the corner.

The score on 80 minutes was now a more creditable 34-42. However, in the dying moments of the game an unidentified Blues forward embarrassed himself by simply passing the ball straight to the Cardiff scrum half who then almost walked over the try line to seal the match.

The Blues will be disappointed that they could not improve on last week’s superb performance against the Saints. Whilst there were some moments of attacking flair, the defence was not as solid as it has been, something that they will hope to remedy next week.

After the game Blues debutant Sam Hunt, who replaced Ben ‘Boyband’ Wilson, insightfully told The Tab that, “they were really good!” before adding, “I liked playing under floodlights, they were good too!”.

The Blues next play Crawshays Welsh XV at Grange Road on Wednesday 3rd November.