Magdalene Give Downing The Sinking Feeling

Downing still think they can “beat anyone in the league” as a third consecutive loss dumps them into the relegation fight.

Cambridge University college rugby downing Magdalene Rugby

Magdalene 20 – 10 Downing

Downing’s league ambitions suffered a further setback with another shock loss to recently-promoted Magdalene yesterday.

The result leaves Downing sitting firmly in the relegation zone, having lost every game since their surprise draw against John’s on the first matchday of the season.

A try from Dan Addis barrelling over after a ruck, and a conversion and penalty from Keith Hagyard saw Downing match Magdalene’s two tries before the break.

Magdalene veteran Angus Sanders homes in on his next victim. Photos by William Benjamin.

But in the second half Magdalene started to pull away courtesy of supremacy in the scrums and the forwards along with some lax defending in the Downing backs.

Whilst Downing had greater possession, Magdalene scored a third try, later adding a further penalty, as their advantage in set-pieces started to show and Downing’s backs missed too many tackles.

The talking point of the match, however, is a controversy involving a disallowed try for Downing at 17-10 that could have easily turned the tide of the match.

Winger Charlie Williams was adjudged to have received a forward pass before scoring between the posts, but the Downing players strongly contest the decision, with one player commenting:

“The only reason the ref gave it [the forward pass] is because he was 30 yards away from the play, couldn’t see a thing, and didn’t have the balls to argue with the Magdalene players”

Downing’s woes were later compounded by try-scorer Addis fumbling the ball on the 5 metre line after some good pressure.

But with Magdalene kicking well in open play, and their centres breaking tackles, they were able to avoid any further pressure and close out the match, earning points that could prove vital in avoiding relegation.

Matt Wright easily broke through the Downing line to score an important try in the first half whilst Angus Sanders bounced a couple of tackles to cross the line early in the second.

Magdalene‘s George Morissey piles on the misery for relegation threatened Downing. Photos by William Benjamin.

Downing, on the other hand will be pleased to have put some points on the board, but will need to turn points into results if they are to avoid an unexpected drop into Division 2.

Despite their run of defeats, the team who were rumoured to be saying that “this is our year” after their first match, remain confident.

One forward told The Tab: “Once this team clicks, there is no reason why we can’t beat anyone in this league. All the matches have been close, and John’s and Queens were lucky to get the results they did

Meanwhile, Cambridge rugby fans await to see what more this season of shocks and scandal will provide.

Next week Downing face Trinity in a relegation clash, whilst Jesus take on the division’s dark horses Magdalene at home and John’s make the potentially tricky trip to high-flying Queens’.