DURFC 1’s 44 – Cambridge Blues 22
Cambridge field 2 ex-Durham captains but still can’t end DURFC’s unbeaten run
Durham University 1st XV started 2012 with an away trip to Cambridge, which was made all the tougher when they saw former DURFC 1’s captains Rob Malaney and Paul Louden in the opposition lineup.
Although both of them managed to grab a try for the Cambridge Blues they couldn’t stop Durham University 1st XV extending their winning streak to 31 matches and 22 months unbeaten.
Durham started 2012 with some of the best rugby they have played scoring through fly-half Mike Ward after just 40 seconds.
The second try came not long after with Fred Stonell grounding the ball from a driving maul from a 5 meter lineout. Within 8 minutes of kick off Durham were up 19 – 0 after a slick offload from the backs put Josh Beaumont clear who sprinted from the 22 for his 7th try of the season.
Cambridge however, were not to roll over so easily and after sustained pressure and numerous Durham penalties former Durham captain Rob Malaney offloaded to put the Cambridge winger in for their first try of the match.
Further Cambridge pressure resulted in the ball being spun wide for a try in the corner before Rob Malaney scored a try of his own to make it 3 tries each. The remainder of the second half was scrappy with two yellow cards and numerous penalties before the teams retired to their changing rooms with the score at 19 – 17 to Durham.
Disappointed that they had allowed themselves to take their foot off the gas Durham started the half strongly with the ball being worked wide for Sam Rupar to crash over. This was soon followed by a penalty that made the score 27 – 17.
With Durham now back in the ascendancy Josh Beaumont crashed through several Cambridge tackles for Durham’s 5th try. Cambridge struck back with another try through Rob Malaney but this proved little more than a consolation as another driving maul put Stonell in for his second and a penalty was added by Ward to bring Durham’s final tally to 44 points.
Overall Durham will be pleased with the result against such prestigious opposition at such a traditional venue. Indeed there were certain elements of the performance that were very pleasing for the Palatinates, particularly the offloading and running in the backs which produced several line breaks and tries.
At times however, the forwards were drawn into a scrappy and error ridden game against opponents who were at times perhaps more street wise with regards to playing on the edge of the law book.
Durham can hopefully maintain their winning streak when they face Edinburgh in the first round of the cup on the 1st of February.