In difficult conditions, Cambridge took a positive step forward in preparation for the Varsity match in December by beating Hartpury University 35-10.
From the kick off, Cambridge exerted pressure, playing the territory intelligently and kicking a penalty to go in front after four minutes. Hartpury came back, running some hard lines through the centre and putting the Cambridge defensive line under pressure. However, Cambridge defended well and were rewarded a couple of minutes later with a second penalty, duly converted by fly half Donald Stevens. Cambridge continued to build phases and pressure throughout the first half and went into the changing rooms 21-0 in the lead.
The second half began well for Hartpury with an early try, following a clever kick into the corner. At this point, Cambridge made a number of substitutions, with Rob Hall, Rupert Cowan and Will Briggs being replaced by Nick Viljoen, Patrick Calvert and Sam Alderson. If anything the changes re-energised the Cambridge pack, which proceeded to score an impressive try from a rolling maul after 55 minutes, leaving Cambridge ahead by 28-5. Hartpury were able to retain plenty of ball in the final ten minutes of the game but the last word was had by Cambridge scrum half, Seb Tullie, who scored in the corner following a final, dominant scrum.
The match was excellent preparation for next week’s encounter against London Scottish and was a good opportunity for Captain Will Briggs to see some new combinations in action.