A cold and wet Wednesday afternoon brought Brunel to Cambridge. Having won the league last season, Brunel were desperate to make amends for their 16-30 loss to Reading. Consequently, a strong team was fielded by the visitors, boasting players involved in the London Broncos setup, Championship team Hemel Stags, and last season’s England Students side.
Brunel got off to a strong start. Their big runners found space and gained easy yards. After some strong defense close to the try line, the Cambridge line was breached, conceding the first try of the match. The physicality continued, with good defense from Cambridge keeping Brunel out. Eventually, Brunel cut two superb lines, picking up two more tries to go into the halftime break with a 18-0 lead.
Some stern words from coach Andy Champ gave the Cambridge side a renewed vigor, with a noticeably increased intensity. A strong defensive set forced a knock on from Brunel, which was fielded by Matt Holden who beat everyone for pace to score under the posts from halfway. The Cambridge attack now matched the aggression of the defense and lead to two more tries, from George Laing and James Henderson. This brought Cambridge to within two points at 16-18.
With nine minutes to play, David Sparkhall went over on the left hand side to complete a well-worked move and gave Cambridge the lead for the first time in the match. To finish off, Tom Hughes barged over for a final try to seal the match for Cambridge 26-18.
This win continues CUARLFC’s 100% record for the season. With a strong squad and a January training camp at Super League club Hull KR planned, the team’s prospects look very bright.