Women’s rugby blues storm into next round of cup

Rugby Union: Cambridge 26, Loughborough 10

After a redraw of the BUCS cup, the Cambridge Blues found themselves drawn against Loughborough University, ranked 2nd in the Northern Premiership after Leeds (who made it to last year's cup final).

With no more than 15 minutes to warm up, due to their late arrival, the Blues took the pitch full of intensity and hungry for a win. Both teams started the match not really knowing what to expect, and both teams tried kicking to test each other's back three. The girls kept their heads, caught each ball, and returned it, either with another kick or with a solid run that gained back any ground that was lost, showing Loughborough that their main game plan would get them nowhere.

Early in the second half, the Loughborough captain, who was also their kicker and fly half, was sin binned for repeated high tackling. This opened up new opportunities in the back line and 2 tries were scored while she was sitting out. After she came back on, Cambridge second row, Jo Bradley was also sin binned. In this time, Cambridge kept their heads on and scored yet another try.

In the scrums, the Cambridge forwards held their ground despite being the smaller side. Their rucking was far more aggressive and they managed to turn over a lot of ball.

In the backs, the Cambridge line absolutely dominated the field. In attack, the Blues looked far more dangerous and in defence, the pressure was relentless, shutting Loughborough down before the ball could make its way wide. Every Cambridge player fought hard all game, never slowing down, and never letting up on the pressure. Loughborough's two tries were both the result of the strength and pace of their number 8, who plays for England under 20's.

Of the four Cambridge tries, one came from scrum half, Sammy Graham, who drove the ball over the line off the back of a ruck. The other three came from sharp moves run by the backs, which sent the centres and fly half through beautifully-created gaps. These were scored by fly half, Anne Venner, inside centre, Laura Britton, and outside centre, Rachel Thompson. Three of the tries were converted by full back, Kate Robson.

The team put in a fantastic performance putting their cup run firmly on track.

Talia Gershon

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