The Gentlemen v The Players - An Honourable Draw
On a firm pitch for a change, both teams wanted to play rugby and this produced 11 tries
In the first quarter there were unforced errors by both sides. Those made by Cambridge gave their opposition attacking opportunities; those made by Barnes resulted in opportunities missed. At the end of the quarter Barnes were 5 points behind yet by halftime they had settled and were ahead by 4 points. At the start of the final quarter the scores were level then a converted try for each team resulted in 3 league points for both of them.
The home team started the game with a relatively short kick-off; at the take an error by the visitors resulted in a penalty against them. Barnes chose to kick for a line-out that took them to 7 metres out. Their pack set for a drive to the line; held once they advanced a little again then reset at the back to go again after which the Ref. ran to the posts to award a penalty try a little over a minute into the game. Fullback O'Toole added.
Cambridge's restart didn't go 10 metres giving Barnes a scrum back at halfway. After the put-in, with the ball at the feet of no. 8 Crossland, opposition scrumhalf Liebenberg hacked at the ball, which bounced of Crossland's foot towards the visitor's three-quarters. This wrong-footed their opponents and wing Furbank ran away to the corner for the game's second of 11 tries, after 4 minutes. The conversion was wide.
Cambridge secured the restart and kept the ball in hand. The recycled twice and got a penalty at their 10 metre line. Their kick didn't find touch and the ball was run back then kicked diagonally touch by their fly-half Williams-Davies after 2 recycles. From the line-out 15 metres from his team's line Liebenberg cleared to touch to 18 metres out. Cambridge came through on ball tapped by Barnes and knocked-on. At the scrum 14 metres inside their half Cambridge were awarded a penalty and kicked for another line-out at the opposition 10 metre line. An error there gave Barnes another scrum put-in. From that Barnes went wide and soon dropped the ball to give the visitors a scrum 7 metres ahead. From this one they quickly released to centre then recycled wide and into the hands of fullback Stokes. At full-tilt he was confronted by hip opposite number whom he powered over then went to the line wide-out at 12 minutes. A very good conversion from fly-half Boshoff followed.
Cambridge secured the restart and started to run the ball but almost immediately were penalised for crossing 20 metres out in centre field. Barnes kicked to the corner for a 5 metre line-out; their forwards' drive to the line was disrupted by the defence and broke up. Still, they recycled once but then dropped the ball. Advantage was played and the visitors quickly got the ball wide and advanced to their put-in just inside the 22 after almost being intercepted. From the scrum they soon went wide and Stokes broke through the defence. After two recycles they were intercepted but Barnes again dropped the ball after one recycle. This gave Cambridge another scrum 4 metres inside their half; the opposition pack was penalised at this. The visitors ran this penalty only to be penalised for not releasing 5 metres into the other half. They also lost a three-quarter for 10 minutes. The kick took Barnes to their line-out just outside the 22. From it they released to centre then put together a very good sequence of 11 varied phases with attempts to break the line by inside centre Holmes then the fullback. Then an advance and a couple of passes opened up a gap for prop Galvin to trot to the line wide-out at the start of the second quarter. O'Toole added to retake the lead.
Barnes secured the restart and ran the ball up to halfway before being penalised just into the other half. Cambridge kicked for a line-out and their pack drove for the line from 30 metres out. The defence stopped the drive; the ball was recycled once before the visitors were penalised 24 metres out. Barnes ran their penalty and recycled close twice to get another penalty 4 metres from halfway and kicked for a line-out 15 metres into the other half. This resulted in a scrum put-in for the opposition. Their no. 8 Hipwell made yards then the ball was recycled to centre before they were turned over. An excellent diagonal touch-kick by Williams-Davies went to 13 metres from the opposition line. They stole the line-out and almost immediately got a put-in 12 metres out. Crossland fed Holmes who forced his way through the defence but was stopped a metre out. The ball was recycled to lock Collins who did get over to touch down after 28 minutes. O'Toole's conversion curled in, wind-assisted for a 9 point lead.
Barnes' backs attacked immediately from the high restart and were soon up to the opposition 22 where they got a penalty which they ran. After advancing and recycling once they lost the ball; Cambridge kicked for territory then hacked the ball on into the other half. Wing Carlisle had a run then the ball was recycled close twice before being kicked high into the visitors' 22 before being cleared to touch with a very good kick to 15 metres into the opposition half. From the line-out Barnes tried an up-and-under that Cambridge dealt with. They recycled 3 times then got a penalty 7 metres inside their half for a high tackle. The kick took them to their line-out 12 metres into the other half. Their pack set for a drive that wasn't well defended and they advanced to get another penalty 23 metres out. The next line-out was 12 metres out; the drive went down then Cambridge recycled close 3 times, the last to Hipwell who then fed centre Portsmouth who crossed halfway out after 35 minutes. The conversion missed.
The visitors dealt with the restart and put together 6 good phases before kicking to touch just outside the opposition 22. Barnes launched an up-and-under after the line-out; Cambridge dealt with this and went wide with 7 varied phases before being turned over. They ball was put into touch for the halftime whistle.
The visitors regained their high second half restart from a Barnes error. They got no advantage from a chip through and the Ref. went back for their scrum put-in 26 metres out. They were forced back after picking up then they recycled twice to get a penalty 29 metres out. This was kicked for a line-out 14 metres out. The forward drive got to 3 metres out where Liebenberg took the ball and to go over and regain the lead at 4 minutes. Boshoff added.
Cambridge cleared the restart to touch; Barnes took a quick line-out and tried an up-and-under. The visitors recovered a dropped ball; two up-and-unders followed, the second by O'Toole. Barnes got the ball from this and recycled 6 times to put the ball into the hands of centre Cornish who broke through on a very good run and was stopped 1/2 a metre short. The ball was recycled twice, once close the other wider to hooker Alteirac who touched down at 8 minutes for the lead to change hands again. The conversion was wide.
Barnes dealt with the high restart and recycled twice before kicking for territory. Cambridge ran the ball back to a maul at which the opposition got the put-in 13 metres inside their half. The ball came out of the side of the scrum unexpectedly then Barnes were penalised 28 metres from their line. The kick took the visitors to a line-out 7 metres out. From this they recycled twice close to get a penalty 3 metres out. Liebenberg took a quick tapped penalty and sent a long lateral pass to Furbank who touched down at the corner after 13 minutes and the lead changed hands for the fifth time. The conversion was wide.
Four kicks followed the restart, the last to touch giving Cambridge a line-out 7 metres into their opponents' half. From this they went wide but soon passed forward 3 metres into their own half. After the scrum Williams-Davies put the ball into touch just outside the visitors' 22. After the line-out Cambridge were turned over; Barnes went wide and advanced but were penalised for not releasing 8 metres out. The kick took Cambridge to their line-out 12 metres inside their half and from it they went wide. Another of Desperate Dan's relentless tackles got a penalty for Barnes 15 metres into the half. This was put into touch 14 metres out. From the line-out 7 phases got them another penalty 16 metres out not far from centre field at the end of the 3rd quarter and the fullback was asked to level the scores, which he did.
The visitors regained their high restart, but soon dropped the ball. Advantage was played; kicks were exchanged but Cambridge's went out on the full giving Barnes a line-out 11 metres into the opposition half. Cambridge got the ball after a Barnes' line-out error but got no advantage and the Ref. went back for a scrum. From that the visitors advanced strongly putting together seven phases until the defence forced an error 18 metres into their half. Cambridge were penalised at the scrum and the ball was put into touch at halfway. From the line-out Barnes first kept the ball in and made some ground. When it was released they were intercepted but the Ref. penalised the player for offside. This took the home team to a line-out 20 metres from their opponents' line. The ball was tapped down and bounced and this looked as if it might be a problem but instead replacement scrumhalf Franklin had it and saw a gap at the tail of the line-out that he went through. His break left only a few yards to the line and the ball was recycled to replacement flanker Blamire to touch down at the posts not long before the half hour. The fullback added.
Barnes secured the restart before an error gave the visitors a penalty at the 22 in centre field. Cambridge opted for a line-out 7 metres out then a drive. The defence held the drive then the ball was released and Liebenberg went for the line. The ref. gave held up and a 5 metre scrum. This took some time to settle then the ball was kept in to get another penalty 3 metres out. Another scrum was chosen; the ball kept in then picked up by Hipwell, who had been causing the opposition all sorts of trouble in the last 15 minutes of the game went over with 7 minutes to go. Boshoff added to level the scores.
Barnes kicked to the 22; Cambridge recovered from an error and they kicked to the other 22. Barnes ran the ball to get a penalty near halfway and kicked for a line-out 15 metres into the visitors' half. From it they worked 3 phases then chipped through to touch 15 metres out. This resulted in a scrum for Cambridge. Three phases took them close to halfway and got them a penalty that they kicked to touch 29 metres from Barnes' line from where their pack started a drive and made ground before letting the ball out. Four phases got the ball into Hipwell's hands again. He offloaded; the ball was recycled to a forward close then recycled wider. Of course Holmes forced a turnover and Barnes put the ball into touch for the whistle.
Dry, bright yet 100% cloud, cool, some wind but not enough to significantly affect the game; the pitch firm.