Sat 24 Feb 2018, 14:00
Outside of the professional Premiership and Championship leagues National 1 is the highest level in
English rugby. In their first season it has taken a while for Caldy to fully come to grips with the game
management needed at this rarified level but at Cambridge they showed the nous to do a number
on their opponents.
In the first half Caldy’s pragmatic ‘rope a dope’ style combined with the power of their pack saw the
Wirral side suck the life out of the home side. The first 10 minutes were all Cambridge but wave
after wave of midfield drives were snuffed out by Caldy’s backrow and centres. Cambridge never
looked like breaking through and after a couple of promising line out drives came to nothing the
‘Blood and Sand’ resorted to the boot of Ben Penfold to put them 6-0 up at the break.
With the breeze behind them Caldy were in the ascendancy from the start of the second half and
they switched gears. Well marshalled by the excellent Ben Jones and Rhys Hayes at halfback, Caldy
stretched the home defence bringing wingers Luke Hibbard and Tommy Banks into the game. As the
holes started to appear number 8 JJ Dickinson slalomed in for the first Caldy score to put Caldy’s
nose in front after Ben Jones’ conversion.
The Cambridge scrum was creaking and from a penalty infringement Jones put Caldy further ahead
before the win was confirmed with a late try in the corner from playmaker Rhys Hayes. Final score
Cambridge 6 Caldy 15.
This was a tactically smart win by an increasingly mature Caldy side. The Caldy scrum anchored by
the outstanding Derek Salisbury broke Cambridge’s resistance enabling Jones and Hayes to dictate
Next week Caldy will need all their nous and power, and as big a home support as they can muster to
counter the mighty Coventry who will be coming to Paton Field with their all stars and All Blacks.
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