After the Oxford University experience, the Exiles had high hopes of getting a better result against Cambridge University on Sunday past, with a stronger squad, and the early indications were good.
After 5 minutes, good individual play by Elliott O’Brien (last season’s Ireland Clubs U18 out-half) brought him a try in the corner. Almost half-way through the half, Matt O’Regan (the Exiles Captain & an Ireland U19 international last season) made a searing break from full-back before unselfishly unloading to Sean Dougall (Ireland U18 Clubs flanker last season) to score; Elliott O’Brien converted.
The Exiles should have had a greater lead than 12-0 approaching half-time and paid the price when Cambridge scored from their best back play of the half in the final play of the half. Things got worse shortly after half-time when Cambridge added another try, and a conversion, to draw level. They took the lead half-way through the half to go 17-12 ahead but a period of inspired play from the Exiles led to a try for prop Matt Newman after a line-out catch and drive. A magnificent touchline conversion from centre replacement Scott Browne put the Exiles back into a 19-17 lead. The Exiles worked hard to hold on but, with 5 minutes to go, Cambridge retaliated with a catch-and-drive try of their own to go 24-19 ahead, which became the final score.
This was a much improved performance from the Oxford game and the turning point may well have been when Matt O’Regan had to leave the field injured during the second half. Up to then he had been inspirational with his runs from full-back.
That is the last Exiles fixture before Xmas and fixtures will resume early in the New Year.
For more on the Exiles click here.
Filed by John S Hunter: Development Manager