OAs win Cambs warm-up game

PUBLISHED: 09:19 26 August 2014 | UPDATED: 08:30 27 August 2014

Former OA Stef Liebenburg is swarmed on. Picture: Chris Fell

Former OA Stef Liebenburg is swarmed on. Picture: Chris Fell

Chris Fell

As might be expected of a second warm up game, both good and not quite so good elements were exhibited at Grantchester Road last Saturday, writes Brian Quinn.

Billy Johnson about to be tackled by Cambridge hooker, Ean Griffiths. Picture: Chris FellBilly Johnson about to be tackled by Cambridge hooker, Ean Griffiths. Picture: Chris Fell

At the front, the forwards worked well most of the afternoon. In particular the urgency generated by the pack led to the retention of possession one might expect of a National One outfit. The scrum was dominant all day and the defensive lineout was outstanding. The turnover rate was especially satisfying.

Having said that, the attacking lineout suffered occasionally from a lack of precision and an improvement in timing will bring that right. Similarly, more attention needs to be spent on work in contact and speed to the breakdown could do with a bit more impetus.

The outsides provided proof that lessons had been learned from the visit to Bedford and the Cambridge back line was closed down much quicker than might otherwise be the case. The half backs again worked well from the base of the scrum and in broken play and the centre pairings imposed themselves sufficiently to allow the back three to plunder three of the OA tries.

However, for the second week in succession, OAs were reduced to 14 courtesy of a yellow card in the last quarter and during this period Cambridge helped themselves to no less than three tries. Canterbury may well inflict more damage if presented with the same circumstances on their visit next week.

Coach Andy Holloway said: “The lads are happy with developments so far and all of us are as excited as you would expect about the trip to Tynedale which starts our season.

“But first we have Canterbury to contend with next weekend. We welcome the challenge.”

Final score: OAs 43 Cambridge 33

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