Preparing DilligentlyPreparing Dilligently

Two tries from Joey Gatus set Cambridge University RUFC up for what should be a great 2019 Varsity Match

The 72nd Steele-Bodger Match was again a sell-out occasion with over 680 people sitting down to dine in the CURUFC marquee, 480 people dining in the Hawk's marquee and 60 past players lunching in Selwyn College.

Several thousand spectators thronged the ground for the match.
 
The 72nd Steele Bodger fixture, and the first to be played without Mickey in attendance, finished with a win for the University side (34-19) and provided a great preparation for Twickenham on 12 December 2019.
 
As ever, this was an outstanding occasion, with a packed Grange Road enjoying food, drink and festivities.
Cantab Asset Management were proud to be the Steele-Bodger Match sponsor and Savills were the re-usable cup sponsor.
 

Match report

Patience paid off as Cambridge University RUFC took their time before pulling clear to beat the Steele-Bodger XV 34-19.
It was, as ever, a packed house at Grange Road as Cambridge businesses enjoyed their annual afternoon of revelry, and with beer in full flow, that probably helped to liven up the first half.
 
In arguably the most below-par 40 minutes of the Michaelmas Term so far from the Light Blues, they struggled to string many passages of play together.
 
The select side have their orders to test the partnerships and structures of the students before their clash with Oxford at Twickenham on December 12, and they did so in a different way to normal.
 
There was a far more abrasive edge to the side, captained by Stefan Liebenberg and including old Blues Charlie Amesbury and Archie Russell among others.
It led to a niggly and fractured half, where quick ball was at a premium and phases of play were few and far between.
 
A good move from a scrum after 12 minutes saw Suwi Chibale dive over for the opening try for the visitors, with George Cullen landing the conversion.
 
However, there was a glimpse of the usual Blues within a minute as sprightly scrum-half Chris Bell danced his way past several tackles to touch down, with Mike Phillips converting.
 
As the game failed to capture the imagination as a spectacle, the only other points of the half were from a Phillips penalty to make it 10-7 at half time.
 
But endeavour and patience have been in plentiful supply this term.
 
They have not tried to rush what they do, and when things have not gone according to plan they have had the ability to reset and rebuild.
And this was the story of the second half.
 
They kept the ball moving to avoid the arm wrestle and on-the-edge defence of the Steele-Bodger XV, and created some encouraging patterns of play.
 
It was the visitors that got the first score of the half though, as Amesbury made the break from halfway, and had Chibale up in support inside the 22, and the centre then had the wherewithal to offload outside to Russell to touch down to make it 12-10.
 
Six minutes later, Phillips kicked a penalty to restore the university’s lead.
 
The depth of the students’ squad has been impressive this year and, as captain Stephen Leonard has previously mentioned, they have finishers to step off the bench.
 
With a few changes in personnel, they maintained the faith in their systems and it reaped rewards.
 
A catch and drive from a line-out on 5m was stopped illegally, and referee George Richardson awarded a penalty try, making it 20-12 to the university.
 
It started a flurry of three tries in eight minutes, with the second coming as Cambridge secured possession on halfway and went wide for Gatus to exchange passes with Fergus Jemphrey to touch down. Phillips’ extras made it 27-12.
 
Gatus had his second soon after, with great work by Al Gliksten at the breakdown moving possession to Bell, who delayed his pass to hit the full-back flying through to touch down.
 
Phillips’ conversion made it 34-12.
 
The Steele-Bodger side rounded off the scoring with a try from the impressive Chibale, who burst clear at pace through the centres channel, and Cullen converted.
 
It was a fitting finale in some respects on an afternoon when Micky Steele-Bodger, the man behind the fixture, was remembered having died this summer, aged 93.
 
And there is fair reason to think that the students’ performance would have given him encouragement that his beloved Light Blues will head to Twickenham in good health to face the Dark Blues.
 
Cambridge University RUFC: Gatus; Lovelace, Triniman, Watson, Jemphrey; Phillips, Bell; MacCallum, Huppatz, Harborne, van der Merwe, Horwill, Walton, McMahon, Leonard.
 
Replacements: Schusman, Collins, Cook, Beckett, Smart, Smeaton, Gliksten, Mackle, Russell.
 
Steele-Bodger XV: Amesbury (Petersfield); Foster (Blackheath), Chibale (University of Edinburgh), O’Toole (Barnes), Russell (Boroughmuir); Cullen (Bishop’s Stortford), Liebenberg (Blackheath); Hughes (Tynedale), Caulfield (Bishop’s Stortford), Scott (Heriots), Betteridge (Coventry), van der Merwe (London Business School), Collingham (Stourbridge), Edgar (London Scottish), Moore (Blackheath).
 
Referee: George Richardson.
 
Scorers: 12min Chibale try - Cullen con (0-7), 14 Bell try - Phillips con (7-7), 39 Phillips pen (10-7), 46 Russell try (10-12), 52 Phillips pen (13-12), 60 penalty try (20-12), 62 Gatus try - Phillips con (27-12), 68 Gatus try - Phillips con (34-12), 73 Chibale try - Cullen con (34-19).
 
Sin bin: Steele-Bodger - Scott (technical offence, 60).