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Cambridge University Match
Wednesday 13th January 2016, Grange Road

Result: Cambridge University 16 Penguin International XV 17

At a cold but dry Grange Road the Penguins started 2016 with a hard-earned victory over the Cambridge University students 17 -16. With a serious accident on the M11 causing gridlock to the city of Cambridge, it was just as well the kick-off had been set for 7.45pm as the Penguins squad, who were travelling from all over the country, struggled to make it to the ground in time; the last to arrive was the experienced Howard Graham at 7.10pm! However, this hiccup did not seem to disrupt the Penguins preparations and they hit the ground running and were rewarded with an early score when centre Chris Kinloch, who impressed all evening, picked a wonderful line to race through the Cambridge defensive line and score out wide after just six minutes.

Former Cambridge Blue, Tom O’Toole playing at full-back for the Penguins hit the post with the difficult conversion. The Penguins, true to tradition, continued to keep the ball in hand and attack at every opportunity, but were unable to extend their lead in the opening quarter as the light Blues showed resilience in defence to hold them out.

On twenty minutes, Cambridge won good line out ball from the impressive Ian Nagle, moved the ball wide left to create an overlap which winger Andy Rees took full advantage off to beat the covering defence and run in behind the posts, allowing a simple conversion for fly-half George Williams.

Following last year’s comprehensive defeat, it was clear the students were taking this match very seriously and Williams added three points from the tee to extend their lead soon after. On the stroke of half-time the Penguins re-took the lead when former Cambridge captain Harry Peck, playing at scrum-half, weighted a delightful box kick from a scrum for left wing Ed Doe to pounce on and have an easy run in to score under the posts. Another former Cambridge man, Tom O’Toole added the simple conversion to make the score at the break 12-10 in favour of the visitors.

The Penguins made changes at half-time but not to the detriment of the team. Again Cambridge showed their intention to try and eke out a win with two further penalties from Williams after 47 and 51 minutes to take a four point lead. However, it was the Penguins who continued to put pace on the game and take quick tap penalties rather than kick for touch, but they were finding it difficult to break down the students defence. With a quarter of the match remaining, the Penguins did manage to score a third try, when replacement scrum-half Chris Gibbs attacked the blind side and created space for another former Cambridge man, right wing Andy Murdoch to touch down in the corner. Howard Graham was off target with the difficult conversion. This proved to be the last score of the match, although the Penguins continued to probe for openings in the Cambridge defence, whose tackling remained resolute. The students searched for another kick-able penalty to sneak a win, however the Penguins maintained their discipline to hang on to their one point margin.

The Penguins now look forward to their second home match when they travel to Iffley Road trying to achieve the ‘double’ over the Varsity teams, when they take on Oxford University on Wednesday 2nd March, having lost by 19-10 last year.

Chris Kinloch (T), Ed Doe (T), Andy Murdoch (T), Tom O’Toole (C)

Cambridge University
Andy Rees (T), George Williams (C), (3P)

1 Jeremy Cunnew Old Elthamians
2 Dave Porecki Saracens
3 Garret Cann Amersham & Chiltern
4 Fergus Taylor* Oxford University
5 Dean Maclennan Richmond
6 Robert Lehman# Rottweil RFC, Germany
7 Jaime Bache Chicago Griffins
8 George Messum* Oxford University - Captain
9 Harry Peck* Cambridge University
10 Matt Keville Chingford
11 Ed Doe* Richmond
12 Chris Lewis* Barnes
13 Chris Kinloch Ealing
14 Andrew Murdoch* Leicester Lions
15 Tom O’Toole* Barnes
16 Thore Scmidt# St Pauli RFC, Germany
17 Joe Winpenny Amersham & Chiltern
18 Joe Pickton Bracknell
19 Tim Gabelko HAC
20 Jason Billows Old Albanians
21 Simon Edwards Richmond
22 Chris Gibbs South Leicester
23 Sam Moorby Imperial College
24 Ollie Shorthose Oxford University

# Denotes International
* Denotes Blue

Penguins Management:

Head Coach – Steve Hill (Richmond)
Assistant Coach – Carl Douglas (South Leicester)
Team Manager – Tim Stevens (Oxford University)

Jack Speak
Community Group
Jack Speak
Community Group