Report by Steve Jackson

Ealing served notice as to the likely destination of this season’s Championship title with a resounding win at Grantchester Road on Saturday afternoon. Ben Ward’s side have got even better as the term has progressed, and, directed imperiously by Billy Twelvetrees, always had a spare man or hand to combat redoubtable defensive sets from the hosts.

Ward said he’d put out his strongest available side:

“Cambridge have improved over the course of the season so it was a tricky fixture no matter what. The you add the sticky surface on to that and the short turn around and the physical and emotional toll of last week’s Premiership Cup semi-final, we’re really delighted with the win”.

Cambridge, though, took the lead in the second minute, Kwaku Asiedu outpacing the Trailfinders’ cover down the left wing to touch down under the sticks with Stef James adding the extras. But, from then on, it was one-way traffic in terms of the scoreboard as the visitors racked up nine tries, a remarkable number given that the Blood & Sand barley missed a tackle all afternoon.

Asiedu’s next touch was a mis-field that caused Benji Hoppe into a deliberate knock-on and a yellow card for his trouble. Akinbiyi Alo forced his way over the line from the resultant penalty play. Twelvetrees missed off the two – which he did twice more over the course of the 80 minutes – but it scarcely mattered.

More pressure on the home line 12 minutes in saw Matt Cornish over for number two– Lloyd Williams, Oli Newman and Andrew Davison brought up the bonus point by half time.

Arthur De Wee made the game safe four minutes into the second half off the back of over twenty phases as Richie Williams’ side fought to keep their line intact.

Nathan Bird-Tulloch swooped into open prairie for the seventh, Michael Willemse burrowed over from a driving maul in the corner for the 8th and Daniel O’Brien added number nine at the death from distance as a Ealing sucked in the home defence to leave a massive hole, exploited expertly by the replacement.

Williams said;

“It would be remiss not to applaud how clinical and ruthless Ealing were this afternoon – they looked like a team who were battle-hardened whilst at times we looked like we were, a team that hadn’t played for three weeks. I thought we started brightly and scored that try early on and despite some good defence we weren’t really clinical enough ourselves when we did get into their 22. It’s never nice to be beaten by 50 points at home  – the more opportunities you give to sides at this level, the more points they’re likely to score – but that result will help our preparation for our trip to Hartpury next Friday”.

Catch up on all the game’s action by watching the highlights below:

Caven 7, Asiedu 7, Williams 7, Hanks 7, James 7 (Rayner 63 7), Duffin 7 (Dabell 48 7); Ellwood 7 (Verden 48 7), Veness 7 (Brownlie 45 7), Walker 7 (Verden 45 7), Frost 7, Baxter 7, Hoppe 7 (Bretag-Norris 51 7), Adams 7 (Dawson 48 7), Merigan 7 (Irvine 58 7)

Bodilly 8, Kernohan 8, Bird-Tulloch 8 (O’Brien 60 8) Twelvetrees 9, Earle 8, Lancaster 8, Williams 8 (Burns 60 8); Goodrick-Clarke 8 ( Whyte 45 8), Cornish 8 (Willemse 45 8), Alo 8 (Roots 45 8), De Wee 8 (Cutmore 58 8), Davidson 8, Farrar 8 (Montgomery 68 8), Newman 8, Smid 8 (Taylor 71 8)

Try – Asiedu 2
Conversion – James 3

Tries – Alo 8, Cornish 12, Williams 29, Newman 35, Davidson 39, De Wee 44, Bird-Tulloch 59, Willemse 70, O’Brien 80
Conversion – 13, 30, 36, 45, 60, 71

Half-Time: 7-31
Full-Time: 7-57

Key Stats
Scrums Won Cambridge 4 Ealing 7
Scrums Lost Cambridge 0 Ealing 0
Line Outs Won Cambridge 7 Ealing 13
Line Outs Lost Cambridge 2 Ealing 2
Penalties Against Cambridge 8 Ealing 8
Yellow cards 1/0
Attendance 1309
Referee Joe James
Player of the Match: Matty Williams