This seasons first evening game ended in disappointment for Southend's 11's.
They play in the first division of The National Clubs Association sponsored league ' The Shield' and were up against a very slick Cambridge 11's side.
The team consisted of a spattering of players who have played for the 1st team this season and players from the squad hoping to break in.
They started off well taking the game to Cambridge at every opportunity and it wasn't long until Perry Sanson latched on to an intelligent cross field kick sprinting across the line for a well worked try. The difficult conversion was missed but they moved into a 5 – 0 lead.
With Southend competing well at the breakdowns it wasn't long before hooker Nick Grier forced his way over for the second try of the game. Sid Hoult converted this one and the score improved to 12 – 0.
Cambridge were proving difficult. Their young, quick and fit backs were running at Southend's defence at every opportunity. Marshalled by ex Southend fly half Phil Ellis they were a real handful, so it was no surprise when a fast running move resulted in their first try of the evening. The wide conversion was missed and the score became 12 – 5.
Shortly after another flowing move and a couple of great offloads had Cambridge on level terms at 12 – 12. They were now in the ascendancy and another quick passing attack led to a badly missed tackle from one of the Southend defenders. With no one to beat the Cambridge ball carrier went over for another try. With the conversion the score moved on 12 – 19.
With half time looming Southend mounted what was to be their last meaningful move of the game. The ball was won in midfield and shipped along the line until it reached young winger Nick Stewart. With something still to do he evaded a couple of tackles and went over for the try. The conversion followed and the teams went in at 19 points each.
Right from the restart Cambridge took charge, Southend were unable to contain their backs who ran and passed, ran and passed until Ellis dashed in the first of their five second half try's.
Southend really didn't have an answer and were taken to the cleaners for the rest of the game failing to add a point. A combination of forced substitutions, woeful line-outs throughout the match and never ending pressure from this very good Cambridge side led to a comprehensive defeat, leaving the coaches with a lot to think about.
The final score of 19 – 52 was a fair reflection of the differences between the sides and left Southend firmly in the bottom half of the league.
Team: Todd Baily, Nick Grier, Grant Lowe, Duncan Milstead, Jake Fisk Greg Whyte, Jo Van Der Molan, Sean Vine, Rhys Powell, Nathan Davies, Pete Mahoney, Jo Flexman, Nick Stewart, Sid Hoult, Sam Edwards, Pat Reed, Phil Bailey, Gareth Powell