10 Hartpury V Nottingham 24Th Nov 2023

Hartpury RFC vs Cambridge - 40 - 22

10 Hartpury V Nottingham 24Th Nov 2023

Bazalgette instrumental as Hartpury take all five points away from Cambridge to get their first league win of the season.

By James Logan

Hartpury came away the happier of the two sides in a deeply contested battle at Ellgia Field in Cambridge.

The visitors showed their attacking class as they ran 40 points past Cambridge.

Hartpury head coach Mark Cornwell said: “It’s a good win, It’s five points on the road and our first win of the season after we’ve had a pretty tough run against the teams we have played.

“I wouldn’t say we were at our best but in the first half; against the wind we played some good rugby after the first ten minutes after we weathered a good storm from Cambridge, they threw a lot at us.

“In the second half we maybe took our foot off the gas, and didn’t have the impact from the subs that we’d hoped. But this gives us something to work on.”

It would take the visitors just 15 minutes to get the first points of the afternoon with their first visit to the home 22, Robbie Smith finding the gap to score brilliantly in the corner. Not converted by Bazalgette 0-5.

Joe Rees would make it two for the visitors going over from close range showing his power. This time Bazalgette would add the extras in front of the posts. 0-12.

Hartpury then extended their lead to 19 points, Mike Austin making a darting run and breaking through the midfield to dot down under the sticks to add to his season’s tally. The conversion was again successful. 0-19.

Cambridge would get their say 10 minutes out from the break getting their first try of the afternoon through Jake Ellwood. Bundling over from two metres to put up the challenge for the away side. The kick would be successful 7-19.

Hartpury got their bonus point score just before the half-time whistle, Brad Denty running at full pace into the corner to score before an acrobatic finish in the corner, and the kick was successfully converted. 7-26.

Cambridge made a better start to the second half scoring within five minutes of the restart. Catching the visitors cold to go over from close range to narrow the score to 14 points. 12-26.

Hartpury would quickly hit back with Sam Lewis; he would be freed down the left-hand side by the centre to dive over the host try-line. Bazalgette would convert 12-33.

Cambridge was spirited and got another through Eli Caven as he ran into the corner to score to keep the hope of the home faithful alive. The kick was missed. 17-33.

The visiting side would get their final score of the afternoon Tommy Mathews getting his first of the afternoon, which would be converted. 17-40.

The home side would finish strong with another try for fullback Caven who dotted down again under the posts. 22-40.

Smiles on the faces of the travelling fans but a lot of positives for the newly promoted side.

Cambridge will have the challenge of a local derby against Bedford Blues next week whilst Hartpury will host Nottingham.

Cambridge director of rugby Richie Williams said: “We are disappointed that we've lost another game. The requirement was to come away with something, and we've managed to get four tries and a point.

“There were aspects we’ve improved on since Ealing, some of our attacking game was a lot more structured than previous games, but maybe we let ourselves down a bit defensively.

“In the first half - especially in the middle third - our ill-discipline allowed Hartpury some good entries into our 22, and they showed how ruthless they can be with ball in hand.”




Penalties conceded: 9

Lineouts won: 10

Lineouts lost: 2

Scrums won: 4

Scrums lost: 0

Sin bins: 0


Penalties conceded: 11

Lineouts won: 11

Lineouts lost: 1

Scrums won: 2

Scrums lost: 1

Sin bins: 1


Cambridge 22 - 40 Hartpury


Tries: Elwood 32, Veness 44, Caven 62, 70

Conversions: Benson 44

Penalties: none.

Drop Goals: none.


Tries: Smith 16, Rees 18, Austin 26, Denty 38, Lewis 53, Mathews 66

Conversions: Bazalgette 18, 26, 38, 53, 66

Penalties: none.

Drop Goals: none.


Cambridge: Caven, Green, Williams (Aisedu 51), Hanks (James 70), Hema, Benson, Duffin (Edwards 51); Elwood (Owen 58), Veness (Priestly 74), Walker (Hobson 51), Frost, Irvine, Adams, Cardew (Baxter 58), Maka (Dawson 37)

Not used: N/A

Hartpury: Jones, Denty, Smith, Mathews (Adderley-Jones 69), Reeves (Johnson 58), Bazalgette, Austin (Jones 58); McArthur (J Benz-Soloman 40), Crane (Davies 74), Rees (A Benz-Soloman 40), Lemon (Elte 71), Davies, Lewis, Hayler, Gray

Not used: Cobbett

Referee: Hamish Grant

Attendance: 1,085

Half-time: 7 - 26 (to Hartpury)

Starman: Tom Mathews (Hartpury) / Kieran Frost (Cambridge)