Ipswich boss: We're a soft touch!

Rugby: Cambridge 18Ipswich 6AFTER battling against relegation last season, Ipswich - like Sudbury - are once again in the lower reaches of the London Division Two North again this season.

Cambridge 18

Ipswich 6

AFTER battling against relegation last season, Ipswich - like Sudbury - are once again in the lower reaches of the London Division Two North again this season.

Mike Hancock, Ipswich's director of rugby, did not hold back. He said: "Rugby in this part of the world is going soft. Players are not competitive enough.

"They don't value a win enough to put in the required effort, which starts at training during the week.

"We lost the Cambridge game last Tuesday when players started making excuses for not playing. We have eight or so players who put it in every week, only to be let down by guys who don't put their hearts into it."

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Ipswich let a gilt-edged opportunity for two London League Division Two North points slip away with an inept second-half display against mediocre Cambridge.

Ipswich fell behind to an early penalty but hit back strongly and after a 40-metre drive to the opposition 22 they were awarded a penalty which Coker slotted with ease.

Primmer looked impressive in these early exchanges and it looked as though Ipswich could really take the game to Cambridge and more points looked certain to follow.

However the early promise fizzled out and Ipswich constantly gave possession to Cambridge when simply retaining the ball would have yielded points.

Cambridge kicked their way out of trouble and the hanging fog made life difficult for defenders.

However, while Cambridge used this ploy to good effect the tactic seemed lost on Ipswich, who virtually ignored high kicks.

A strong Cambridge front row made life difficult for the Ipswich set-piece and so after a dour first half it was all square at 3-3.

Poor decision-making and slow ball to the three-quarters hampered Ipswich's progress and all they could offer in attack was Brotherton's sterling efforts in the centre, none of which bore any reward.

The Ipswich backs looked disjointed and with Hughes and Kerr, the Ipswich play-makers, making little impact, the game cried out for some direction.

A speculative kick ahead posed little danger but Hughes misjudged the bounce and Cambridge were gifted a soft try, which was converted to give the home side a lift. A further penalty, when Primmer was caught offside, gave Cambridge a 10-point cushion.

To rub salt into Ipswich wounds a simple missed tackle resulted in Cambridge scoring a last-minute try for a flattering margin of victory.

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