Cambridge RUFC suffer from 'malaise', says Bob Crooks

Cambridge against Jersey
Jersey inflicted a second consecutive defeat for Cambridge

Cambridge director of rugby Bob Crooks has questioned his side's leadership and desire following their weekend hammering by Jersey.

Crooks's men suffered their heaviest defeat of the National One season, losing 54-13 to the visitors.

"I think there's a collective malaise in the team," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. "It would suggest the leadership of the team is flawed.

"After that I would question the desire to cope with a bit of pressure."

Jersey, who led 21-13 at half-time, played the entirety of the second half with 14 men following Nathan Hannay's sending off for head butting Darren Fox before the break.

But they still managed to win by a 41-point margin. And Crooks wants to see a response from his team.

"I think Fox and Gareth McComb - they're alright," he said, "They're intelligent, articulate rugby players.

"I wouldn't question anything they're saying or what they're trying to achieve. I would question the collective will to follow that leadership.

"I haven't got any natural answers that are not going to send the wrong message out.

"I just don't think we're strong enough mentally at the moment. There must be a collective desire to punch back when you're punched - physically and metaphorically.

"When you put in a performance like that you've got to understand your wider responsibility to the supporters.

"I think these boys need to step back and need to find a place to come from that gets us a performance at Cinderford next week."

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