Camberley not able to fully recover from poor start
This week we saw Cambo make the short trip to Chobham for their quarter final of the Surrey Trophy and with Chobham just mid table in London 1 it always promised to be an interesting clash.
In the event, despite a much improved second half, Cambo lost the game in the first quarter when they failed to match their opponents in physicality, speed and commitment and as a result had conceded 4 converted tries before the half hour mark.
Despite this huge disadvantage the patched up team from Watchetts upped their game and brought it back to within a score, 31-25, before the last action of the game saw Chobham take advantage of an attacking error by Camberley to score a breakaway try and extend their advantage to 13 points.
The game started with Chobham playing with quite a stiff breeze and they had scored their first try within 3 mins when, having pulled far too many black and ambers into a series of rucks, they then were able to exploit the wide open spaces to score.
Cam did reply almost immediately when Laz converted a penalty but with just 10 mins on the clock Chobham again exposed defensive frailties to run in another simple try and within 5 mins we had the sight one of the Chobham locks strolling through several poor attempted tackles from the 10m line to score the home sides third try.
Cam did then show some fight when, from the restart, they regained possession and after several phases, a good break by Josh L saw TommyA dive over in the corner to score an unconverted try.
Cam, at this stage were second best in most areas particularly at restarts when Chobham seemed to be able to regain their kicks far too easily and on the occasions that we did have possession poor skills and decisions were all too common - putting foot to ball is sometimes a choice but needs to be very accurate otherwise it just loses possession.
Chobham, at this stage were using the elements well and whenever the black and ambers moved into the red zone the home side managed to relieve the pressure with huge kicks out of defence and it was one of these that created the platform for their 4th try when the took play from their 22 to the Camberley 22, won the lineout ball and then were allowed a fairly easy path to the whitewash and so with just less than 30 mins played the score was 28-8.
However at this stage Cam seemed to come to life as we saw a period of play when the Chobham attack just crabbed across the field between their 10m and halfway for several minutes until in frustration they kicked the ball out on the full and despite a failed shot at goal that's how the half ended.
For the regular cambo supporters it was clear what would happen at the break and Risey Jr ensured that the entire squad and everyone within a 100m radius understood what he felt about the performance so far and to be honest it did have the desired effect as the side immediately started to compete physically and within 10 mins of the restart Dan Harvey pounced on a Chobham lineout error on the 5m line to crash over for a try.
In fact with the breeze at their backs the black and ambers soon began to dominate the game as they upped their line speed and with 20mins gone a quickly taken penalty saw Jake, on as a replacement for skipper Woodsy, dart down the blind side before releasing Laz whose pace was just to much for the defence and so the Welsh Wizard was back on the score sheet and he was unfortunate to hit the post with the attempted conversion from the touch line.
Chobham then enjoyed a brief spell on the attack and were rewarded with a penalty but on the 30 mins Cam brought the gap down to one score when, from a scrum on half way, the ball was shipped quickly to Hughsey, playing in the centre having moved from openside to cover the injured Josh Wright and again the Chobham defence were no match for his pace and with Laz adding the extras the score had become 31-25.
At this stage it was all Cam although they were unable to turn good positions into points when first Josh L chose to chip the defence instead of shipping the ball out or taking on the full back himself (just a matter of confidence for this young, promising player) and in the final attack of the game a good Camberley attack was thwarted by poor hands and the loose ball was gratefully picked up by the home side winger who raced in from halfway to make the final score 38-25.
Overall a disappointing result and of course one can only surmise as to what the result could have been if the side had performed for the whole 80 mins and they will certainly not get away with the same slow start at next weeks critical game when 2nd v 3rd meet at Old Regatians..
I think the coaching team will be pleased that overall the game showed that the side is not too far away from competing at the next level and they will also have identified areas which need considerable work to provide the strength in depth that the squad needs.
My Camberley MoM was Josh Watson who is definitely coming into form following his long layoff with a knee injury - his destructive tackling and also explosive ball carrying was a big factor for Cam and his defensive efforts were also matched by Hughsey and later on Hoff who took a bit of time to come to life as rumour has it that he had suffered a late night through work!!!
The 2s were also in Cup action and, despite a scratch side with Jordan playing at loose head for example, and only 14 men to start they managed to win at Cranleigh 31-14.
Next week both 1s and 2s are at Old Reigatians and ko will be 3.00 now the 6Nations has ended.
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.