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1st XV - Match centre

Camberley Rugby Football Club
Medway
Sat 26 Aug 15:00 - Friendly Full time

5 tries apiece – a fair reflection on entertaining warm up game

5 tries apiece – a fair reflection on entertaining warm up game

On a glorious August Bank Holiday Saturday afternoon when most 'normal' people are relaxing by the pool and soaking up the rays, DoR Risey and his squad met at Watchetts for their 3rd – yes thats right, their third pre season friendly against Medway, who last season sailed through LSE2 and will start, with Old Colfeians, in London 1S in September.
A surprisingly good number of supporters assembled and took full advantage of the delayed kickoff to sample the Extra Cold Guinness and Whitstable Bay on offer.
The game started with the visitors kicking off away from the clubhouse but soon Cam were camped on the Medway 5m line courtesy of 2 penalties, however although they did cross the line Medway repelled the attack and almost with a mirror image via two penalties moved play into the Cam 22 but with Ash stealing their ball the black and ambers moved the ball to the other end of the park again with TK almost driving over. However good support from Oyoni saw the ball picked up by the returning Joe Wood who crashed over in the corner with just 12 mins played.
The game, at this stage, as very open with lots of errors which is only to be expected as new combinations get to know each other but twice within the next period we saw excellent linking between TK and new centre Rory on two occasions but Medway struck quickly and when Voighty, having a run at #8, was given a 10min rest by the ref, the visitors scored a converted try and almost immediately they doubled their try count when they stripped Ben and fly hacked over to touch down first with just 23 mins on the clock.
Cam then scored probably the best try of the game when, from a scrum on the visitors 22, Smarty timed his pass to perfection and Jamie Taylor showed his true class with an excellent, balanced run and touched down under the posts with hardly a finger laid on him.
The game was very fluid and soon Medway were back in front when they scored following a lineout close to the Cam line and extended their lead from the restart when too many black and ambers just were not interested in tackling the visitors hooker who made almost 50m before passing to his teammate who dotted down to extend their lead to 14 points with just 35 mins played.
With changes on both sides the first period of the second half was a little scrappy with Cam threatening to score on several occasions but with 20 mins great hands among the backs saw Jamie cross for his second of the afternoon.
Cam then equalled the visitors try count when a great interception by winger Josh, returning from a good 7s season, saw him make 60 yards before finding Ben Bowen in support to touch down making the score 4 tries apiece.
Cam then took the lead when, from a scrum on halfway as a result of the visitors restart failing to make 10m, we saw the ball quickly moved to Josh again and his storming run up the touchline saw Voighty on hand to take the pass and dot down.
There was there a period of intense pressure for the Cam forwards which eventually resulted in a penalty try to the visitors leaving the score 5 tries each, probably fair reflection on the effort put in by both sides on a very warm afternoon.

Overall a very entertaining game from which Risey will have learned plenty about his new combinations which will no doubt be adjusted for the final warm up game next week.

From a supporters point of view there was much to be happy about, young prop Nick put in a great shift and didn't shirk when asked to fill in at #4 for a good chunk of the second half partnering another new black and amber Sean who slotted into the pack very well. It was good to see #9 Ben Bowen back at Watchetts – is it really 3 years since he disappeared off to uni? and he and Smarty will be quietly pleased with their first run out together. At centre we saw the return to rugby of Joe Woods after a year's sabbatical and new boy Rory who showed up well until he took a bang to the head and Jamie on the wing showed real skills and pace and I am sure will be one to watch this season.
Josh, who came on in the second half, provided some real 'go forward' with his physicality and pace – has he been learning from his opposite number Oyoni?
So on to next weekend when the 1s and 2s entertain Windsor in the last friendly before League action starts at KCS on the 9th.
And Finally, The C&Ws had a great night on Friday when they played a double header against Championship new comers Hartpury and last seasons PRO12 Champions Scarlets at Castle Grim which also was a benefit match for long serving winger Charlie Sharples. The game against Hartpury was quite close with the home side eventually coming out on top but the game against Scarlets saw the C&Ws storm to a 40-21 victory with the visitors only making the score line a tad more respectable with 2 late tries – so the C&Ws will now look forward to the visit of the champions (Exeter) next Friday for their first Premiership game.

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