Cam Continue their Push for Promotion with Comfortable Victory
Cam Continue their Push for Promotion with Comfortable Victory over battling Winchester
Another good crowd gathered at Watchetts to watch the penultimate home league game against mid table Winchester and for the black and ambers, with 2 home League games left, the mathematics could not have been simpler - win both games, collecting at least one try bonus point, and the playoff game against the runner up in LSE2 will be at Watchetts.
So with expectations high Cam kicked off into a slight breeze playing away from the clubhouse. The perfectly weighted kick off by Smarty was taken by #8 Alex Hughes as the opposition were deciding whose ball it was and he took play into the Winchester 22 before being tackled. However the black and ambers quickly recycled the ball and moved it wide to Oyoni Gbla who took play almost to the Winchester line before Voighty was driven over in the ensuing maul to score the first try within the first minute.
As many Cam supporters realised, scoring so early in a game often encourages this young team to throw caution to the wind and for the next twenty or so minutes this is exactly what happened with everyone wanting to run ball from any part of the pitch and against a limited but very determined opposition this proved to be frustrating for the coaches as move after move broke down through silly mistakes and a lack of discipline.
However after about 25 mins a great burst from a Winchester lineout by prop Steve Hastings saw him make 30m before feeding the flying Ash who was over in the corner before the visiting touch judge managed to raise his flag for a foot in touch on the 22.
However the next breakthrough was not far away, a scrum penalty to Cam on half way saw them win the resulting 5m lineout and good hands in the backs saw Oyoni take a neat ball from Ollie to touch down and with Smarty adding the extras the score was now 12-0 after 35 mins.
Cam were then awarded a scrum on halfway when the Winchester were adjudged to have had a man in front at the restart and winning good ball they took play wide to the right before bringing it across through a series of phases in which we saw young hooker Mua Inoke feature several times before he fed Hoff on the 22 and his sheer power and strength saw him drive over despite the attendance of several defenders and with Smarty again adding the conversion the score was now 19-0 after 38 mins.
Cam were now starting to get their game together and again, building from deep we saw their skill and flair when they moved the ball through many pairs of hands before Ash took off to score in the corner and on the stroke of half time Smarty added a penalty making the score at the break 27-0 and mission accomplished.
The start of the second half threatened to be as explosive as the first when we saw Hoff take the restart kick and make 15m before passing to prop Dan Harvey and good interplay between himself, Voighty, Hoff and Steve Hastings saw Sam driven into touch within 5m of the goal line.
Good defence from the visitors, however, saw them have a period of possession and on 50 mins they scored a well deserved try.
However Cam were soon back in command when, following another scrum penalty on halfway, Smarty's kick took play down to within 5m of the opposition line and a great catch and drive saw Voighty over for his second of the afternoon and with the conversion by Matt the score had moved to 34-7.
Then something which the black and ambers supporters had seen numerous times this season Cam scored again straight from the restart when a good take by Hughesy saw young Mua make more good yards before feeding Josh Lewanitava whose power saw him brush off several attempted tackles before feeding speedster Ash who touched down under the posts making an easy conversion for Smarty.
With so much exhilarating rugby we have come to expect the occasional 'lull' and the next 5 minute period saw Cam lose focus and eventually the visitors crossed for another converted try.
This was to be last impact to be made by the visitors and when the restart was turned over we had the sight of loose head Steve Hastings charging down the wing from almost 40m deciding to pass to an opponent when to all around it seemed easier to score himself. In Steve's defence the opposition also play in black and amber but it did look very much like an advert for Specsavers!!
However having moved into the red zone it was not long before the pressure produced another score, this time we saw Mac Duaibe straighten his line and forcing off a couple of weak tackles he dotted down under the posts for an easy conversion by Smarty.
Cam then had several more 'nearly' tries when efforts by Josh Wright and Tommy Dunn were both called back for 'forward passes' but the game finished with another high quality try when Josh Lewanitava picked up a loose ball and shrugged off several defenders in a powerful run before feeding Oyoni Gbla who then cheekily passed to Ollie Wright in the dead ball area in an attempt to make the conversion attempt easier but Smarty was unable to oblige with the last kick of the game.
Again, what can you say about a game when your side scores 8 tries against a mid table side who, despite the roasting, stuck manfully to their task. The strength of this side, its skill, speed and power allied to its 'no fear' approach which means that they will always attempt the outrageous and of course it doesn't always work but when it does we have all had the pleasure of watching some outstanding rugby again this season.
All 1-18 enjoy having the ball in hand and it was good to see veteran prop Dan having several darts of his own but in the event of promotion to London 1 they will hopefully learn to reduce the more risky parts of their game until they have established control.
It was again promising to see JoshL and Mua getting more game time and slowly coming to terms with the increased pace and physicality of rugby at this level. Stevie Hastings is also beginning to understand the dark arts of the front row with Risey snr and jnr providing him with loads of advice as of course does Dan his tighthead partner today and its great to see that despite working hard in the tight he can still sprint when so required as a reminder to us all of his previous life as a winger!!
So one game to go before the venue of the playoffs are decided with Cam entertaining Portsmouth next Saturday ko 3.00.
And Finally - the C&Ws proceed to the semi finals of the Challenge Cup after beating Cardiff Blues comprehensively at CG last night so they will now travel to La Rochelle for the third game this season against the leaders of the French top 14 – that will clearly be a tough ask but with one win apiece it could make for a tasty game.