Cam Retain Bragging Rights with 7 Try Haul at Farnham
Following their 69-13 win earlier in the season at Watchetts Cam confirm their #1 status with local rivals Farnham following their 7 try win.
So on a bright but cold afternoon Cam started the second half of their League programme with a visit to local rivals Farnham in what had been mentioned last month as the third in a must win trio of matches before the Festive break.
This game was always going to present a challenge to the black and ambers and when key man TommyD rolled an ankle in the warm up things took a decided turn for the worse but with the 2s playing on an adjacent pitch Ben Bowen swiftly changed from his pink and black kit to take on the #9 role.
The game got off to the perfect start for Cam when, from the kick off, we saw hooker Dyl charging through the heart of the home defence before being stopped illegally and from the resulting pen and 5m lineout Cam mounted a series of attacks before conceding a 5m scrum. The first scrum saw the home side retreat at a rate of knots and when it was reset the ball was won against the head and #8 Mac picked up and charged over for the first try after just 4 mins with Smarty, taking over kicking duties from TommyD, adding the extras.
At this stage it was all black and ambers and they were soon back in the Farnham red zone and from a 5m scrum wide on the right the ball was whipped across the line leaving JamieT the simplest of jobs to dot down for the second try with just 10 mins played.
Despite looking rather shell shocked the home side came straight back and with almost their first attack of the game they broke through some pretty sloppy defence to score under the posts - so after just 14 mins we had seen 3 tries.
Almost like a tennis match Cam returned the favour within a matter of minutes when a good restart saw them taking a lineout just outside the home side's 22 and a couple of phases saw the ball swung out wide again and Oyoni charging over for an unconverted try.
At this stage the game was very scrappy as regards the Camberley defence and when they were reduced to 14 men Farnham took the opportunity to drive a lineout maul and claim a converted try.
Play continued to be rather loose and another Farnham attack saw them use their forwards well before swinging the ball wide to score an unconverted try with just 30 mins on the clock.
As it turned out this was the last time that home side would trouble the scorers as, from the restart, Cam reclaimed the ball and drove forward and following a couple of very effective rumbles the ball was swung wide again for Oyoni to dot down out wide for another unconverted try.
With the score 17-24 Cam were now hunting for more and soon found themselves back in the Farnham 22 and a sloppy tap back at a lineout close to their line saw Dyl react the quickest and claim the touchdown which Smarty converted.
The black and ambers were not done at this stage and with the hosts already looking tired good work from the restart again set up a great attacking platform within 15m of the home line and despite very courageous defence we saw Voighty eventually crash over on the point of half time and with Smarty's kick hitting the upright the score at the break was 17-36 try bonus already safely secured.
Unfortunately the second half did not live up to expectations following 9 tries in the first - whether this was because Cam considered it 'job done', whether the cold was getting to them or just perhaps they had started to think too much about their plans for Xmas and forgot the wise pre match words of Risey and Ash, but anyway the second period had few things to commend it except that the Cam defence worked fine when faced with a 10min period where Farnham were camped within their 22 and of course the pack who by this time had absolutely demolished a physically large but seemingly inefficient Farnham 8 who at every scrum retreated at such a speed that managing the ball became very difficult for #8 Mac which meant that instead of claiming at least 3 push over tries the black and ambers actually only managed to convert one which was also the only try scored in the second 40 together with a couple of penalties for young Smarty making the final score 17-47 and a fairly comprehensive, but to regular supporters of the black and ambers, a rather messy win.
Local derbies are often difficult affairs and adding to that the low temperature and also the proximity to Xmas it was probably not surprising that the game did not turn out to be the spectacle that we have all come to expect but against a dogged but quite limited side who clearly flagged from the break it will probably be marked as 'Could do Better' (that's for the benefit of our players who earn their corn during the week in the teaching profession).
Having already sort of reviewed the team's performance to date there is no need to go through the squad again BUT there must be a lot of credit for the pack, particularly the front five who absolutely demolished their opposition in the tight - you see those hard boring sessions on the scrummaging machine are very valuable!! - and a lot of credit must go to the front row with Dyl as the 'elder statesman', Hasty really starting to turn it on and young Nick who, last season was playing in the Academy, getting better by the week under the tutelage of Risey &Co.
So at Xmas we are P12 W11 - not a bad present for the players and also the supporters have been privileged to watch some outstanding rugby so far this season and long may it continue.
Well we now have a couple of weeks off for the squad to enjoy their Christmas and hopefully all of the knocks and bruises will also disappear leaving Risey with an embarrassment of riches when he comes to select the team for the next game at home v Andover on Jan 6th - ko 2.00
The 2s were also playing Farnham today and they claimed a 22-12 win so continuing their unbeaten run so far this season in the League.
And Finally - so the C&Ws managed 11 tries in their win in the Bic Biro European game v Zebre in a group which looks like it will all come down to the final game at CG when we entertain Pau. As to the Prem we have now had 3 weeks in second place - if the C&Ws have retained that spot on Christmas Day it will mean that they have also rolled over The Pests at the Ricoh this coming Saturday.
Finally, this being my last report until the New Year, I would just like to wish all of you who take the time to read my ramblings so far this season all the very best for Xmas and a very Happy and Healthy 2018.
Pics of the game courtesy of Pete Gardner