Another try fest consolidates Cam push for promotion.
Another try fest consolidates Cam push for promotion.
Yet another grey and cold Saturday at Watchetts saw Cam entertain Winchester who, although struggling a little in the league of late, gave Cam a serious fright earlier in the season when only a blistering final 20 mins from the black and ambers turned certain defeat into victory, so again another proverbial banana skin game.
With a good crowd many of whom had enjoyed an excellent pre match lunch sponsored by Cam stalwarts Derek and Simon Olsen the game got off to a great start as Cam were soon in the visitors red zone and when The Warrior crashed over almost everyone, except the most important man on the pitch, thought he had scored however from the resultant 5m scrum a text book training ground move saw Smarty put blindside winger Ash over for a try which the young standoff then converted with just 4 mins on the clock.
Then we saw why this black and amber side (yes I realise they were playing in black and pink today) is so dangerous as the restart was dealt with and we saw the ball moved out to Oyoni who made good yards before releasing Hughsey and then TommyA whose great dummy allowed him to stroll over for the second try with just 6 mins played.
As with last week's game Winchester had hardly touched the ball and a great lineout throw by Mua hit Tom Keith at the tail and a clever break by Smarty saw him release Oli for the third try which was converted.
The bonus point try came shortly afterwards when from the restart Smarty kicked long to the visitors line and when they tried to run it back Oli held up the visitors centre allowing Hughsey to rip the ball clear and run in from the 10m line for another converted try, bonus point and just 13 mins played.
Scoring slowed just a tad but on 22 mins a great break by The Warrior through the centre saw the flanker set Oli free and although he was caught under the posts he managed to get the ball away, unfortunately the Cam player who should have collected the ball (Ash claims it was him) was tackled without the ball and so the ref awarded a penalty try.
Again the next score came straight from the restart when we saw Rory kick the ball deep into the visitors 22 and when the Winchester #8 dropped the ball Oyoni, who had chased hard, was on hand to collect and dot down on 25 mins.
And the black and ambers were not finished as they again surged into the Winchester half from the restart and won a penalty on the 22 which was taken quickly by Ben Bowen, back in the 1s following the nasty injury which TommyD picked up last week, and great hands between Smarty and Tom Keith allowed Ash to cross for another unconverted try and a score of 43-0 with just 27 mins played.
Cam then almost pushed the self destruct button when they lost 2 players to the bin in quick succession but that did not stop the home side and we soon had the sight of Ash, from a scrum in the Cam 22, scorching down the wing and then following his clever chip ahead to claim the touch down and with Smarty's excellent conversion the score had reached 50 points.
Surprisingly the next score again came from the restart when a good take by Voighty saw great interplay between Ben Bowen and Oyoni with Ben getting the scoring pass, and prop Hasty feeling a tad disappointed as he had supported the move from deep inside his own half and so with Smarty again adding the extras the half time whistle saw the score now 57-0.
To many of us the team had already far exceeded the time it usually takes for them to 'take their foot off the gas' when moving into a commanding lead and whatever was said at the half tim break certainly had an impact as straight from the restart Cam took the ball into the Winchester half with another bullocking run by The Warrior who then popped a great pass to Oli who stormed over for another converted try with barely 1 min of the second half played.
However the inevitable period of relaxation did come and, very similar to last week we had a 20 min period when the visitors had 90% of the ball and despite some excellent defence with 14 men close to their line Cam, shipped 2 converted tries which to many of the spectators in pink matching 1s pink change kit was a big disappointmnt but to a plucky Winchester side was probably fair reward for their hard work during the previous hour.
However after the second score the Cam 15, which had undergone several changes since the break again upped their game and a great break by TommyA again took play into the visitors 22 and although the veteran #15 was temporarily halted he quickly recovered the ball and even had the audacity to attempt a 'Ashton' dive.
Clearly Winchester were now looking tired and a tad ragged and a great scrum drove the visitors back 15m deep into their 22 before Ben released Oyoni for anither converted try.
Cam then had another period of 'relaxed' play which included losing yet another player to the bin but when Hughsey made a good break from his own half it was carried on by Tom Keith who, with still 25m to go, unselfishly popped the ball to our returning Flying Fijian who trotted over for the final score of the game.
This was another example of the superb skills, pace and teamwork of this young side who are developing week on week and again much of this must be down to Gareth, Alun and JJ who are all, I sense, beginning to enjoy the progress of their squad although I suspect there will still be a tough analysis session at training as they strive to continue to improve.
Looking at the performances, again the front 5 went extremely well with front row Hasty, Mua, Dan and Nick all putting in great shifts and getting much pleasure at driving the visitors pack backwards at the end of the game. Sam and Tom in the engine room have been nothing short of outstanding these last 3 games with great scrummaging and lineout work together with huge efforts with ball in hand or in defence and it was fitting that Tom was made MoM as he is now returning to the levels of several years ago as he regains his confidence and with Sean standing in for the injured Hoff and certainly not looking out of place Risey is not short of quality second rows..
The back row again were outstanding with The Warriorv seeing much more ball in hand of late and making great use of it, Hughsey as physical and also as elegant as one could want in a 7 and Mac maturing with every game.
Ben Bowen who was playing in the absence of TommyD had a very good day and his passing was right on the button even though he may have found the pace just a little hot towards the end and his partner Smarty is improving with every game and he got just reward for the extra kicking practice he did on Thursday with 8 out of 12 conversions many from wide out.
Centres Rory and Oli bring a lot of experience to the side and with a few more games together I would expect to see even more improvement while the back three of Oyoni, Ash, TommyA and the Flying Fijian are surely the hottest combination in the league with pace, physicality and great skill and vision to die for.
Next week we are at home to Woodford in the National Cup competition – ko should be 14.00 as the days get longer.
And Finally – the C&Ws did the business in Agen yesterday by collecting the win plus try bonus so they face Pau at Castle Grim next Sat needing a win to secure top spot. In addition as we have now reached the transfer window it was announced that Banana Man will be joing the C+&Ws next season moving up the A46 – something most C&W fans are absolutely delighted about but which has really upset many of the blue and black fraternity - which can be no bad thing.
For those reading this on Sat Evening just a note – our friend Lee from Scrumpix was present at the game today and took a number of pics (incidentally he did complain that try scorers did not look at the camera and smile while in the act of scoring) – anyway I hope to have those pics loaded probably tomorrow.