Despite the Rain Cam Squeeze out the points .
By Roger Berry
Despite the Rain Cam Squeeze out the points away at Cornish .
This trip to London Cornish was always going to be seen as a marker to the progress Risey's young squad has made over the past 2 or three seasons as they last played the Cornish Exiles in 2016/17 when the London based side just shaded things and won promotion to this League. However faced with atrocious conditions as they ran out onto the park and with the rain and breeze continuing for the full 80 mins, Cam found that their expansive, pacey game was not so easy to deliver but, despite butchering several try scoring opportunities, their fitness and ability eventually won through as they scored 2 second half tries and deservedly took the spoils.
The game started with the home side playing down the slope and with the benefit of the breeze but it was the black and pinkss who took the game to their hosts and from the start Cam charged forward through Hughsey, Tommy A and the Flying Fijian and were soon in Cornish territory. Unfortunately this first phase of attacks were halted when the ball was lost forward but the resulting scrum provided promise for the Cam supporters when the Cornish 8 went backwards and they were forced to kick to touch.
This became the pattern for play for most of the half with Cam losing the ball at critical times and despite going backwards at almost every scrum the determined Cornish 8 were working hard to stay in the game.
After 10 mins a great break by Oyoni saw him take play into the opposition 22 before Ash was tackled into touch 5m short.
Although Cornish moved play back to halfway a great lineout take by Hoff saw play again enter the red zone but again ball retention was less than acceptable again allowing the hosts to ease the pressure.
And basically this was the story of the half with Cam running the ball from all quarters of the pitch and never quite managing to make the last pass count while Cornish, with their limited possession defended bravely and kicked for position and in doing so their patience was eventually repaid with 3 well executed penalties on their rare visits to the Cam half and despite Cam being camped on the Cornish line for the last 5 minutes of the half the score at the break remained 9-0.
So with the elements with their team for the second period the Cam supporters were quietly confident that this was still a game that they could win and despite incurring the official's wrath and conceding several pens in the second half (why would a pack so clearly on top want to cheat ?) play quickly moved down to the Cornish 22 and on 47 mins great hands by the side saw Hughsey through a gap and dotting down under the posts and with Smarty adding the extras the score moved to 9-7.
We then saw another great break by JoshL but again the final pass went astray when it seemed to those on the touch line that it was more difficult not to score.
Threats from the home side by this time had all but disappeared and only committed desperate defence from them kept the black and pinks out but on 75 mins, following a series of 5m scrums the second try was added although I am sure not via the process that the coaching team were expecting as following a number of 5m scrums which had performed well and had probably deserved a penalty try, the ball unexpectedly came out to veteran TommyA standing in the middle of the park about 15m from the try line who then proceeded to somehow evade all of the would be tacklers and fly through the opposition and touch down (could he be Peter Pan??)
With less than 5 mins left Cam took the restart deep into the Cornish half and it was left to Tom Young to manage the final minutes which he did admirably.
So that's now 5 on the bounce and 3rd place in the League which did wonders for our Chairman of Rugby Paddy who has apparently been suffering from 'man flu' this week.
Overall a really gutsy performance from the squad with the pack putting in a tremendous shift particularly at scrum time and also defensively for on the occasions that Cornish did get hold of the ball they invariably found the Cam defensive wall just too good for them.
The backs, as always raise the heart rate whenever they get the ball but today probably were a tad over ambitious in some of their passing and could have better protected the ball but it was great to see the panic setting into the hosts backline whenever TommyY or Smarty let them loose.
So after 6 games the squad have earned a week off which is good news for Sophie as many of them are carrying niggles but despite still providing Risey and his coaching team with lots of work ons this first block of fixtures has seen an enormous development in the squad and it is great to see senior players like Hoff, Mac, Voighty, Hughsey, Dyl, The Warrior, TommyA (or is it Peter Pan) and Oyoni to name just a few really relishing every new challenge.
It was another double for the club as the 2s won their game against Cornish 2s 31-9 claiming the try bonus to maintain their 100% record in the Zoo League. They, unlike the 1s, do not have next Saturday off as they are due to play Sutton and Epsom in the Surrey KO comp.
And Finally – the C&Ws, following a couple of pretty unacceptable performances against The Queens and Sorries, got their season back on track with a thumping away victory at The Pests and in claiming the try bonus moved back up the table – something which must have also cheered today's young official, who as well as being well satisfied with his own performance, the result from the Ricoh will have made his journey back to Gloucestershire even sweeter tonight.