Unconvincing Cam still have too much in Surrey Local Derby
By Roger Berry
Unconvincing Cam still have too much for local rivals Cobham
So despite the lack of frost, the chill wind still created issues for players and spectators alike as Cam entertained Cobham for the first time in a League fixture for many seasons.
Cam supporters were all too well aware of the challenge the visitors represented with their long history at this level and following last week's last minute defeat by League leaders Medway this game would undoubtedly serve as yet another marker as to the progress of Risey's young squad who were missing Mac, Oyoni, The Flying Fijian and Tom Young from today's squad.
In the event a poor game, in Camberley terms, with far to many mistakes by the black and pinks still saw them emerge victorious with a try bonus point against a very workmanlike Cobham side who asked loads of questions and showed that they will be serious opposition for all sides in this league.
Cam elected to play away from the clubhouse into the sun and also against a strong breeze and were soon in trouble when they failed to secure the kick off and although they regained possession an extravagant pass was intercepted by the visitors to score their first try after just 4 mins.
The Cam restart saw the home side win a penalty and despite the conditions Smarty claimed the 3 points and so after 5 mins the score moved to 3-7.
This time the restart was handled well and it looked like Hughsey was away when he intercepted a pass but the official, who had an excellent game, ruled that Cam were offside and so the score moved to 3-10 with less than 10 mins played.
The Cam play was strewn with errors and when the restart went out on the full they had again handed the visitors another opportunity to pressure them but despite the visitors having a number of excellent ball carriers the Cam defence stood firm and when a kick was charged down by Josh Wright he made good yards before Kiwi was pulled down in the Cobham red zone and a great scrum saw Cam win a pen which resulted in a 5m lineout.
This time a great take by Hoff followed by a drive eventually saw The Warrior crash over and with Smarty adding the extras the scores were level with 15 mins played.
We then saw some Cam magic when the restart was firstly taken by Hughsey who surged forward and when the ball was moved out we saw Dyl charge through the centre of the park and although the first phase was checked by the visitors quick ball across the park saw their defensive structures all awry allowing Hughsey to cross and so with Smarty again adding the extras Cam were in the lead for the first time,
The remainder of the half saw Cam butcher a number of good opportunities and with their ability to lose the ball in contact far too easily they found that they spent far too much time in their own half defending against a side who possessed a number of players able to break the line but to their credit the black and pinks D was just too good for the visitors and by this stage the Cam eight had their opponents 'on toast' with Hughsey winning several key defensive lineouts and with young Bazzer outstanding in the tight the result was that there were no changes to the scoreboard when the ref blew for half time.
The second half started with Cam running back the Cobham restart so effectively that Ash was pulled up just short of the try line but this escape was short lived for the visitors as a couple of phases later we saw a lovely inside pass from Smarty put Hughsey over under the posts to extend the lead to 24-10 with just 2 mins of the second half played.
Cam then extended their lead when Cobham were penalised for crossing and Smarty stroked the pen over from close to halfway.
The game then again became very scrappy and although by now the Cam scrum was dominant the home side seemed programmed to throw the ball wide at every opportunity when many on the touchline were wanting to see a bit more 'up the jumper' rugby where Cam had a clear advantage and eventually Cobham were able to break out of their 22 and move play back to the Cam 22 where they produced a delicate chip ahead for their winger to outpace the defence to dot down in the corner and with the conversion bouncing on the crossbar before going over the visitors moved to within 10points on 60 mins.
The restart was handled better by Cam and they soon won another penalty which Smarty slotted to extend the lead and then we saw some more Cam magic as, from the restart taken by Hoff, the ball eventually moved across to Josh Wright whose pacey break took play deep into the opponents half before he released brother Ash who, despite being pulled down just short of the line, managed to claim the touchdown.
To their credit the visitors were not prepared to lie down and roll over and when yet again Cam did not manage the restart well they again took control and good hands saw their winger cross in the corner for his second of the afternoon.
Cam aware that the visitors only needed one more try for the bonus point eventually put some phases together and from a scrum in the Cobham 22 we saw the ball worked out to Smarty whose inside pop this time to Ash saw the winger cross for another converted try and a final score of 42-22.
Yet another game when at times the squad let their standards slip from the very high levels expected of them these days but who still managed to score 5 tries, win by 20 points without a number of their key players.
A big shout out for the pack who, to a man put in great shifts, dominating their opponents in scrums and lineouts and they were also the cornerstone of the defensive effort. Special mention must go to the young front row who were outstanding and when young Bazzer was injured veteran Dan Harvey really enjoyed his time on the park and certainly helped maintain the pressure.
For TommyD it was his first game back following a nasty knee injury and the good news is that the knee seemed to hold out and with debutant Gary Hardy appearing on the wing at half time it was another opportunity for Risey to test his SiD.
So the boys now have a week off before they resume their League programme away at Sevenoaks who lost to Medway today.
Unfortunately Cobham were unable to raise a 2nd team today but the 3s travelled to Warlingham where they were convincing winners 54-14.
And Finally – not much to report from Castle Grim following their loss at Bristol in the Prem Cup but it was good to see Denman having his first run out of the season and the promised Messiah Jaco Kriel having his first 20 mins of rugby for 14 months – so something to sweeten Johann's disappointment at the Saffas 1 point defeat at Twickers