Cam just too strong for Chichester
By Roger Berry
Cam just too strong for Chichester
Before actual training begins on Thursday evening Risey and the coaching team run a quick(ish) session to review the previous games and present the plans for the upcoming one. It has become quite a feature that at the start of the review for the coming Saturday Risey produces the weather forecast and last Thursday his forecast was mild and bright – well he definitely got that wrong as it proved to be damp, grey and very much on the chilled side.
As with all games from now until the end of the season this had the label 'must win' based solely on the squads desire to be in the mix come April. And for good periods of the game particularly in the first half the side played as if they believed that, although in the second period they did allow themselves to drop from their own standards at times allowing the very combative opposition to stay in the hunt for points for too long however in the end a 6 try performance ensured that they returned to Chichester empty handed.
With Cam playing away from the club and receiving the kick they were soon caught out when they had possession ripped and a resulting high tackle resulted in an easy pen for the visitors after just 2 mins.
From the restart Cam quickly regained possession and following a penalty were deep in the red zone and a series of pick and goes saw Hasty driven over for the try on just 6 mins.
Again the black and ambers handled the restart well and Smarty took play into the visitors 22 and with quick ball and a long miss pass we saw first Hasty charge down the touchline before passing inside to Hughsey who was held up just short of the whitewash and although that came to nought it was all Cam at this stage despite the robust defence of the visitors.
Then came a piece of sheer magic when, having moved play this way and that, we saw Ash acting as scrumhalf as Matty was buried in another ruck and his pass to Smarty was good and a great call from Oyoni saw the ball switched back inside to the blind side winger Oyoni who absolutely burst the visitors defence apart and on reaching the last defender his soft inside pass to TommyA saw the fullback cross for a converted try and move the score to 12-3 on 20 mins – absolutely classy rugby.
We then saw more Cam magic as, from the restart, we saw the ball being moved around in the home 22 before Ash burst through to half way and again veteran TommyA was on hand for what would have almost certainly been another score but was called back for a forward pass.
The resultant scrum on half way saw Cam certainly get more than a nudge on but to their credit the visitors maintained control of the ball and, slipping a couple of half hearted tackle attempts they raced into the black and amber 22 but sloppy handling lost possession and when the ball reached Ash, still in his 22 he had too much gas for anyone and cruised through to dot down under the posts and so the score after 23 mins had moved to 19-3.
However despite their lead and also their superiority around the park they refused to make things easy for themselves and when an attempted drop goal by Chichester ended up in the Cam in goal area 5m from touch everyone on the touchline expected to see the ball touched down for a 22 – not the Camberley way it seems and so when this attempt to counter attack was halted 15m from the tryline Cam then needed to withstand quite a period of pressure instead of calmly taking play back up to halfway with the dropout.
In fairness the fact that they did not concede points for this piece of 'Tomfoolery' was as much down to the visitors inability to string a series of passes together as it was to the defensive effort.
In this period to half time we saw several more breaks by Cam which almost produced a score but good defence and some unnecessary penalties kept the visitors 'interested' and when another silly mistake gifted them possession in the Cam red zone almost on the stroke of half time they were awarded a penalty infront of the posts which they duly converted.
Shortly after the restart we then witnessed a comedy of errors as at a scrum on halfway and with Cam clearly dominant at scrum time it was a tad confusing that the visitors were awarded a penalty however they proceeded to kick it dead and so the call was to scrum back again on the halfway line and when Cam were awarded a penalty this time the resultant kick was also kicked dead – not a barrel of laughs for the increasingly cold spectators.
So eventually the game did move away from the halfway line but with both sides just making too many mistakes at key moments the spectacle of the first half had disappeared and the visitors' problems became worse when their scrumhalf was given 10mins.
The next score certainly was not in the training manual as despite winning their scrum Chichester's attempts to attack were severely pressured by the Cam backline and when Joey Wood dived onto the spilled possession Cam were almost over in the corner.
However the next score was not long arriving when a great miss pass saw TommyA and then Ash race into the visitors 22 with Ash again held up just inches short and from the resultant scrum #8 Mac duly forced his way over for the bonus point try with Smarty adding the extras.
It was the visitors turn to score when they charged through on a poor lineout tap to make the score 26-11 after 70 mins.
Despite things getting a little scrappy we again had the pleasure of seeing another Oyoni charge and when he was tackled seriously high as he reached the visitors 22 this resulted in a penalty plus a yellow for Chichester centre.
Going for the corner and despite winning a couple more pens in the end the ball was lost forward leaving the visitors with a scrum 5m from their line.
To their credit they made the call to move the ball out wide despite having clearly not been able to achieve anything with this strategy in the preceding 70 or so mins and so it was not a great surprise that this time Smarty was there for the interception (easier than tackling I believe) to pop over from 10m.
And to add insult to injury the restart saw the visitors again mess up at scrum time and with good turnover ball a long miss pass to Joey saw him put Ash away in the corner for a final score of 38-11.
So another challenge overcome with something to spare although I'm sure there will be lots of work-ons for Tuesday and Thursday before our next challenge against Thurrock.
Overall against a very physical side the pack fronted up well and with our lineout functioning so much better than in recent weeks this provided more quality possession for the backs which they probably didn't managed to convert into field position and points as often as they should have done and this will certainly be key to our success against teams in the top five going forward.
Next week we visit Thurrock who are one place and 14 points below us and so clearly another challenging day to look forward to.
The 2s won their Zoo 3 league game, after a couple of weeks without a game, against Chichester 49-7 but it seems that they clearly need a kicker as they only managed to convert 2 of 9 tries.
The 3s lost a tight contest against Vandals2 in the Surrey Reserve Leagues.
And Finally - so the C&Ws were well and truly put to the sword last night against a very committed Munster side and iy was clear that the gravity of the occasion plus a full house had a big impact on some of the younger members of the squad - so they now need to ensure they claim a place in next years comp by getting a top 4 or 6 place in the Prem.