Cam continue their run with convincing win at Thurrock
By Roger Berry
Cam continue their run with convincing win at Thurrock
Over the years the trips to the Essex have never been too successful and when young playmaker Smarty failed a fitness test just minutes before the coach was due to leave following an injury picked up at Thursday's training the task became that much harder. So it was veteran and Mini Chairman Benny who was asked to make a last minute dash to Thurrock and take on the #10 shirt, a pretty daunting task in such a key game but one which he managed well, even having the energy towards the end of the game to showcase one of his special 'Benny Breaks'.
With Cam facing a cool breeze the game got off to a scrappy start with the black and ambers conceding 2 penalties in the first 10 mins but from the restart following the second one the poor defensive kick by Thurrock was gratefully gathered by Hughsey who charged over from 22m and with Matty taking over kicking duties and adding the extras Cam took the lead 7-6 with just 11 mins on the clock.
The next 10 mins saw Cam slowly get switched on to their task and although the home side forced their way into the Cam 22 on several occasions the black and amber's D was just to good and when Mac won the ball close to his line and charged out of his 22 the ball was recycled quickly and the resulting defensive kick was collected by the Thurrock fullback just inside his half. However the kick chase was really good from Cam and the 15's hurried pass was gratefully picked up by Joey who raced in from 50m to dot down under the posts and with Matty again adding the extras the score had moved to 6-14 after 21 mins.
Straight from the restart Cam moved back into the red zone with some good driving mauls and when the ball was sent wide Oyoni was just held up on the line but when the home side infringed as the ball was again moving across the park Matty gratefully claimed the easy 3 points moving the score to 6-17.
With almost 15 mins to the break Cam again seemed to switch off and although it seemed unlikely that the home side would cross the whitewash, several times a loss of concentration at scrum time cost a couple of penalties and so with the score 12-17 at the break and with Cam rather harshly losing a player to the bin on half time the game was still there to win for either side.
With the home side disappearing off to their warm dressing room for the break the Cam squad decided to brave the elements and this could have been a coaching master stroke as the second half saw the black and ambers take control and pretty much dominate the opposition while playing some outstanding rugby.
Within the first 5 mins of the restart we had The Flying Fijian and Ash charging through and eventually taking play into the opposition 22 and this was followed by the winger again bursting through a flimsy defence only to lose the ball in the last challenge.
These breaks were proving hard for the home side to defend and the breach came on 45mins when again it was the Flying Fijian who collected the ball om halfway and he simply had too much power and pace as he crossed for an excellent try and Matty's extras moved the score to 12-24.
Shortly after the try and with Cam back to 15 another brilliant break from deep inside their half saw a beautifully weighted chip by Ash force Thurrock to kick to touch inside their 22 and a series of pick and goes by Cam which were stopped unfairly in the eyes of the official eventually produced a penalty try, the try bonus point and 10 mins on the side for one of the home players with 55 mins on the clock.
Cam were now looking good in all aspects of the game with their willingness to attack from any area of the field and their D having a vice like grip on the home side being much too physical and organised and having sorted out their scrum time issues at halftime they were now picking up penalties as they began to dominate.
On 60 mins another good phase of rugby took the black and ambers into the red zone again and a great lineout drive saw Ozzie Greg emerge smiling from the bottom of the pile of bodies for the team's fifth try.
The last quarter saw a number of try scoring opportunities for Cam pulled back for minor offences and also, to their credit, the home side continued to battle hard but they had no answer to Cam's dynamic defence and so the score remained 12-36.
So in the end, what at times had been tricky opposition, were comfortably dispatched on an afternoon when all games played in this league saw the away side claiming the honours which must be some sort of record.
This was a quality performance by Cam particularly with the last minute changes required which the team with its growing maturity handled well.
In addition despite winning a couple of early scrum time pens the front row then seemed to incur the wrath of the official for the rest of the half and it was the string of penalties that this produced which kept Thurrock in the hunt but the half time break saw a complete change and a dominant display in the second half.
Again a big performance by the pack and with Dyl's darts definitely on target and Hughsey and Voighty managing to disrupt some opposition throws possession was pretty secure.
With Matty at 9 growing with each game and Benny performing well at 10 they created many opportunities for the backs who then created problems for Thurrock whenever they had possession.
The 2s continued their outstanding season with a 32-26 win at S&E in the Surrey KO cup game while the 3s were shaded in a friendly v Old Guildfordians at Watchetts.
Nextweek 1s and 2s are at home to Cornish with the 1s looking to push on with their winning start to 2019 and the 2s to maintain their 100% record in the Zoo league.
And Finally - well in their last pool game Johan took a very young C&Ws side to Castres and although they eventually lost to a try deep into time added on this must be considered a really good result from such an inexperienced side. Now with a couple of weeks off from the Prem there is hope that the significant injury list will reduce in time for another tough block of games which include Chiefs and Sorries.