Cam Crush Chobham in one sided Local Derby
By Roger Berry
Cam Crush Chobham in one sided Local Derby
As DoR Risey made it clear at training on Thursday, any visit to Chobham RFC is always fraught with difficulty and despite their fight to avoid relegation and in the knowledge that the fixture at Watchetts earlier in the season saw them concede 84 points this visit by the black and ambers to Fowlers Wells had potential banana skin written all over it.
In the event on a very breezy afternoon, courtesy of Storm Erik, the home side had absolutely no answer to the physicality, pace, organisation and skill of Cam and were blown away conceding 9 tries, a number that with a little more care by the visitors could have been extended comfortably.
This 5 pointer and the results from today's other games now leaves the top of the League in a fascinating state with Brighton, 7Oaks and Medway all on 80 points with Cam sitting fourth on 76 but with the best points difference in the League and with 2 of the top three still to visit Watchetts the league has become very interesting.
The game got of to an explosive start with Smarty's long kick well chased by his forwards and when the home side knocked on 10m from their line it was scrum time with less than a minute on the clock and we then saw the shape of things to come when the Cam eight demolished the home pack and #8 Mac was on hand to dot down on 1 min.
The restart saw Chobham manage a few mins of possession but it was clear that they lacked serious penetration and even at this time seemed to prefer the kick ahead rather than moving the ball through the hands and when they knocked on we saw scrum half Matty make 50m to take play into the Chobham 22.
Play then became a tad scrappy from both sides but on 12 mins a great break by Macca took play into the red zone and when the ball was recycled quick hands saw Ash cross in the corner.
Again the restart was well managed with Hughsey charging down the touch line and when his kick ahead was returned by the Chobham fullback it was collected by Ash who, with Macca outside him, charged into the opposition 22 but Mac was just a little over optimistic with his return pass and a golden opportunity was lost.
However the next score was not long in arriving when the home side made a mess of exiting their 22 by dropping the ball and first to react was Hughsey who cleverly prodded the ball forward and he had much too much gas for the defence to touch down and with Smarty successful with the conversion in what were very difficult conditions the score had moved to 17-0 with just 18 mins played.
All the momentum was with Camberley at this stage although some over optimistic plays did not quite come off and the black and amber supporters were becoming just a little edgy as to how many opportunities could be spurned but on 36 mins it was #8 Mac who benefited again from a tremendous scrum as he picked up at the base and hitch kicked his way over for another unconverted try and the bonus point.
And things became even more relaxed for the visiting supporters when, on the stroke of halftime, Cam opted for a scrum on the home 22 rather than the kick at goal.
Firstly another explosive scrum saw Mac again charging into the red zone and with forwards and backs running great lines it was eventually the #8 who crossed for an excellent try and his third of the afternoon and a half time score of 29-0.
The second half saw periods where there was a drop of in intensity and physicality by Cam but even then they were simply to hot for Chobham and when ,following several moves across the park, a delicate chip by TommyA saw Oyoni follow up to touch down and with Smarty adding the extras the score had moved to 36-0 after 49 mins.
Chobham then had a period of possession during which they put pressure on the Cam line but these attempts were comfortably handled and soon the black and ambers returned play to the Chobham 22 with an exquisite kick by Smarty which saw the ball roll into touch in the 5m area, good phases involving forwards and backs saw the young #10 taking the ball flat and popping it inside to Hughsey who ran a perfect line to dot down under the posts and with Smarty doing the honours the score had moved to 43-0 on 60 mins,
We now saw wholesale changes as Risey's 'Finishers' entered the fray and we witnessed a fantastic piece of skill by our veteran #15 when he collected a Chobham kick at full speed and made really good yards and when the ball was recycled quickly we had the sight of Hughsey on a perfect line being waved through by the ex Cam and now Chobham #15 to complete his hat trick and a 50-0 scoreline.
And with the clock ticking down Cam had one more score in them against a very tired a demoralised opposition when Ash was quickest to react in the 22 and popped over for his second score on 75mins.
To their credit the hosts did not give up and with the the black and ambers clearly dreaming of a hot shower to get their circulation going again, sloppy defence saw the hosts cross for an unconverted try in the dying minutes of the game.
So another extremely efficient display by Cam which sets them up for a challenging run in to the end of the season.
Again we saw an all round team performance which has been the story in most of our games so far this season with the forwards putting a really good shift and the pace that the Chobham pack retreated at every scrum must be a worry for the home side going forward.
The front row of Greg, Dyl, Bazza and Hasty have been outstanding this season – for such a young group of players, to settle at this level so quickly is a real statement as to their commitment and also to the specialist coaching they get every week from Risey snr,
Hoff and Voighty in 'the row' (although Voighty has recently been 'upgraded' to blind side flanker while The Warrior recovers from his knee injury) have been the backbone of the pack throughout the side's journey from Surrey 1 and they have been joined by Ben Harrison
and Greg W who are both outstanding athletes and will be hard to shift from the squad.
So JoshW is currently hobbling which I guess is a tad better than having to keep a hot water bottle up his shorts before each game, and there is no doubt that his leadership and physicality has been missed but Hughsey and Macca have stepped up to the plate along with Voighty so that we still have one of the best backrow units in the league.
Matty at scrumhalf has now had a run of 4 or 5 games in the 1s and is settling in well despite having had 3 different partners at 10 – he is clearly a class act and undoubtedly will play a key role in the team's progress over the next couple of months.
Today saw the return of Smarty to the #10 shirt following his concussion suffered in training last month and once he had settled he added pace and direction to the side although in some of the tight games to come he may be advised to reign in some of his more expansive dreams just a tad.
Centres Lils and Joey are clearly developing their partnership since the departures of Josh and Josh over the New Year and much will be expected of them if the side wants to be there or thereabouts come April,
Ash, Oyoni and TommyA as the back three are by some way the most dangerous group in the league and despite TommyA's occasional pantomime moments their continued good form is absolutely vital for the rest of the season.
So next week we entertain Hove 1s and 2s and with their seemingly running Medway extremely close today nothing can be guaranteed – KO is 2.30.
The 2s had their game v Chobham postponed and so travelled to Guildford where they avenged a defeat they suffered earlier in the season to win 39-29 while the 3s entertained Lightwater and won 25-18 so another good Saturday.
And Finally – well no Prem rugby this week and so there is the faint hope that all C&W's injured superstarts will be available for what are probably their 2 toughest home games of the season as they take on The Chiefs at CG on Friday and The Sorries – @Holm on the following Friday. I suspect that by Saturday 23rd all of us will have a better idea as to how the final part of the season will probably look.