U21s make it 2 from 2
U21s make it 2 from 2
So on the last Saturday before Xmas a good crowd descended on Watchetts to watch the U21s game between Cam and Farnham with Cam fresh from their victory at Chobham on Wedneday.
The grey and damp conditions were made to feel worse when it was announced that the visitors were unable to field a front row so the game was to be played with uncontested scrums throughout which I'm sure was a great disappointment to Mua and Nick Barry the home side's props both with considerable experience in the 1s.
In fact in the first five minutes we saw Mua vent his frustrations with several very physical runs and when Cam were awarded a pen on halfway Smarty took it very quickly and quick hands saw Mua crash over for the games first score.
Almost immediately Cam were back in the red zone when a break by fullback Musa was supported by Jake Smalley. Then Mua was involved again when the ball was swung wide and he charged forward and brilliantly stood the Farnham fullback up before releasing Smalley who sped over (props just shouldn't have that skill!!!) so after 25 mins Cam had doubled their lead.
In fact it was clearly all Cam at this stage despite the lack of scrums they never really seemed under serious threat although over the next 20 mins they 'won' 3 yellow cards which did appear odd for a team which was so dominant although in all honesty it didn't seem to impact their performance too much when with about 10mins gone in the second period a trundle by Nick Barry was stopped just short of the line but Tom Youngs was on hand to dive over for another good try.
The Farnham restart did not travel the requisite distance (not for the only time in the game) and Cam soon set up camp in the Farnham 22 and from the scrum the ball reached fullback Musa and when he was stopped just short the ball was recycled quickly and we saw Michael Parnaby crash over for the fourth try with about 20 mins to play.
The final period actually became a tad laboured with Farnham rarely offering a real threat despite playing for some time with a 2 man advantage while their defence worked valiantly to limit the score to 4 tries.
So the score at the final whistle remained 20-0 – a score which sees Cam through to the next phase of the competition to be played in the Easter period.
This was overall a very good performance by the Cam side and it was good to see so many of the players obviously enjoying being back at the club on their break from uni.
The MoM was Jake Smalley who started on the wing, ended up in the centre before having to leave the field with a nasty cut to his eye.
This was another very promising performance by this young side with many of the players enhancing their reputations although my standout players were flankers Mike Parnaby and Shawa Rai whose tackling and turnover work around the park was exceptional.
So that pretty much completes rugby at Watchetts for 2017 and we will all reconvene on Jan 6th when the 1s entertain Andover in their quest to remain at the top of the table.
And Finally we wish all players, members and supporters a very Happy Xmas and a Healthy and Prosperous 2018 and look forward to seeing you all again in January.