Camberley RFC 1XV (17) v TWRFC 1XV (22)
Match Reporter: Stuart Montgomery
On a bright afternoon TW were to start going down the slight slope towards the clubhouse and with the breeze behind them. TW started brightly putting Camberley under pressure at every opportunity and forced a penalty at the breakdown on the half way line. Day stepped up and stroked the ball over which gave a good positive message that any penalty given away in the half could well be points on the scoreboard. TW were certainly up for this game and kept forcing Camberley mistakes which in turn gave TW territory. A penalty kick into the Camberley 22 saw clean line out with Whale taking the ball into the heart of the defence and Mike Doherty going over from short range from the ensuing 2nd phase, Day converted to 0-10 and TW were well worth this score.
Camberley came back and tried to get some continuity but a good tackle in the TW midfield just 30 metres out from their line lead to another dropped ball, no hesitation the ball was moved wide for Hobbs to stretch the defence and Doherty take the ball on the inside, back to Hobbs in the Camberley 22 but the defence just held out. Camberley finally settled for a 10 minute period and forced a couple of penalties and had 2 lineouts in the TW 22 but defence won the day and pressure relieved. Another box kick was dropped on the half way line, TW scrum put pressure on Camberley and a Whale break and a pass inside looked like a definite try but the defender tackled high, a penalty try was duly given and yellow card given – 0-17. With just 5 minutes to HT we could have seen 2 scores, 1 for TW who had tackled and forced a lineout deep in the C 22 only to miss the lineout and 1 for C who had a lineout 5 metres from TW line. Caught and riven to force a penalty, another cleanly caught line out saw the ball go over the TW line only to be pushed back into the field of play without a grounding. HT 0-17 to TW who had executed the coaches game plan superbly. However there were casualties with Ben Day having to leave the field with a cut just before HT and being replaced by Sam Williams.
Camberley had obviously regrouped during the HT break and came straight out to pressure TW and a charged down kick led to a C scrum in the TW 22 where quick ball enabled the scrum half to go over for a try which was converted for 7-17 scoreline. TW responded well and it looked likely to be a try from Williams out wide only for a JPR like tackle just a metre from the C line. Williams took the full force and had to leave the field so Nick Doherty came onto the field and Josh Curtis moved from the back row to the backs where we now had no natural 10 nor centre and playing into the breeze was not going to be easy. Luke Hawkins had also come off with injury and Dave Lock came on to make his debut in the front row.
TW continued to play an expansive game and forced a defensive lineout in the C 22 – lineout was stolen at the front and moved to the left touchline just 5 metres out, Storkey sniped around the breakdown and Josh Curtis crashed over for the score – conversion was too much and the score now 7-22. Another great team attack saw Isbell go over only to be brought back for obstruction on the 22 – a big call which would have put C really in trouble.
The last 20 minutes saw TW under real pressure and were constantly being stretched out wide, Mike Doherty was kept busy at 15 but was up to the challenge and a few kicks were gathered deep in the 22 and touch found. 2 drop outs from our own line kept the pressure firmly on and C twice went over down their right wing but out wide and neither were converted 17-22. The 2nd half finished just like the 1st where a C lineout just 5 metres out was met with great defence and TW held out, just.
The TW game plan was spot on, much credit to the coaching staff and a great all round performance in very trying circumstances during the 2nd half. TW remain in 3rd place with a game in hand, every game is now crucial.