SIX-try Camelot swot Wasps
A hard-earned bonus point victory for the U15s
The look of exhaustion, both physical and mental, on the players’ faces as they tucked into their post-match pasta showed that they had been in a real battle this week with the visitors, Wasps, bringing a physicality to the contest that took the game to another level. What was less obvious from the expressions on the faces was quite what a remarkable performance they had, once again, put in over the 60 minutes of this bruising match.
Camelot started proceedings, kicking-off with the slight downhill advantage, but it Wasps who enjoyed the early possession, building plays; though struggling to gain much ground as, like so many before them, they came face to face with the blue and white wall of Camelot.
Once Wasps did build their attack and move into the Camelot 22 a cheeky attempt at a drop goal fell well short and wide, enabling Camelot to clear the ball, ease the pressure and start to build their own attacks and enjoy possession of their own. That attack looked to have led to the first try, but the ball was adjudged to have been held up, leading to a scrum five metres out.
All season the Camelot pack has been like an unstoppable wall of steel, pushing forward in unison with such power that opposition Forwards are left helpless. Today was no exception. From the perfectly executed scrum Edward picked the ball out of the back, passing the ball into the run of the oncoming Dan who takes the ball at pace to score by the post as defenders battled to hold him back, The conversion flies through the middle of the uprights. 7-0.
Minutes later and Wasps are again defending five metres out from their own tryline, this time they had the put-in at the scrum, but that made no difference to the Camelot pack as they pushed their opponents backwards, Seb hooks the ball back through the legs to Edward at scrum-half who this time finds Freddie on the run, he pops out to Terence on the wing and with that wonderful step of his he opens up a gap to score. The conversion is missed, 12-0.
Camelot were soon on the attack again. Having absorbed so much pressure for the first ten minutes they were now firmly on the front foot, demonstrating their superior ball handling skills to create further chances. Before half-time the visitors looked to have eased the pressure with a huge defensive clearance, however as the ball flew high in the air James Norman had his eye on it all the way, plucking it out of the air superbly at incredible pace, about 30 metres from the tryline. Gathering the ball at such speed he did remarkably well to hold the ball and stay on his feet, for the first ten metres he tumbled along keeping balance, the next ten metres he just split the Wasps defensive with his pace before finishing the final ten metres with a run and fall beneath the posts that left Dan with a relatively easy conversion.
19-0 at the interval, against strong opposition was a remarkable achievement and you always felt the opponents were capable of getting back into this match, and they did that soon after the break.
Just like the first half, Wasps started as the more dominant force, scoring a try after a penalty decision went against Camelot, a superb kick to the corner and a well-worked line-out led to the score. 19-5, a confidence boost, and the Wasps were buzzing.
The opponents came close to scoring again soon after, but strong defensive work kept them at bay as Camelot looked to compose themselves and take control of the game, the next score was going to be crucial...and it went Camelot’s way.
A superb attacking move from the Backs took the ball the length of the field and within metres of the tryline. A huge defensive effort from Wasps looked to be holding out the attack before Eddie hooked on to Ben’s shoulder as Ben tucked the ball under his arm and the pair of them barged over the line for Ben to ground the ball and score the bonus point try (As with the professional game, an extra point is available in the league for teams that score 4 or more tries). 24-5. Breathing space again.
That score saw Camelot’s confidence boosted and Wasps started to look deflated, giving opportunities to increase the scoreline, chances that these boys were not going to miss. A turnover just inside the Wasps half saw Caolan break the line and drive towards the line, stopped just short of scoring he was quickly backed up by his teammates in support. James Isaac had a drive for the line, stopped short the ball moved back along the line to George who made no mistake in breaking through to score under the posts. Dan converts and it is suddenly a commanding 31-5.
With another victory in the bag the shackles were off and, despite the tired legs and minds, they were able to see the game out with some exhibition rugby. A tap & go penalty from Dan broke through the defence with Terence in support, a perfectly timed pass to Terence was superbly gathered and he was going to make no mistake scoring in the corner. The conversion fell short, but it mattered not as Camelot picked up their second successive league victory, this time with a bonus point and another completely awesome performance.
As much as wasps can be a pest when eating, it was a shame that none of the opposition that put up such tough opposition were able to return to the clubhouse post-match for food and drinks, for the Camelot boys it was another well-earned meal amidst admiration from some very proud parents. As Coach Less Long said after the game, "The boys should be rightfully chuffed with the win against a Wasps team that were good opposition and potentially very dangerous. Like last week, we showed solid defence, but in addition we mixed it up with powerful and quality attack between our forwards and our backs. The togetherness and spirit of our squad is the glue that binds it all together and our second-half performance brought it all together. We work had, we learn and we improve."
We'll all drink to that.
FT: Camelot 36-5 Wasps
Tries: Dan, Terence 2, James N, Ben, George