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Under-14s - Match centre

Hemel Hempstead (Camelot) RUFC
Sun 26 Nov 11:00 - Friendly Full time

Strong Last FIVE Minutes Wins The Game

Space out wide finally pays dividends

On a bitterly cold morning the Camelot boys recorded their seventh straight victory of the season at Cow Lane, Tring, though it was anything other than an easy win with the final scoreline perhaps being a little flattering thanks mainly to a couple of late tries that sealed the victory.

From the off Tring looked to have a little more bite about them than an unusually subdued looking Camelot side that, despite enjoying most of the possession and several phases of play in the early exchanges, was struggling to move forward beyond the gain line as the hosts committed limited players to the ruck and therefore ensuring there was always another defender on hand to block any runs from the Camelot Backs.

The breakthrough came when Camelot were awarded a penalty on the half-way line. A superb kick to corner from Dan set up a line-out just ten metres from the line. A well-worked move saw the ball swiftly moved out of the back. Quick passing along the line and for the first time Terence found space out on the wing and made no mistake in opening the scoring. Another excellent Dan kick saw the conversion clear the posts (and the fence behind). 0-7.

Tring fought straight back, putting the visitors' defence under pressure, forcing a kicked clearance that resulted in a line out just 5 metres from the Hemel try line. A good throw-in, a quickly assembled maul and Camelot were on the back foot unable to stop the drive that earned Tring their first try of the match. The conversion was missed and Camelot maintained a slender lead. 5-7.

Moments later Tring were back on the attack. Another line out, another strong maul and this time the opposing hooker broke away to score in the corner. The conversion again fell short, but the home side were now 10-7 ahead, and few could argue that it was not deserved.

Deserved or not, it didn't last long. The Camelot Forwards were performing well in the breakdowns, pressuring the opposition defence and dominating in the scrums. It was from one of these scrums that the lead changed hands again - James Isaac breaking out from the back to drive himself over the line. Dan again converted, proving to be the difference between the two sides as Camelot went into the interval 10-14 ahead.

The second-half proved to be a real humdinger with the physicality intensifying and gaps in the defences starting to be exploited. It was Tring that dealt the next blow with a well-worked try that looked to have benefitted from a knock-on that was spotted by all but the most important person on the field; play continued and Tring were back ahead. 15-14.

There really was nothing to separate the two sides, from Camelot's perspectives the opportunities were definitely out wide - Get the ball to the wings and use pace to break through the defensive line...and that is exactly how the lead was restored. Huge amounts of defensive pressure was absorbed before turning the ball over, quick hands getting the ball out to Terence on the wing who used his legendary step to outwit the defence. The conversion went just wide, Camelot were back ahead, 15-19.

What a game this was turning into. The lead kept changing hands and it looked as though it was going to happen again with Tring piling on the pressure, surging to within centimetres of the tryline, but not quite able to ground the ball. Still they pushed, and shoved, but the defence remained resolute. It felt only a matter of time until the try was scored, but it never came. Awesome defending eventually forced the penalty for not releasing, and Camelot could breathe again after what proved to be a game changing moment.

From the penalty Dan found touch, about 15 metres from his own tryline. It looked like an opportunity to ease the pressure, but turned into the try of the day as the Forwards worked their magic from the line out, passing the ball out to Tommy who gained another 10 metres with a surging run before passing out to George, on to James Isaac who popped a subtle pass out the back to Dan who opened out his legs and sprinted three quarters of the length of the field to finish a superb score. Dan also completed the conversion and for the first time in the match a gap had opened up in the score, Camelot leading 15-26.

Had they ridden the storm? A chance to ease up and see out the victory? If only it were that simple. With disappointing ease Tring were straight back in the game with a converted try that came from nothing, exploiting a rare gap in the defence. 22-26. As the game moved into the final 5 minutes, there was only one score in it once again.

This rollercoaster of a match was reaching a crescendo and the next score was going to be decisive. And it came from the boys in blue and white. Capping a player of the week performance, Terence ran in his third try of the game showing incredible strength alongside his speed as he looked to have been stopped 20 metres short of the tryline, but somehow got back on his feet, regained composure and out-sprinted the tiring defence to restore a 9 point lead for the visitors. 22-31. Another chance to breathe.

And this time it really was the killer blow. With time ticking away there was no way back for Tring and in fact it was Camelot who scored again as James Isaac completed a real captains performance with another powerful surge over the defensive line to score under the posts. A relatively easy, drop-kicked, conversion for Dan completed an incredibly hard-fought victory that was much tougher than the 38-22 score might suggest.

FT: Tring 38-22 Camelot
Tries: Terence 3, James Isaac 2, Dan
Conversions: Dan 4

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