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Under-14s - Match centre

Saracens Amateurs
Hemel Hempstead (Camelot) RUFC
Sun 8 Apr 11:00 - Friendly Full time

Take FIVE - More restarts than a movie set

Boys stay calm in adversity to pull off another win

After what seems like an eternity without a match the boys returned to action at the former home of European Champions Saracens, to take on Saracens Amateurs in a friendly match, looking to continue their astonishing 100% record for the season.

As parents gathered beneath the main stand for the start of the match the body language from the Camelot team was good - Everyone looked alert, aware of their responsibilities and raring to go, it was like they had never been away.

Early exchanges were fairly even with each team looking to sound the other out, both mentally and physically - With Camelot coming out top on both fronts.
The first score came from a very well worked set piece, the second line out of the match (the less said of the first the better!). A pre-planned move saw the ball quickly moved out from the line out to scrum half Caolan, he quickly set the ball moving along the line to Tommy who broke through the defence with a strong run before popping the ball out to Terence who made no mistake in crossing the line to score. The conversion fell just short, but Camelot led 5-0.

Camelot were looking strong, coping with the physicality of the game as up to four home players left the pitch injured during the first period, leading to a disrupted match that saw very few phases of play to keep the crowd entertained. However, it was clear that Camelot were dominating the set pieces and used this to their advantage to score the second try of the match.

A really strong scrum from the pack easily allowed Caolan to pick the ball out of the back, take the ball into a contact followed by some superb support in the ruck which enabled the ball to be popped out to James Norman who broke down the wing, skipping past the attempted tackles to ground the ball beneath the posts. A fine conversion by Dan and Camelot went into the interval 12-0 ahead.

The second period started somewhat bizarrely. Further injuries, the ball (the only one at the ground it seems!) stuck on top of netting surrounding the pitch and an endless stream of penalties to the home side left the match very disjointed and frustrating to watch.

It seemed impossible for Camelot to clear the ball from their own twenty-two as all attempts were penalised and, despite some gallant efforts, the relentless line-outs and scrums to Saracens eventually rewarded the boys in black who drove over the line and converted to pull the score back to 7-12.

A game that looked to be in the bag at half-time was suddenly back in the balance, it needed a reaction from the boys...and it came, pretty much immediately.
A lengthy kick-off was well chased down, forcing a knock-on from the full-back. From the resultant scrum Camelot Forwards again put the squeeze on their opposite numbers allowing the ball to feed out for the Backs to then do their bit - A powerful run from George, he finds Terence in space and he makes no mistake in crossing the line to score. A fantastic team try. Dan converted well and Camelot were two scores ahead again at 19-7.

The game continued to be disrupted with niggly penalties and another lost ball - This time taking up to five minutes to find a pumped up replacement for the one that had gone over the roof of the main stand. As a man walked in front of the crowd with an extendable ladder, Camelot were back on the attack.

More pressure in the Saracens twenty-two earned another penalty. This time rather than kick for corner the boys opted to play to their strength, selecting to take a scrum. a superb decision that paid dividends.

Another dominant push, another superb display of speed and handling skills across the back line looked to have led to another try, but it was adjudged to have not been grounded.

Another scrum. This time Caolan picks the ball out of the back and shows great strength and a trademark hand-off to power his way over the line for Camelot’s fourth and final try of the game.

Dan converted to give the score a fair reflection of what had been a dominant performance in what will never go down as a classic, it again showed the maturity of the team as they made good decisions, showed patience and mental strength to deal with the stoppages and go about the business of winning a rugby match - Something they are getting increasingly used to doing.

FT: Saracens Amateurs 6-27 Camelot
Tries: Terence 2, James N, Caolan
Cons: Dan 3

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