Camberley 38 v 11 Chichester
By Simon Tanner
A tough day at the office
Chichester made 6 changes to the side that lost to Medway in the first match of 2019. Josh Cameron, Martin O’Callaghan, Ryan Spriggs, and Charlie Wallace came into the pack, with Toby Golds in the backs and Richard Ives making his debut from the bench. Wallace resumed the captaincy on his return from an appendectomy.
A chilly wind blew across Watchetts Recreation Ground with a large crowd looking forward to Camberley’s first home match since early December. The pitch was in excellent condition, providing an opportunity for some running rugby.
Camberley received the ball from the kick-off and were pinned back on their 22 metre line as they tried to work an opening to move the ball up the pitch. A crunching tackle from Sam Drayson allowed Henry Anscombe to steal the ball and Blues moved the ball out wide where Camberley infringed. No advantage was gained as play continued and Anscombe slotted a simple penalty. 0 - 3 and 2 minutes on the clock. Camberley kicked long from the restart and Blues’ clearance found touch on the 22 metre line. From the lineout Chichester were immediately under pressure from Camberley’s driving maul which was stopped illegally. The penalty was kicked into touch on the 5 metre line and Camberley’s pack headed for the try line but were stopped short. Chichester’s defence weathered 5 further phases before the ball was dotted down. Conversion missed 5 - 3. From the restart Blues came under sustained pressure but eventually cleared the ball deep into the Camberley half after an opposition infringement on the 5 metre line. Slick passing and speedy backs soon had Camberley back in the Blues’ red zone and another lineout on the 5 metre line. Camberley’s driving maul was single handedly stopped by Joe Woods, providing Anscombe the chance to clear the ball upfield. Respite was short and Camberley’s impressive full back penetrated the Blues defence to score under the posts. 12 - 3. This was repeated two minutes later when Camberley ran the ball from their 22 metre line. 19 - 3 and 22 minutes gone. From the restart Camberley attempted to run the ball out of their in-goal area and were penalised at the breakdown allowing Blues to kick for touch on the 5 metre line. From the lineout the pack drove for the line and were stopped illegally. After several pick and goes the ball was knocked on and Anscombe again kicked for touch on the 5 metre line, but Camberley stole the ball at the lineout and kicked long down field. Then came Blues’ best chance of the half when the ball was stolen by Charlie Wallace, after a Ryan Spriggs tackle, and passed across the field creating a two man overlap. The final pass was knocked on letting Camberley off the hook. However, Chichester enjoyed an extended period of play in the opposition half and were rewarded with a penalty under the posts. Kicked by Anscombe. 19 - 6 and half time.
The second half started with both teams playing some scrappy rugby and giving away penalties, but Chichester were keeping Camberley pinned back in the opposition red zone. An attempted interception was adjudged to have been deliberately knocked on and Blues were shown a yellow card and reduced to 14 players. Despite being a man down Blues remained composed soaking up the pressure as required. A rare foray by Camberley towards the Chichester try line, from a dropped pass, was cleared to touch after an infringement and once again Blues headed down the pitch looking to score. A moment of indiscipline on the halfway line allowed the Camberley backs to advance the ball to the try line. From a scrum 5 metres out the No. 8 crashed over for the first score of the second half. Converted. 26 - 6 and 60 minutes played. The scrappy play and penalties continued until a fine run from Sam Renwick cut through the opposition defence sending Gareth Davies on his way. The final pass was overthrown but from the lineout Camberley dropped the ball and Chris Johnson burst through to touch it down. Conversion missed. 26 - 11. Camberley’s right winger made a solo run from deep in his own half and was tackled illegally on the Chichester 22 metre line. The referee produced a yellow card and Blues were once again reduced to 14 men. in the final minutes of the match Camberley scored two tries from interceptions, one of which was converted. The final score was 38 - 11.
Supporters man of the match was Chris Johnson.
Chichester squad: Drayson, Cameron, Woods, Boulton, O’Callaghan, Spriggs, Wallace (Capt.), Johnson, Seaman, Anscombe, McLagan, Thompson, Renwick, Robson, Golds, Ives, Magda and Davies.
On Saturday, 19th of January Chichester travel down the A27 to play Havant on their new 4G pitch. Kick-off is at 15:00.