Clinical Camberley expose Farnham frailties
By Mark Weeks
By Geoff Bond, President
This was an old fashioned shellacking – Camberley ruthless and direct simply too strong for a faltering Farnham XV. The final score 69-13 underlining the difference between these two old local rivals.
Farnham still have a number of the squad unavailable - the loss of Mike Salmon, Gabe Hills and Dave Hurley in the back division is a huge loss of experience and sheer rugby nous. Couple that with shortages in the pack and the task, against last year’s Division One play off runners up, became a mountain too high for a plucky Farnham side who refused to lie down despite the humiliating final outcome.
The forthcoming few weeks will be a test of resolve and morale for the Farnham boys – the only way is up.
A beautiful sunny Autumn day perfect for rugby greeted the players and large crowd at Camberley’s Watchetts Lane HQ. No immediate signs of the ruthlessness to follow – early sparring from both sides Farnham down the slight slope – a multi phase attack through Corlett and Davison, ambitious inside ball, knock on and the Camberley scrum half Dunn takes advantage on through Smart to Tagg – try out wide, the ominous shape of things to come. Smart with the extras 7-0.
Back come Farnham the support play excellent – the handling errors and turnovers mount, the pressure and pace of the new league perhaps starting to tell. Scrum Camberley and a sumptuous switch move in the centre puts Wright through untouched to score under the posts. Smart conversion 14-0 with only 6 minutes on the clock.
Daly, Williams, Bond and Markham are manning the defences and Farnham manage to string together a series of attacks – clumsy handling, poor passes ruining a lot of effort. Scoring opportunities butchered three times in the first quarter.
Naisbitt, Davidson and Joris are tidy in the scrum and with Adams a good source at the line out Farnham enjoy more of the possession however on nearly every break out errors are forced by the Camberley back row and centre pairing. Farnham on the front foot are easy pickings for the direct Camberley approach.
An exchange of penalties sees Farnham on the scoreboard through Toby Salmon, cancelled out through Smart. 17-3. Further skulduggery at the breakdown and the referee on the spot – penalty Camberley 20-3.
Untidy, untidy again – Farnham penalty – line out on the Camberley 22 – turned over and a hack and chase results in another home break out score – flanker Alex Hughes claiming the spoils. 25-3.
With half time approaching Farnham offside from the kick off – Smart with the penalty 28-3.
Still time for Camberley to kick to the corner – line out secure and a pick and drive attack sees prop Harvey over for a forwards try. Back come Camberley scenting blood – Oyoni Gbla over in the corner - unstoppable 38-3 at the break.
The home side and supporters have their tails up, Farnham are on the end of a hiding – a spirited twenty minutes raises the visitors hopes, Ed Weeks held short of the line after a flowing move, turnover back through Bond to Daly – Davidson held again short. The pressure from Farnham at last starting to tell – driving maul and Bond on to Chalker try in the corner 38-8.
The tiger striped Camberley side have had their tail tweaked and respond with a quarter of an hour of quality direct clinical rugby scoring five tries in the process. Farnham’s only consolation a Pete Daly try in the dying embers of the game.
Lessons to be learnt, keep the ball, more support and play what’s in front of you.
This was a superb well-drilled Camberley squad, pacy, organised and ruthless In their finishing – reflections in the club house after the game suggested that yes Farnham had enjoyed tremendous success last season some of the teams in Div 3 were extremely poor with only three offering meaningful opposition Eastleigh, Old Cranleighians and Ironsides.
Farnham undercooked and under strength were taken apart by a rampant Camberley XV.
Finger in the dam defence from all three throughout
Pete Daly -3 points
Buster – 2 points
Jemi – 1 point