News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 17th December 2016
Andover 24 Camberley 60
Once again Andover were handed a reminder of the difference between the haves and have nots in this league, as they went down comprehensively to high flying Camberley last weekend.
The visitors from Surrey have big ambitions and a budget to match, but they didn’t have it all their own way, as Andover fought hard to the end to get something from the game.
Late unavailability again did not help the ‘All Blacks’ but they were able to welcome back Niko Rowe from injury and veteran Sam Froggett stepping in for a seasonal debut.
With Charlie Waite having to again play at stand-off however, the Andover back three of Dave Catt ,Stef Long and man of the match Josh Gibbs, faced the daunting task of facing probably the best back three in the league and despite a manful defensive effort, it was here that the visitors made them pay.
‘Sometimes you just have to take your hat off and say you were beaten by a better team.’ Said Director of rugby Andy Waite.
‘The lads who played gave it everything and probably shaded it up front, but their backs are electric and they punished us at every opportunity.’
The game began well for Andover as their forwards retained possession well and attacked the visitors repeatedly through the hard running Nic Reed and Tom Erskine.
After just ten minutes though Andover lost centre Ben Fulton to injury and as they reorganised Camberley took advantage with opening score.
Andover did not heed the warning of how dangerous Camberley were on the counter and a series of poor decisions allowed the visitors to run riot.
Only a Charlie Waite penalty separated four further tries until just before the break the forward dominance finally began to tell.
From a good lineout take by Ben Ciccotti, Andover set up a series of drives and Kieran Jenvey dived over to give them hope with a try converted by Waite.
After the break playing down the slope, Andover continued the pressure and after some powerful scrums and great break from Reed, Jenvey repeated the dose with another fine try again converted by Waite.
All the hard work was soon undone however as Camberley once again broke out to score.
The Andover tactic was to go for the bonus point and throw caution to the wind in attack.
They made inroads, but also presented opportunities as they pressed and Camberley gratefully took them to increase their lead.
As time ran out Andover threw the kitchen sink at the visitors who defended manfully before Ciccotti again provided the lineout ball for Niko Rowe to smash through for a lovely try once again converted by Waite.
It was too little too late however and as the referee blew Andover were once again left empty handed.
‘The score flattered them a little as we really went for the four tries in the second half and conceded more as a result but we can’t deny we were well beaten.’
‘I was really impressed with the leadership of skipper Alex Hibdige today and he was well supported by Tom Erskine. The lads never gave up and it was great to see Harry Foxwell get another first team run out this time to achieve his dream of playing in front of an Andover crowd.’
‘ We have a massive January coming up and we need to pick ourselves up, enjoy the break and go again.’