News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 23rd September 2017
Andover 28 Camberley 59
Progress can be measured in very small amounts sometimes and with that in mind, a terrific second half from Oakwood sponsored Andover, saw them gain a bonus point for the first time in three attempts against high flying Camberley.
The illustrious visitors are hot favourites to win this league having only failed to gain promotion in the play off last time and they have strengthened since.
They arrived at the Goodship having blown away their opening two opponents and with an electric and powerful set of backs, it’s easy to see why.
But Andover have improved too and after a good start, followed by a traumatic twenty minutes, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and produced some superb rugby of their own.
Andover welcomed back talisman Tom Waite from long term injury and his presence was felt from the opening kick-off as Camberley were immediately put under pressure.
Andover kept the ball well and as Camberley erred, from a series of scrums the ball went wide and youngster Jack Potter skilfully put Charlie Waite over in the corner for a fine try, with Rich Retallick adding a great conversion.
Andover continued to do well, but after thirteen minutes the visitors finally answered back with a fine try on the wing.
It was time for Andover to recognise the threat Camberley possessed, tighten up and deny them opportunities, but unfortunately instead Andover were drawn into trying to play their game.
In being too expansive Andover opened the flood gates and Camberley needed no second bidding with four further tries.
It was not all doom and gloom though, as sandwiched between the mayhem Andover almost scored twice themselves.
Half time came and these positives were emphasised, with a strict message to go for a bonus point no matter what.
Andover responded to that call superbly and went hard at Camberley.
Scrummaging strongly up the slope the backs started to see good ball.
A fine break from Evan Roll set up great field position and just as Kieran Jenvey seemed certain to provide a scoring pass, the referee got in his way, the ball went loose and Camberley sprinted the length of the field to score.
Again though, Andover had shown they could upset the visitors and despite the setback, they simply redoubled their efforts.
For ten minutes they poured forwards, going through phases and showing the patience, they might have shown earlier.
Eventually Camberley broke. Another fine run by Roll was taken on by Jenvey, who fed Charlie Waite, marauding off the blindside wing to smash his way through for a lovely try under the posts converted by Retallick.
From the kick off an Andover error let the visitors in again, but soon after Ross Keir was desperately unlucky when high tackled as he went for the line. The penalty was given but no yellow card.
It was now end to end stuff with both sides trading blows in a breathless period of play.
Giant prop Carl Sievewright, also returning from injury, replaced skipper Alex Hibdige and with front row colleagues Nic Reed and James Monck, really tore in to the Camberley scrum.
A yellow finally came for the visitors for a dangerous tackle as Andover attacked relentlessly and before long the giant frame of Tom Erskine took full advantage to stretch over the line from a ruck, with Retallick again successful.
As Andover went for the all-important fourth try Camberley struck again, but the home side sensed it was on and simply roared back.
The large crowd really found their voice and when man of the match Jenvey went on a mazy run that somehow took him to the line, Tom Waite was on hand to dive over for a try and valuable bonus point, with the last play of the game.
After the game Director of rugby Andy Waite said ‘We played very well at times today and I think we fully deserved the reward of a point.’
‘We do need to stop hurting ourselves though with silly mistakes and poor game management, because we could actually have been a lot closer in this game.’
‘They are a great side with ball in hand and you have to recognise that when making decisions, because if you can stay in touch maybe one bonus point can become two.’
‘We have had a very tough start to the season though, with two hard away games and Camberley at home, so all in all I’m pleased to have five points on the board at this stage.’