Sidmouth Chiefs bring back bonus point from Cambourne visit
- Credit: Archant
Camborne 43, Sidmouth 20 The Chiefs arrived in Cornwall as a team in disarray and departed a few hours later with heads held high, and a bonus point, after a performance which typified all that is great about the game of rugby: courage, determination, skill and a willingness to fight to the very end for the shirt they are wearing and the other guys wearing it, writes Terry O’Brien.
Only seventeen players could be mustered to travel, and eight of those had made just 18 league appearances between them this season, mostly of those off the bench.
After the first half hour it seemed as if Camborne, lying second in the league and with a 100 per cent home record, were going to run up a big score as they crossed for their third try.
However, from then on the Chiefs matched them point for point with a superb display of Barbarian style rugby, spearheaded by the African contingent of Dwight Pansegrouw and Alva Senderayi. Between them they scored three tries and made the fourth. But, despite their Man of the Match heroics, this was a real team effort.
The first quarter was all Camborne as the Chiefs were still finishing their introductions. They opened the scoring with a penalty after five minutes and followed up with a soft try straight from the restart with a move started from near their own goal line. Another penalty and a try by the left winger at the end of a counterattack from a loose clearance kick soon followed. Try number three was scored by the right winger after a turnover on the Sidmouth 22 and it was converted.
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Despite the one-way traffic there were signs that the Sidmouth side were not going to lie down. Pansegrouw, Senderayi and Stuart Bickerstaff in the centre had troubled the opposition with penetrating runs, and in defence Bickerstaff and wingers Sam Cummins and Dan Colson had made important man-and-ball tackles to stop dangerous overlaps. When Alva Senderayi followed up a Dan Retter kick and benefitted from a favourable bounce to score in the right corner, it certainly marked the end of the beginning.
In first half injury time the Camborne pack rumbled over from a lineout catch-and-drive to notch up their try bonus point and make the halftime score 5-23.
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The second half was a much more even contest and a thoroughly entertaining 40 minutes as both sides played open rugby with play moving from end to end. The Chiefs were first to score after 12 minutes, when Jonny Hamill made a half break around the tail of a lineout on the Camborne 22. The ball was quickly recycled and Alva Senderayi appeared in the centre to cut through and leave a trail of defenders in his wake on his way to the line.
A Camborne penalty was quickly followed by Sidmouth’s third try. After good driving by the forwards, Tom Irish made inroads to the left of a ruck before the ball was switched to the right where Dwight Pansegrouw beat two defenders on his way to the line.
In the middle of the half, both sides had a player yellow carded in a very competitive encounter. Camborne capitalised on the extra man when the number 4 peeled off a lineout maul to crash over for a converted try. With two minutes of normal time to go, the same player finished off a good handling move for a second try. Then, in injury time, Dwight Pansegrouw broke down the right of a ruck and timed his pass perfectly to send Tom Whelan in for a well-deserved bonus point try.
On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Cleve with much to play for. A win for the Chiefs would end any remaining threat of relegation, while the Bristol side must win to keep their hopes of survival alive. The kick off at the Blackmore is at 3pm.
The Colts travel to Okehampton for a rearranged Merit Table against the side topping the table.