Its hard to put into words, the pride one feels at a club like Camden.
Wire Lane is Camden’s Theatre of dreams, for the many aspiring Rugby local kids the Jersey means more than any money could pay.
It’s a family club, first and foremost, given its young age. Since 1975 it has been built on local pride and Family values.
It starts from the very top right down to the players.
Each and every player brings something different, and collectively makes Camden special. The secret is including and accepting everyone as equals.
Regardless of the reasons as to why we all play the game, the games against Avondale pits 2 very different Clubs up against each other.
Camden has been playing some great Rugby in all 3 grades over the past few weeks, and has grown completely as a playing group.
The game against Avondale, the Acid test of all Acid Tests, the belief and attitude of most people is everyone are also rans and jostling for second position as Avondale have a sense of belief things are to be handed to them.
In saying this a battle is not won on paper! You can have a Team Of Champions, that can sweep all aside but you find me a Champion Team and they would apply everything they have. The 1% efforts come naturally, seeing your comrade going into battle, all that is in your mind is to have their back and fight together united.
Camden 1ST XV embodied the Club’s attitude. Pushing the pre season favourites right to the last play of the game going down 16-13.
The game was played infront of a healthy home crowd. Boisterous and raucous, the locals were brought to life when Camden 1st XV went to the break with Avondale on the back foot and with a lead of 6-0 thanks to 2 Penalties kicked by Dane Kelly.
The game highlighted both teams strengths, and defence in these wet matches would win you games.
The game plan from Camden worked a treat, having its inform player Andrew Black making his comeback after a 2 week rest, it gave the forward pack a good balance and a top on baller to trouble the Bigger Avondale pack.
The 2 teams went to war in the second half, and Camden applied the blow torch. A Try against the run of play finally gave Avondale the Lead after converting an earlier Penalty to go in front 8-6.
With just over 10 mins left to play, Avondale scored a Second and then Kicked another Penalty, and it looked like it was all She Wrote. However the Camden Rams pegged a try back in the Final minutes to set up a grandstand finish. With scores at 16-13 to Avondale, Camden had one last hurrah! After continual infringements by Avondale, Camden had one last shot. While the final plays were snuffed out by Avondale, it highlighted that Camden had the team to Shake the competition in 1st Grade to the foundations.
It was a strong collective 1st XV showing. It may also be added James Crisp has had 2 Barnstorming Cameo’s in 1st grade, and it seems while the loss of Andrew Black might have seemed much, James, not for the first time this season, answered the 1st grade SOS.
Camden 2nd XV are running Second with only one defeat from 7 starts, an undefeated Avondale team visited Camden, And displayed an arrogant swagger about the way they went about their Business.
Camden were rocked by the news Club Captain, Dan “The Samoan Destroyer” Campbell had succumbed to the broken finger nail and ruled himself out of the game, without getting a second opinion from MDR. No, all fun aside, it was a credit to DC he tried valiantly to get on to play, but looking like he was near death, it was decided he get home and rest up.
While Camden put up a valiant game, Avondale highlighted why they were front runners in the competition. Every Ball carrier hit the gain line with Purpose and at times Camden looked powerless to stop the onslaught.
However this is when the game changed, Camden 2nds showed they too knew how to run gain lines, hit with purpose and defend with Pride. All of a sudden Avondale looked Vulnerable.
After skipping out to an Early Lead 17-0 Lead, Camden proceeded to control the rest of the half and scored a Try to bring the Halftime score to 17-7.
Camden looked to start the 2nd half, where they left the 1st. The Arm wrestle had ensued and it became a battle. However the Slow Start to the game ended up costing the Camden Seconds any chance at Victory and a Score line of 29-14 did not reflect the match.
This could very well in my View be a preview to the Final game of the Season . Only time will tell, and both teams are still in charge of their own destinies.
Camden strong performers were, Venu Ah Sam, Matt Tagg and usual suspect Brady “Steve” Millar.
When Camden 3rds come up against the Wombats, it’s a game every player no doubt, highlights on their Calender. Such is the Rivalry between the 2 Teams, its been built around a slight dislike of each other and above all else the fact Avondale have been reigning back to back champions.
The games are always close, and fiery and it’s always the game that supporters and Club alike come to watch, because the rivalry built over the past 3 seasons has become transparent to all.
Camden started the brighter of the sides, crossing the line twice in the opening 10mins. However a lapse in concentration had seen Avondale steal 2 tries to hit back and level the game at 14 All.
Avondale then went ahead just before half time to take the lead 21-14. The game was intense, it had everyone on the edge of their seats. What was going to happen? Would the young Camden Forwards Buckle? Could Camden Hit back? Would Avondale kick away and Win the game by Plenty??
What ensued was quite possibly the best second half of Rugby for the supporters, definitely not for the Coach Greg Wine and His sideline staff John Nettle and co, who i may add were going mad barking instructions.
The game went into over drive Camden levelled the Scores at 21 all. With a little over 10 Minutes to go, Avondale scored again and with the Converted Try took the Game to 28-21 with 6 mins remaining.
Camden got the ball back in a favourable position, and worked the field with Camden scoring in the Corner to take scores to 28-26 with conversion to come.
Up stepped yours truly, all 140 Kgs and potted a Goal for the ages, good enough to win most games but unfortunately not this game.
A Last second interception, saw Avondale steal the game. It was a great game to be involved in! And it lived up to its billing.
Final Words are, Watching the Camden Old Boys sing the Club song after the premier Grades loss highlighted the Fact why Camden Boys play Rugby! Cause they got Friends who play, who are proud to wear the Gold and Black! The Finest men God could ever send, and now he doest want them back cause they are Camden Rugby and they will Do their Best, fight hard to Win and Never Give in!
The only thing that separated the 2 Clubs all day was the Scoreboard, and in some terms that does matter!
What sets the 2 teams apart? How many Avondale Old Boys would have sung their Club song if they lost a close game like that? MY Guess 0!
Amped up MDR!