The Camden Rams have fallen agonisingly short of causing an upset with a narrow 2 point loss to Campbelltown Harlequins on Saturday afternoon.
The home crowd at Wire Lane, many of whom were there to enjoy the double-header with the Shute Shield match between Norths and Western Sydney, were treated to a thrilling game, which went down to the wire.
Camden went down 21-19 to the Harlequins, but their form was much better than last week, when they lost by 14 points to the Quins at Campbeltown.
Campbelltown opened the scoring on 21 minutes when centre Ale Moata’ane scored, when they led 7-0 but were far from comfortable on the field.
The much larger Campbelltown pack were made to work much harder by the Camden eight, with No.8 Brady Millar moved from hooker, while Lachy Frean moved from prop to the middle of the front row, allowing for the return of Jack Dolan.
Camden went on a scoring spree late in the first half, when second rower Ioane Luafutu scored 7 minutes before the break, and then dynamic fullback Michael Midson crossed minutes later, giving the Rams a 12-7 lead into the halftime break.
Campbelltown were reduced to 14 men on two occasions in the second half, with a sin bin to second rower Tausoga just before the hour mark, and then with a red card to a replacement 9 minutes before time.
Midson scored a second try for the Rams midway through the second half, and when the Rams led 19-7 the locals dared to dream of a first win for the season.
However, the Quins weren’t about to lie down, with a double to Hector Tapueluelu, with the No.8 scoring the second just before the final whistle blew.
The Rams were gallant in their efforts, but poor goalkicking, with Midson missing a conversion and a second half penalty, proving costly for the home side.
New Zealand recruit Pat Beer was very good at inside centre for the Rams, with the former Taranaki man looking at home in the black and gold of his new team.
The Camden pack all deserve credit, with the front row holding their own against the much bigger Campbelltown pack, especially in the scrums, where they were dominated last week.
Ben Black was very handy at No.9, while Nick Crouch, a league recruit this year, has settled into the No.10 role nicely, with some good runs in both his last two starts.
Beer and Andrew Faranisisi were dangerous in the centres, causing headaches for the Campbelltown backline, with Midson being his usual dynamic self at fullback.
Camden are due to head to Wollongong next week for a meeting with Vikings, which will be a tough task for the Rams, as they meet the blue men from Wollongong twice in the next three weeks, but this is still to be confirmed by the IDRU Executive.