The Stags were finally back league action after a long 18 months since there last league match with Wadebridge Camel taking the long trip up from the dark depths of Cornwall up to a sunny glorious Somerset on Saturday.

The Camels started the game at a ferocious pace and it was clearly evident of the style of play they intended. Not over committing at the break down, plenty of number out wide displaying an expansive game. This opened up The Stags defence and it wa sonly a few minutes from KO until The Camels took the lead with the first try of the game. 0-5.

Club Stalwart, Tim Piper who turned 41 years old during the pandemic, kicked a penalty shortly after the restart, 3-5. The Stags were caught napping several minutes later and The Camels ran another try out wide to extend their lead 3-10.

Possession was key from now on and with The Camels in control, Stags winger, Toby Fear raced up to intercept a floating pass from a Camel and The stag race to the line to score there first try which Piper converted to level the score. 10-10.  The Stags smelt the fear in The Camels and with ball in hand, they were making in roads up the pitch, gaining territory and causing trouble. The forwards set a platform which allowed quick ball for Captain & Scrum Half, Sam Lewis, to release the backs albeit The Stags scored out wide by No 8, Ash Cutter who found himself on the wing. Conversion missed 15-10.

Both sides were hitting hard at the breakdown and in the tackle and sadly, Flanker , James Havercroft had to leave the field after feeling a little dazed after taking a knee to the head.

The Camels soon realised they needed to change their tactic and approach  towards the home side and in similar fashion to the Stags, kept the ball tight, going through the phases and punching through the gaps. Some slack tackling gave The Camels opportunity to score shortly before HT to regain the lead, 15-17.

The Camels started the Second half as they left the first, catching The Stags napping again to extend the lead 15-22 but it was The Stags who then began to regain control from the restart by keeping possession. Centre, Will Hopkins, who always gains ground with ball in hand kept The Camels on the back foot, forcing them back into their own 22 yard area. Lewis was whipping the ball out from breakdown and after a few phases of play Cutter scrambled over the line, much to the dismay of the visitors who claimed a double movement but the referee had awarded the try. Piper’s 41 year right leg couldn’t quite make the conversion. 20-22.

The Stags ill-discipline crept in again and a penalty was awarded to The Camels for off side in the home 22 area. 20-25. Several minutes later play was stopped after, winger,  Archie Neale was tackled in the air by a Camel, who was red carded for foul play. Sadly, Archie was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone which was then later confirmed.

The Camels were now down to 14 players so had to regroup. The Stags clawed back 3 points from a penalty, 23-25, and soon after the restart a beautifully worked try was scored by Full Back, Scott Havercroft  (James has a brother from the same mother) which started within The Stags half and he outpaced his opposite number and scored out wide. Somehow, that 41 year old leg of Piper’s, lost a few years and slotted the ball over the bar. 30-25.

With 10 minutes left to play, The Camels knew they needed a converted try to win but were awarded a penalty just left of the posts but thankfully The Camels full back left his Camel toe at home. A let off to say the least.

This obviously spurred on the desire of leaving that elusive toe at home and being a man down, so The camels were straight back in The Stags half with the clock ticking but for some unknown reason The Stags bottled it when they saw one camel, with four legs and two humps running at them who barged his way through several tackles to score to the left of the posts at the last play of the game. Sadly, the Camel toe made the conversion to win the match 30-32.

All in all an epic game to watch in the basking sunshine which suited the Camels not us Stags.

Next weekend we travel Bideford RFC.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *