Rugby v Camberley G&Ts - Sat 25th Jan. 2014
The rivalry between the Gin and Tonics and The Penguins may be young but it is strong after last year’s 3 point loss for the Penguins away to Camberley. This year the home fixture would prove to be an advantage with the majority of the G&Ts team being stuck on the South Circular for an hour prior to kick off. This meant that the Penguins had more time to run through moves and defence drills; thereby aiding their cohesiveness on the field.
The Penguins received the kick-off and after 3 quick phases Andy Vaughton’s blistering pace cut like a knife though the G&Ts back line in order to set up the Penguin’s first try. A further 10 minutes of intense play ensued which was punctuated by a searing run down the wing by Thorpe who unfortunately could not link up with Austin for the score. It would be fair to say that the G&Ts had the upper hand in the tight, but in loose and open play the first half was won by the Penguins. Scrum-half Evans was rampant getting 2 interceptions between the G&T half backs in order to go over for 2 tries (masterly gin-avoidance), and with Gibbins slotting 2 of the kicks The Penguins were 19-0 up. The G&Ts managed to roll over for a forward orientated try at the end of the half to leave a 19-5 score line at half time.
The second half play was less open than the first, both due to G&Ts improved ball retention and fitness in both sides taking its toll. Unfortunately Challacombe, the Penguins Stalwart No 8, picked up a further injury to his knee at the bottom of a ruck. The G&Ts continued to dominate in the scrum leading to The Penguins needing to bring on their impact player Chris Howell; who, with Terry Gibson and Tom Jackson(c) completing the front row, lead to a combined front row age of 175 years. Despite this wealth of experience injuries were picked up and Terry had to go off leading to uncontested scrums for the last 5 minutes.
It was a try a piece in the second half, both of which came from tight play initiated by lineouts, and after all was said and done the Penguins held out to win 24-10, continuing this excellent unbeaten season (on mainland UK).