Rams warn rivals with upset over Wombats

Viking Henry Swan is met by the committed Shamrocks defence. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Viking Henry Swan is met by the committed Shamrocks defence. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

RUGBY UNION

Reigning premiers Camden did what no other team had done all season when they rolled competition leaders Avondale 21-7 on Saturday at Gerry Cappetta Oval.

Proving they have well and truly shaken off their mid-season doldrums, Camden dominated the previously unbeaten Wombats, stretching an 18-0 half-time lead to 21-0 before the hosts scored their only try five minutes from full-time.

The Rams moved up a spot to third and sent a timely reminder to rivals that the road to the title still runs through Camden.

"The big thing for us today was the contributions right across the park," Camden coach Brendan Schoupp said.

"Everyone did their job. It was enormous, almost like a grand final effort. Our attitude and commitment were first class."

The Wombats had cruised to a 58-10 victory in round seven at Camden, slightly easing the pain of last year's 20-10 grand final loss to the Rams.

Avondale would've been confident of another comfortable win on Saturday but the visitors spoiled the party.

"We went in with the theme that this was our opportunity to make a statement in the competition, to take everything into our own hands and not rely on other results," Schoupp said.

"We had an area where we wanted to attack them and we executed the game plan really well. We played a really uptempo game towards the back-end and put them under pressure, and our defence was fantastic.

"I still think Avondale and Uni are the form teams but it just goes to show if you turn up on the day and you prepare well, anyone in the top four can progress."

Camden host Tech Waratahs this Saturday and finish the regular season with a bye.

The Wombats take on Kiama at Kiama Showground.

"It was a very pleasing result, very encouraging," Schoupp said.

"We can keep moving forward, but the job's not done. We need to move on to Tech next week and see where we end up after that.''

The win over the Wombats has surely erased any doubts the Rams might've had about their chances of claiming back to back titles.

"We've had an up-and-down year for various reasons, but we've finally got everyone back together and we proved to ourselves we can be quite competitive," Schoupp said.

The Wollongong Vikings stayed in the finals hunt with a 20-19 away win over the Woonona Shamrocks, University were pushed all the way in a 27-15 home victory over Kiama, while Tech Waratahs beat Shoalhaven 21-10.

Ladder: Avondale 63; University 57; Camden 46; Kiama, Vikings 45; Shamrocks 39; Tech Waratahs 20; Shoalhaven 6; Bowral 3.

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