Cobham Rugby

5-try Cobham storm to victory over Havant

Second half onslaught secures a spectacular win for Steve Pope's team

Cobham produced a stunning second half fightback that saw them defeat Havant 37-21 at Fairmile Lane on a glorious Autumn afternoon. The hosts scored 27 unanswered points to overturn an 11-point deficit with 30 minutes left to play, as Steve Pope’s men celebrated a bonus point victory; their fourth league win of the season. Everyone connected with the club can feel very proud of this performance, as the team played some cracking attacking rugby that resulted in several memorable tries.

After Cobham dominated the opening exchanges, it was the visitors who got the scoreboard ticking with the opening try after 8 minutes through prop Armandus Morgan. Fly half Gareth Davies added the extras before converting a penalty soon after, as the Havant pack enjoyed the upper hand in the forward battle.

Tom Farrelly kicked Cobham’s first points of the afternoon with a penalty at the end of the opening quarter. The hosts then enjoyed a sustained period of pressure, only for a number of unforced errors to deny them at crucial moments. The sides’ patience was rewarded seven minutes before the interval, as an excellent catch and drive from a lineout close to the Havant line resulted in Mario Zakakiotis crashing over. Farrelly’s conversation levelled it up on the scoreboard at 10-10.

However, Havant finished the half with two scores in quick succession that gave them the advantage at the halfway stage. A second Davies penalty was followed by a try for centre Joel Knight after a bulldozing break from hooker Jerome Trail had caused havoc to the Cobham defensive line. A third Davies penalty soon after the restart put the away side into a seemingly commanding position, leading 10-21.

Thereafter, it was the hosts who dominated the scoring all the way through to the final whistle with the fightback starting almost immediately. A sweeping blindside move, featuring an excellent solo run from James MacDonald, saw Ryan Saunders on hand to take the scoring pass and touchdown by the posts. However, the scrum half suffered a nasty looking knee injury in the process that resulted in a break in play. Farrelly made no mistake with the conversion and the deficit was down to just four points (17-21).

The hosts now looked to attack at every opportunity and continuously broke through the Havant defence. As the game entered the final quarter, Cobham went ahead for the first time after the backs again combined in thrilling fashion. MacDonald raced in for the try, after a penetrating burst from his namesake Max MacDonald off his wing.

Ahead by just a single point (22-21), the Cobham cause was given a further boost when Trail was sin-binned. Sensing the shift in momentum, Farrelly took play deep into Havant territory from the resulting penalty. It proved to be the correct decision, as more good work from the forwards allowed Tom Davison to cap a fine performance when he powered over to score.

With Farrelly adding the extras and a second penalty soon after, Cobham now found themselves two scores ahead (32-21) going into the closing stages and with the light fading. Time remained for one final attack and it was man-of-the-match James Mitchell who rounded off proceedings with a stunning individual score. Taking the ball at pace from a set-piece, the centre powered his way through the tiring Havant defence and comfortably won the race to the corner for Cobham’s fifth try. The missed conversion was of little consequence, as the final whistle immediately followed – much to the delight of the Fairmile Lane faithful.

A great day for Cobham also saw the 2nd XV comprehensively defeat Old Tiffs 52-5 away.


1st XV Squad:

1 Ryan Aujla

2 Andrew Murphy

3 Mario Zakakiotis 

4 Ben Latimer

5 Tom Davison

6 Nathan Spratt

7 Olly Fox (C)

8 Theo Buffini

9 Ryan Saunders (VC)

10 Tom Farrelly

11 Tiernan White

12 James Mitchell

13 James MacDonald 

14 Max MacDonald 

15 Rory Penfold



16 Ben Joyce

17 Freddie Joyce

18 Luke Flower



No 3 Mario  Zakakiotis x 1 Try

No 5 Tom Davison x 1 Try 

No 13 James MacDonald x 1 Try 

No 9 Ryan Saunders x 1 Try 

No 12 James Mitchell x 1 Try

No 10 Tom Farrelly x 3 Conversions | x 2 Penalties


1st XV Man of Match Sponsored by George & Dragon Thames Ditton - No 12 James Mitchell