The first fixture of the 2016/7 season took Cobham away to Chiswick, playing at their Dukes Meadow grounds next to the Thames. Chiswick had earned their promotion to London South 1 in a season which also saw them win the Middlesex Cup and they were looking forward to starting their campaign with a win.
Cobham had similar aspirations and it was apparent from the whistle that the wide running style that had been a hallmark of last season had been taken up to a different league ( literally). Pope has continued to nurture the talent being generated from Cobham's youth teams and Nathan Spratt followed in his father Richard's footsteps by making his first team debut.
The first Cobham try came within 5 minutes after winger Ollie Kitto made an incisive run that resulted in prop Ben Joyce going over. Tom Farrelly making the conversion from far out 0-7
Within a few minutes and as if not to be outdone, fellow prop (and Swedish International) Josh Brown made it 0-12, after hooker Jake McQuade had created space down the wing following a quick tap penalty from Captain Robbie Kennard.
Chiswick were rocked by the speed and deftness of not only Cobham's back line but also their front row and having regrouped there followed their best period of the first half as they showed their skill with the rolling maul and Simon Hallett converted a penalty infringement putting Chiswick on the scoreboard 3-12. That was the closest Chiswick were to come to their opponents all afternoon however and Cobham extended their lead when full back James Mitchell picked up close to the Chiswick try line to take the score to 3-17. When Chiswick lost their second row to a yellow card Cobham took advantage of the extra man when centre Matt Goddard took advantage of a kick ahead from fly half Tom Farrelly to score under the posts for the bonus point try. Farrelly converting 3- 24.
Chiswick gave themselves some hope when the visitor's full back Mitchell was sin binned in the last minute of the half and Hallett made it 6-24.
If Cobham's ball handling skills in the first half were frenetic they were positively corybantic in the second which started with them a man down. Their first try was measured and looked to have been honed from hours of training Farrelly's penalty kick found the Chiswick corner flag, the resulting line out was taken by Matt Koep and there was an inevitability that the rolling maul that would find versatile prop Brown going over 6-29.
The next try was executed by a combination of dexterous skill and strong running as Charlie Rooke fed hooker McQuade who again showed his pace before offloading to Farrelly who saw the space on the wing to execute a precision cross kick that winger James MacDonald collected to score in the corner 6-34.
The Cobham supporters who had travelled to Chiswick were being treated to a fine display of running rugby which was encapsulated by what was described on the sidelines as 'Harlem Globetrotters' rugby as the ball travelled towards the Chiswick line by kicks and quick hands that finally saw Mitchell take over for 6-39.
Chiswick had been starved of possession and territory for most of the game but they now took advantage as Cobham briefly took their foot of the accelerator and allowed the hosts to breach their line for Sam Leslie to score a consolation try 11-39.
Stung by this response and again under pressure on their line Cobham fly off Farrelly ran the ball from the Cobham 22 to feed Goddard who ran the length of the pitch 11-44 . The electronic scoreboard briefly showed the score as 11-94 which didn't help Chiswick's cause but although Cobham lost their experienced back row Doug Rodman to a yellow card the coup de grace was delivered by captain Kennard releasing substitute full back Jean Louis Gravier to achieve the ninth and final try of the game which Farelly converted 11-51.
Cobham are second in the league table after this win but face strong opposition from CS (Civil Service) Rugby 1863 next week
At the conclusion of the game Director of Rugby Pope said ''The boys played very well against a big physical side.
1. Josh Brown
2. Jake McQuade
6. Doug Rodman
9. Robbie Kennard ( Captain)
11. James MacDonald
12.Charlie Rooke ( Vice Captain)
15 James Mitchell
Jean Louis Gravier