Although there were seven league places separating the teams their last three encounters have delivered results that defy those league positions -Sept 2018 Cobham 24-Brighton 28, January 2018 Brighton 26- Cobham 30, and Sept 2017 Cobham 36-Brighton 36 Therefore when Brighton raced into a 29-6 lead after 20 minutes it didn't look like they were reading the script for these games. As the final result shows the script was indeed eventually followed delivering a dramatic and exciting performance from both teams.
Although Brighton had lost the previous week to a resurgent Havant their opening salvo was spearheaded by veteran prop Trevis who was playing his 230th match and scored his 92nd try virtually from the kick off 5-0.Penalties were then traded by Farrelly and Brighton's O' Hagan 8-3.
Cobham put together some probing attacks with Captain Olly Fox creating some great lines but it was Brighton's number 6 Oscar Waite who scored next ensuring possession from a line out wasn't wasted. O'Hagan converted 15-3. Brighton then repeated the move to enable Hoare to extend the lead 20-3 converted to 22-3 and although Farrelly recovered a penalty soon after, 22-6 the next try came from some deft footwork from Brighton winger Fogerty and with O'Hagan again converting Brighton had created what looked to be a comfortable 29-6 lead.
Cobham could have easily folded at this point but showing great character and increasing confidence throughout the team they launched a come back before the break when stand off Tom Farrelly took a quick tap penalty and cross kicked for winger Oli Kitto to collect and score Farrelly converting to reduce the gap 29-13
Cobham still had a mountain to climb if they were to secure a result and the intensity of the rugby in the first ten minutes of the second half suggested that is what they intended to do. Ben Joyce was creating pressure in the scrum and Brighton lost second row White for collapsing the maul When Cobham moved the ball wide the evasive running of the wingers Sanders and Kitto caused mayhem but it was combination of full back Holmes and Centre Macdonald who crossed the line to make it 29-18 converted to 29-20.
Against the run of play Brighton added to their lead 36-20 but once again displaying courage and commitment in a moved started by Ben Joyce running down the line and finished by winger Will Sanders Cobham responded once again 36-25.
When Kitto was denied the ball by a deliberate knock on, that saw Brighton fly half O'Hagan yellow carded, Cobham had the numerical advantage and they utilised it to full advantage when scrum half Tiernan White dummied to score 36-30 "Game On'' was the comment from the Brighton match commentator and as if to prove that Cobham now took the lead as Farrelly cross kicked for Kitto to collect and touch down Farrelly kicked the conversion to make the score 36-37 with twelve minutes to play.
Brighton had not had any significant possession or territorial advantage in the second half but when they did reach the Cobham half they secured an all important penalty and O'Hagan slotted it over 39-37. With no time for Cobham to respond the script had been played out.
Director of Rugby Steve Pope said ''Well that was some second half performance, Credit to both sides with some lovely rugby played. In the first half The Blues looked ever inch top of the table team, We were second best in every area.
1 Ryan Aujla
2 Theo Buffini
3 Ben Joyce
4 Sam Matcham
5 Ben Latimer
6 Tom Davison
7 Olly Fox (C)
8 Jake McQuade
9 Tiernan White
10 Tom Farrelly
11 Will Sanders
12 George Tunnaclifffe
13 James MacDonald
14 Ollie Kitto
15 Jonny Holmes
16 Chris Lippiatt
17 Ben Yorke ( Debut)
18 Ollie Rockett
Tries :Kitto (2), MacDonald,Sanders,White,
Penalties :Farrelly (2)