Cobham Rugby

Match Report Cobham 33-Havant 31

Stunning victory by Cobham - NOW WITH PHOTOS

Cobham had something to prove after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the previous week and director of rugby Steve Pope was looking for Cobham to display their true character and skills against second placed Havant.

Havant in turn were looking for a bonus point win to ensure their position in the play offs for promotion to National League 3. Although they hold a 6 point advantage over third place Tunbridge Wells they have a tougher run in to the end of the season a win today would secure that play off place. 

Havant could not have got off to a better start with two successful line outs followed by a disciplined drive and second row Mitch Golding going over for 0- 5 after 5 minutes.  Cobham, playing in bright sunshine in front of a packed clubhouse came back strongly and maintaining possession and territorial advantage achieved a break through with a driving maul enabling hooker Jake McQuade to level Ross Jones Davies converting 7-5.

Havant's restarts did not go well all afternoon and the pressure they were under to secure a good win told in their penalty count and the first of two yellow cards for an adjudged high tackle. The pressure wasn't relaxed when Clement put up a probing kick down the try line for winger Max MacDonald to chase down and cross 12-5.

Havant are not second for no reason and it was their time to respond with a well executed backline move seeing fly half Joel Knight set up Darren Bamford. Knight converted and after 30 minutes it was 12-12. 

Ross Jones Davies has a teflon quality when it comes to running through the opposition and having gained ground and space he released Max MacDonald for his second try in the space of minutes 17-12. Having maintained pressure on the line cousin James MacDonald took his opportunity  in the corner just being held up as half time was signalled.

Cobhams line out play was outstanding all afternoon with Adrian Van Der Ploeg spoiling Havants throw in time and again The question was having shown Havant that their sought after victory was going to be hard won the question would be after last weeks second half performance could Cobham maintain the advantage.

Havant probably knew from social media that Tunbridge Wells were working their way towards a comfortable victory against neighbours Gosport and Fareham so restoring the lead and gaining four tries was their target and the first play of the second half saw Joel Knight set up winger Jerome Rudder to race through the Cobham defence and score out wide 17-17. However showing character there was an immediate riposte from Cobham as the backline fired and centre Charlie Rooke charged over 22-17.

Ross JD's penalty from far out missed but following Havant's second yellow card, this time number 8 Gavin Hart (who had been a Cobham stalwart ten years ago when he went to New Zealand on a player exchange) the resulting penalty was not missed and Cobham moved further ahead 25-17. 

Jake McQuade's take from the kick off set in train a move that took Cobham back up into Havant territory but their strong defence kept them out. With no way forward Ross JD cross kicked and defying geometry the ball bounced back into the hands of James Clement who pirouetted to collect and score 30-17.

Cobham had a similar lead the previous week and in a similar pattern of play to what they experienced they saw that lead lost as Havant scored two converted tries to retake the lead they had last held after five minutes. 30-31.The bonus point win Havant were looking for was now tantalisingly close but Cobham were not going to see history repeated and when an infringement by Havant provided a penalty option Cobham took advantage through Ross Jones Davies boot 33-31. Cobham played out the final two minutes by keeping the ball tight and out of trouble.

This was a tremendous game of rugby for home and away travelling supporters with both sides utterly committed to the win. 

Director of rugby Steve Pope said ''I'm absolutely delighted for the boys today they have delivered arguably our best performance since I arrived at the club and after the hiding we received at Havant earlier in the season when they were very good for there win. 

 We didn't not play anywhere near our ability that day so it was very pleasing to see the boys play in such a manner today and with such focus.
 
1 -18 all played their part in a fantastic performance  after losing Matt Koep last week & Matt Goddard this week with injuries I was delighted with how everyone responded at training and the boys that came in for them were first class.
 
We showed today against a good strong physical side how we can both play open running rugby and also battle toe to toe. Our game management and control being much better today. 
 
I feel we are showing glimpses over this season of how I hope we will be trying to play next season.
 
I am so delighted for the boys, the 2s and vets also had good win's today lots of the students are back and we look forward to getting them in the mix and the 21's comp over Easter.
 
Well done to all the boys today I am hugely proud of them and we will enjoy this evening. Then move on to working hard to finish off the season with two hard fixtures still to play we really want to see if we can push ourselves up the table.
 
By pushing everyone ahead of us in the table I look forward to our last away trip this season away to Gravesend next Saturday.
 
I know the boys have lots more to show before the end of the season and will enjoy this evening and get back into it next week'.

 

1. Josh Brown

2.Jake McQuade

3.Ben Joyce

4.Joe Goddard

5.Adrian Van Der Ploeg

6.Doug Rodman

7.Rob Flemming

8 Joe Davis

9.Robbie Kennard

10.Ross Jones- Davies

11.James MacDonald

12.Charlie Rooke

13.Charlie Mortimer

14.Max MacDonald

15.James Clement

Finishers

16.Sam Matcham

17.Nathan Spratt

18.Ryan Saunders

Tries :- McQuade, Max McDonald (2) Rooke, Clement 

Conversions:- Ross Jones Davies (1) 

Penalties:- Ross Jones Davies (2)