Cobham Rugby

Match Report Cobham 34-Gravesend 21

Cobham bounce back to secure confident win

It was perhaps inevitable that two teams, only separated by a point in the league, would contest an exciting fixture for their supporters and this game did not disappoint. 

Gravesend went into the game as the marginal favourite having secured one more victory this season, including a decisive win the  previous week against CS Rugby 1863. In contrast  Cobham had lost their last three games and needed to restore their confidence.

With centre Charlie Rooke failing a late fitness test Arran Cowell celebrated his 150th first team appearance, a tremendous achievement that may prove difficult for another to emulate.

As might be expected from two evenly matched teams the play in the fifteen minutes was between the two sides' twenty two lines as they tested each others' defences to find the first gap. Aves showed his pace on the Cobham wing early on but Gravesend's back line demonstrated that it would need to be contained if they were not to break through themselves

At different times both teams had the better of the scrums but Cobham's line out play was marginally superior all afternoon.

An infringement by Cobham allowed Gravesend to get the first points by a easily collected penalty by fly half Dave Dorton 0-3 but Cobham were first over the line when the existential threat  posed by centre Matt Goddard tore through the defence to set up Alex Aves for the first try which fly off Ollie Weir converted 7-3.

Back row Matt Koep always looked menacing from the scrum or line out and after twenty minutes pressure on the visitors line this was rewarded by James McDonald crossing 12-3. Dorton secured a penalty to keep Gravesend in the match 12-6 but it was Goddard once again scoring his second under the posts that enabled Weir to convert 19-6 and then pull further way with a penalty 22-6.

That should have been the half time score but Gravesend demonstrated the threat they posed by using several phases of play to gain territory and enable back row Geoff Marshall to cross in the corner 22-11  Half Time.

Gravesend had no intention of allowing Cobham to extend their lead and from the whistle put Cobham under pressure and only an adjudged forward pass prevented a breakthrough. Cobham came back with the first of many successfully executed rolling mauls only for the final pass to be wasted. Hooker McQuade set up Brown only for him to held up but the next score was for the visitors as Koep was yellow carded for a high tackle and Dorton took the points 22-14 

With the extra player advantage Gravesend winger Temi Okenla run over for a well taken try which Dorton converted and within ten minutes a comfortable advantage had been lost 22-21.

With Koep back on it was now Cobham's opportunity to benefit from the extra man as Gravesend second row Glen Rademan was yellow carded. Cobham had no intention of squandering this game and in the final ten minutes put together some of the best attacking rugby they have played all season with first Goddard going over 27-21 and then after Aves was brought down a turnover scrum provided substitute Joe Davis to run over for a convincing fifth try. Weir converted 34-21. 

Director of Rugby Steve Pope said after the game ' 

A much improved team performance, so pleased for the boys after a tough week. Such a poor performance last week away at Havant had left us with lots to address and today was a positive start to doing just that. The boys really responded well and have trained well this week.
Great performances from a number of the boys individually today, the most pleasing thing for us today was the attitude, application and desire shown.
Awesome to See Az reach his 150th appearances a fantastic achievement.
Great to see the clubhouse busy before Christmas and the Netball girls really made the club Christmas disco so a huge thank you to them for capping off a great Saturday for the boys.
Looking forwards to this weekend and a tough game away to CS Rugby' 

1.Richard Phillip

2.Jake McQuade

3.Ben Joyce

4.Tom Hilton Stevens

5.Julian Kunkler

6.Ali Porter

7.Rob Fleming

8. Matt Koep

9.Robbie Kennard

10.Ollie Weir

11.James MacDonald 

12.Arran Cowell

13.Matt Goddard

14.Alex Aves

15. Jean Louis Gravier 

Substitutes :-

16. Josh Brown

17. Joe Davis

18. Ryan Saunders

Tries:- Goddard (2) MacDonald, Aves Davis

Conversions :-Weir (3)

Penalties:- Weir