Christmas came early for Steve Pope, Cobham's Director of Rugby, in the guise of his team's ten try ‘blitzen’ against Warlingham.
‘The Mighty Warl’ are currently in the midst of a slump in form, having notched up four consecutive wins earlier in the season and on the day they struggled with injuries against a Cobham team showing increased confidence every week and displaying extensive running skills.
Cobham put out three senior sides for the final fixtures of 2015 with the First XV playing on the flood lit pitch, presumably for ‘Elf’ and Safety reasons if the light went. However the conditions were un seasonally warm, other than a wind, which played its part in the proceedings,
The running style that Cobham have been developing all season was evident from the start and the first of many breaks by full back James Clemence provided winger Alex Alves with the first score in the corner converted by fly half Ollie Weir 7-0.
Warlingham responded but almost immediately lost one of their players after a sickening clash of heads and a penalty from Weir compounded their problems. 10-0 and in a reprise of the first try with Macdonald feeding Clemence, Alves was again released to score Weir converting. 17-0 after just fifteen minutes.
Warlingham knew they were up against a side that were adopting a ‘Scrooge’ mentality in retaining possession and would need to achieve the next score. That is what they did with a quickly taken tap penalty that caught Cobham off guard and provided their winger with his Christmas cheer 17-5.
Captain Robbie Kennard was not pleased with that lapse in concentration and over the next ten minutes his encouragement was demonstrated by Clemence breaking though the Warlingham defence twice and Weir converting taking the score to 31-5.
Max Macdonald, having already played his part in the previous scores, then emulated his colleagues by taking his own opportunities to score a brace of tries.
In what must have seemed like some sort of test of his upright kicking skills Weir achieved a faultless penalty/conversion ratio and the first half ended 45-5.
Following the traditional Club Christmas lunch the Cobham supporters were enjoying the zesty performance from a young team. With the comfort of the score line Pope was able to introduce his substitutes, three young players who have come thought the club's junior and youth sections:- Tom Farrelly, Alex Todd and Adrian Van De Ploeg.
However having played without the benefit of the wind in the first half Warlingham were able to at last obtain some possession and territory but against the run of play back row Webb feed Alex Todd for his first try 50-5. Weir hit the post but Webb followed that up with another feed, this time finished by Adrian Van De Ploeg. Converted by Weir 57-5.
Despite Warlingham’s best efforts they could not rein in the Cobham sleigh with Macdonald and Clemence completing their hat trick of tries both converted by Weir to end the match 69-5.
With eight tries for the back three and two for the young guns Director of Rugby Steve Pope was pleased with the high tempo in which the game was played and the control and positive manner in which the whole squad applied themselves with some great rugby being played across all three games. Having already played 41 players in the First XV in eleven games with 14 debutants Cobham are starting to build a really good feeling in the senior squad.
Whilst the management and squad will be delighted with their first half of the season they will want to retain the Christmas present they have given themselves of being top of the league.
Happy Xmas and thanks to all our supporters and we look forward to seeing you at the Memorial Grounds for the match against London Exiles on January 9th