The match report this week is a first hand account from Director of Rugby Steve Pope
It was one of those days where anything that could have gone wrong did. Both sides (1st & 2nd teams) travelling away and getting caught in horrible traffic , affecting both teams preparation heavily. (More on this in a moment).
However I have to say that from both a coaching and personal point of view I gained even more respect for the Cobham players as a collective group on and off of the field as a result of today's performances.
1st XV :
Arriving at Tunbridge Wells RFC late due to an accident on the M25 they had a very rushed and fractious warm up which didn't help how we started the match.
A very focused and effective home side used the large slope to their advantage in the opening exchanges, playing a direct but effective style of rugby that is clearly working for them this season. Taking an early lead through a well worked movement that saw their centre Charlie Harding score out wide. Fly half Frank Reynolds converting 7-0.
This was a physical and bruising encounter with both teams clearly up for the battle.The first 20/25 minutes saw the home side with a large amount of possession and territory.
The score ticking over a second try through some good inter play enabled full back Pope ( no relation!) to score. Reynolds to again convert. 14-0.
As coach, water boy, and Cobham touch judge for the day, I was rather busy and struggled to keep up with the fast ebb and flow of the game but was able to record the power of Matt Goddard scoring under the posts for Cobham. Weir converting 14-7.
A further Tunbridge Wells score in the far corner after some confusion about a knock on enabled the home side to stretch their lead to 21-7
but Cobham came back with a very positive period of play from which saw hooker Jake McQuade score from a push over. Ollie Weir converting to make it 21-14 at the break.
The second half saw the Cobham side pick up where they left off. playing with real intent and really applying pressure scored through Matt Koep 21 -14. As the Cobham side chased the home side and began to gain more momentum a lose pass fell to Tunbridge leading, after a further passage of play to a score making it 28 -14.
I have to say the physicality and application of the whole squad in the final quarter of the match was top draw. With some of the control and game management first class given the context of the match and score line.
Always exciting and ambitious with our attacking play watching the last 5 minutes would have had any neutral on the edge of their seat as we mounted a wave of attack after attack on the opposition try line.
The pressure finally told and winger Charlie Mortimer went over to make the score 28 -21. Weir adding the extras
With less than two minutes remaining Cobham worked through nine to ten phases of play and from the kick off down into the home sides half. Unfortunately as close as they seemed to be in breaking the home side's defence it held and at the final whistle the score finished 28 -21 to Tunbridge Wells.
Although every one with be very disappointed to only come away with a point we can be encouraged by the effort, application and desire shown by all 18 Cobham players. Credit must go to the home side who were very strong and gave as good as the got in every quarter, a top set of guys who we look forward to seeing back at Cobham for another hard fought contest.
I can't pick any individual out today with regards to the whole squad playing an important part in the teams performance today, however Andy Alexander reached 100 first team appearances today a massive achievement-Well done Andy.
2nd XV :-
I must also touch on the 2nd team who achieved a fantastic win today away to Blackheath.
With only thirteen men from the very start of the match they managed to win against full side by 21 -14 a massive effort and by all accounts a great performance.
So sometimes the most testing of days can really help develop the heart we need in our players and teams.
Well done boys
Steve Pope- Director of Rugby