Cobham Director of Rugby Steve Pope was full of praise for his young team, who battled back to secure an emphatic 37-21 bonus point victory over Havant on Saturday (17 November). Trailing by two scores ten minutes into the second half, Pope then witnessed his team rack-up 27 unanswered points in a thrilling win.
“I thought our boys showed today that they are very capable of beating any team in this league,” said Pope. “We played with more control and pace in the second half which enabled us to build momentum and pressure. We took our points and opportunities well. There was lots of learning from our young side. I thought we were very good value for the win; we scored well constructed tries and played with good tempo and balance.”
“I'm not sure many of our younger players would have experienced much of the old school edge that Havant showed in and around the break down and contact areas. It was great to see the desired response to that in particular after half-time. Not a backward step was taken, and our lads kept their focus on the job in hand.”
“A number of players were exceptional today on the back of a great collective squad effort. Andy Murphy and Mario, great set-piece work and lots of ball in hand from them. Both locks Ben and Tom got through a huge amount of work, while Theo Buffini playing out of position for the second week in a row was great at number 8.”
“The Centre pairing of James Mitchell and James Macdonald did a great job in attack and defence. Tom Farrelly was again top draw in both kicking from the tee and in general play. He directed play really well and put us in the right areas. It was great to see the lads delight and response as James Mitchell went over for the final score, to top off his well-deserved man-of-the-match performance.
Pope also showed his appreciation to the visitor’s performance: “That isn't a Havant side that should be sitting in the position in the league table they currently are. We have been on the wrong side of some big losses to Havant sides in the past and they are always a very physical side. I'm sure they will cause lots of sides problems as they settle into a big run of home fixtures after Christmas. It's never an easy place to travel to.”