If there was ever an occasion when the scoreline of a game, Warlingham 15-Cobham 12, might best be left to tell the story this was one of those games. Unfortunately that scoreline does not reflect how the match panned out so, in what will make unusual reading for Cobham supporters, this is the match report of a defeat for Cobham First XV.
Director of Rugby, Steve Pope wanted to blood some youngsters and give players who had supported the squad all season the chance to shine. Unfortunately he would not have known that Warlingham were welcoming back a couple of key players who had been absent for some time, which together with the wind ( and altitude) at Warlingham, was going to prove difficult for Cobham.
The signs were ominous for Cobham when almost immediately centre David Priest set up a try for Warlingham with a strong run 5-0 emphasising that having lost four consecutive matches Warlingham did not want a fifth and they wanted the scalp of the league leaders.
Cobham certainly had the stronger scrum on the afternoon and were able to boss Warlingham up front but despite the possession this provided there were frequent turnovers for Warlingham as they were quicker to the breakdown.
Pedro de Campa Silvas, on the Cobham wing, showed what could be achieved when Cobham did go wide as he ran through the opposition and James Mitchell in the centre showed some excellent defensive skills but Warlingham just did not allow Cobham to play their usual running game and although the Cobham defence held firm the majority of the match was played in the Cobham half.
In a rare display of frustration Cobham's Director of Rugby was making his thoughts known from the dead ball area with the suggestion that Cobham needed to ' emphatically wake up' or at least that was the printable version.
Warlingham did secure one further score when a penalty, which saw second row Tom Webb yellow carded, was turned into points 8-0 at half time.
Turning around there was an unusual combination of two scrum halves in the backline as Robbie Kennard came in at stand off as James Clements came off injured, Andy Alexander came on at prop with Captain Josh Brown moving to hooker but it did not stop the 'Raging Bulls' who are one of Warlingham's sponsors and the next score will have taken the wind out of Cobham's sails. A penalty attempt from Warlingham wasnt going to get there but back row Alex Skinner wasnt going to let that stop a score. Following the kick fast he recovered the ball, evaded a couple of defenders and scored under the Cobham posts 13-0 easily converted to 15-0 and the home side looking out of sight.
Even going down to 14 men when a high tackle was yellow carded didnt stop Warlingham but as the away supporters were accepting the inevitable and the euphoria of the previous weeks promotion temporarily forgotten Cobham showed why they had secured their position running in two tries from winger Oille Kitto and centre Matt Goddard in the last five minutes of the game. James Mitchell converting one. If only for another five minutes but that would have been a travesty for Warlingham who played well
Final result 15-12
Cobham finish their season next week with a home game against Winchester who lost their play off chance losing to London Exiles