Cobham Rugby

RFU Intermediate Cup Match Report- Cobham 24-London Cornish 18

Cobham progress to the next round with solid display against strong opponents

This RFU Intermediate Cup clash was eagerly anticipated as it brought together the league leaders and the only team to have beaten Cobham all season. Luke Bliss and Andy Alexander came onto the bench and both took their opportunities when they were presented. 

Early pressure from Cornish, playing with a gusting wind behind them, could not be translated into points when fly half Philip Dale was unable to convert a penalty . It was Cobham, somewhat against the run of play, who  took the lead after ten minutes when the versatile Josh Brown broke through the Cornish defence and utilised a basketball - some might say a netball- pass to allow winger James MacDonald to score.  Weir converted  defying the wind( 7-0) 


London Cornish Josh  Brown.jpg

Cornish came straight back and it needed the first of many strong tackles from back row Dave Baker to prevent the visitors scoring under the posts but  the 'diminutive' Dale, as the Cornish coach referred to him, put Cornish on the scoreboard with a penalty. (7-3)

(In fact neither team were able to get 'on the scoreboard' all afternoon as the numbers were locked away in a shed so home and away supporters were required to use their mental arithmetic skills to keep up to speed).

Cobham's running game has been a feature of their success this season and in particular Matt Goddard's strong running and from the territory gained Trepant dived over to extend the lead (12-3 ).

Weir's conversion  (14-3) was the last successful kick of the game as the wind increased  It was going to be tries that would decide the final outcome and it was Cornish who achieved that next try. The Cobham scrum was struggling against a pack that looked heavier and when an infringement gave Cornish the line out close to the home side try line they showed they could emulate Cobham in the rolling maul and prop Mark O'Leary emerged triumphant 14-8.

With the wind dictating that a significant proportion of the first half had been played in the Cobham half it was the incisive running of Wehbe and Goddard that was making the difference and Cobham's third try for Max MacDonald was set up by a deft offload from full back Johnny Wehbe 19-8.

Johnny Wehbe London Cornish.jpg

With the wind behind them Cobham will have gone into the second half confident of extending that lead but in the first five minutes they lost second row Tom Webb to a yellow card for a high tackle infringement and could not withstand Cornish's expansive running as they put themselves back into contention 19-13.

Another aspect of Cobham's game this year has been their ability to bounce back and so it was on this occasion as a quick line out to Wehbe released Max Macdonald to outpace the defence 24-13. Cobham will have wanted that to have been the final scoreline but Cornish number 8 Mark Osei -Tutu had different ideas and Director of Rugby Steve Pope may have been disappointed that a blindside play from a scrum saw Osei-Tutu go over virtually unopposed as the defence failed 24-18 

Director of Rugby Steve Pope said at the conclusion of the game :-

'We were all delighted with the result, London Cornish are a very good side, well coached and a good set of guys.
It was always going to be a physical encounter League or Cup, After our home defeat  to them earlier in the season we had all been very keen to get back in to action against them and we were very disappointed to not play last weekend in the away League fixture.
Both sides played some nice football and for me today - personally I was pleased to see our boys perform as they did - defense and physicality this week was outstanding in large parts of the game, our attack is improving every week and we look dangerous from anywhere on the field.
It was a tough game and I'm pleased to say it showed me a great deal about all the players who are hungry to improve as a group.Huge credit must go to the whole senior playing group as competition for places is high across the whole squad. We will keep our focus on each game and take nothing for granted with some big fixtures ahead.
Last week I was able to watch the Cobras play very well away to Twickenham and it encourages me hugely that as a club we are beginning to regularly field two strong senior sides,which is great for the club.
It will be interesting to see what the Cup draw throws up for us in the next round? Some very good opposition still in this competition. 
We also look forward to the remaining league fixture with Cornish, hopefully it will be towards the end of the season if we are able to progress in the Cup... as the fixtures are always closely contested.Cornish have a huge league game this weekend against Portsmouth and I'm sure will be keen to maintain the pressure on us at the top end of the table.
Still lots of football to be played this season so focus is very much on this week's match at home to Basingstoke''

1. Josh Brown

2.Joe Davis

3.Ben Joyce

4.Jules Kunkler

5.Tom Webb

6.Dave Baker

7. Rob Fleming

8.Richard Trepant

9.Robbie Kennard ( Captain) 

10 Ollie Weir

11.Max MacDonald

12.Matt Goddard

13.Charlie Rooke

14.James Macdonald 

15. Johnny Wehbe


16. Andy Alexander

17.Luke Bliss

18. Jean-Louis Gravier

19. Alex Alves


Tries :-James MacDonald ,Trepant,  Max MacDonald ( 2) 

Conversions :-Weir ( 2)