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Cobham back to winning ways with bonus point victory over Gravesend

Following a lacklustre performance the previous week against Reeds Weybridge, Director of Rugby Billy Davison was forced to make some late changes to the squad, which required some players to demonstrate their versatility by playing out of their usual position. Max Franks came in for his first XV debut at scrum half, with Captain Ryan Saunders moving to centre.

Gravesend had secured their first win of the season the previous week against Medway, so they were looking to maintain that performance on their return to Cobham after a six-year gap.

The opening ten minutes of play did not provide any indication of the final result as both teams tested each other's defences. It needed a try-saving tackle from full back Fin Savill to prevent a try, when Gravesend intercepted a Cobham move.

The first points went to Cobham from a long-range penalty by Savill. That lead was extended when James Edmunds picked up a loose ball, after Gravesend had looked to keep a penalty kick in play, and touched down under the posts. Savill converted (10-0) before adding a further penalty (13-0) and Cobham looked to be in control. Franks was looking confident on his debut and Doug Rodman was securing great possession at the lineout and running from the base of the scrum.

Gravesend number 10 Rhys Betts slotted a penalty to make it 13-3, but from a Cobham lineout fly half Luke Flower was stopped from scoring but was to provide Louis Porter with an inside pass, which gave him a further try after last week's touch down. Savill added the extras (20-3).

When the visitors had possession, they looked dangerous so it was credit to the Cobham defence that they were unable to break the line. It was from further scrappy play by Gravesend that enabled hooker Andy Muirhead to pick-up and score under the posts, which Savill again converted (27-3). Just before half time, Gravesend used the angles from a lineout rolling maul to add to their tally with a converted try (27-10).

The second half started similarly to the first, with neither team dominating but the impasse was finally broken when winger Max Macdonald ran through Gravesend's tackles and score in the corner for the bonus point try. Savill made the difficult conversion look easy from wide out (34-10).

Gravesend reprised their first try with an identical lineout and rolling maul converted score (34-17) to provide some respect to the scoreline. However, the hosts were still driving forward and with an offload that may become known as a 'Blissy', prop Luke Bliss provided Savill with a fifth try in the corner (39-17).

Sadly, the final period of the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to a Gravesend player in making a tackle; credit to Max Macdonald and the medical teams of each team for providing support to enable him to eventually leave the pitch.

With the final ten minutes played on an adjacent pitch, Muirhead scored again for Cobham before Gravesend claimed a consolation try. The game finished 44-22 that enabled Cobham to move up one place to fourth, before they travel to league leaders Beckenham this Saturday (30 September).


Cobham RFC 1st XV Squad:-

1. Ryan Aujla

2. Andy Muirhead

3. Luke Bliss

4. Felix Lowe

5. Joe Goddard

6. Dave Stewart

7. Louis Porter

8. Doug Rodman

9. Max Franks

10. Luke Flower

11. Max MacDonald

12. Will Hebbes

13. Ryan Saunders (Capt.)

14. James Edmundson

15. Fin Savill


Substitutes:

16. Richard Nunn

17. Hugh Farmer

18. George Pickersgill

Scorers:

Tries: Edmundson, Porter, Muirhead (2), MacDonald, Savill

Conversions: Savill (4)

Penalties: Savill (2)


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