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Cobham fight back to claim bonus point in defeat at Old Reigatians

If this match had been played for another 20 minutes there may have been a different result for Cobham but clawing their way back from a 36-5 scoreline was always going to be a tall order. This match provided Old Reigatians Director of Rugby, Richie Andrews with an opportunity to reconnect with Cobham RFC, who provided him with his first coaching opportunity following his retirement from playing for Saracens, where he was their first XV captain in 2000.

The teams hadn't played each other since February 2016 when they were both in London 2 South West. Old Reigatians had the majority of the possession in the opening ten minutes and used that to their advantage to score the first try from a kick ahead. Their second try saw came from winger Finn Coyle, who ran into space and broke a number of tackles to generate a 10-0 lead.

The visitors finally managed to get into the home side's twenty-two and exert some pressure and with the Cobham scrum dominant (frustratingly, for the whole match) they opted for the set-piece when a penalty kick was on offer. Although that scrum didn't provide points, the next penalty/scrum did as number 8 Kaid Bird drove over (10-5).

Sadly that was the closest the scorelines were going to get as OR's took advantage of a loose ball to kick ahead and score in the corner (15-5). In what was proving to be another physical encounter, Cobham lost both Bird and Captain Ryan Saunders to injury as the first half drew to a close. Ben Harper came after half-time on the wing, with Tiernan White picking up the scrum half role.

Harper hadn’t been on for long when his interception attempt was adjudged to be a deliberate knock-on and he was shown a yellow card. Old Reigatians took advantage of the extra man and some loose passing to run in two further scores, which centre Lucas Overtoom converted to extend the lead (29-5). Cobham heads were dropping and the match looked to be out of reach when, after some aerial ping pong, the home side sent the ball wide where flanker Finlay Lock combined with second row Jack Baart to make the scoreline (36-5).

Cobham could have been forgiven for caving in at that stage but Director of Rugby, Billy Davison will at least have been heartened with Cobham's play in the final quarter. They initially ground out a try in the corner for prop Luke Bliss, which was swiftly followed by a Ben Harper, Will Hebbes double act that put Hebbes over. With the game drawing to a close, scrum half White threw a long pass to winger Harper for a bonus point try. Final score, 36-22.

With Beckenham losing their winning record to Battersea Ironsides, Reeds Weybridge losing and Sidcup deservedly winning their first game of the season, the league is very open but Cobham will regroup after a week’s rest to play London Cornish at home on 4 November.

Cobham Manager Tom Schofield said: “Full credit to Old Reigatians, they took full advantage of our loose play and deserved their win. However, credit to our players for not giving up and going after the try bonus point. It was also great to catch-up with Ritchie Andrew’s after the game and we look forward to welcoming Ritchie and Old Reigatians back to the Memorial Ground later in the season.”

Cobham 1st XV Squad:-

1. Chris Lippiatt

2. Dave Stewart

3. Luke Bliss

4. Felix Lowe

5. Joe Goddard

6. Wesley Van Der Ploeg

7. Louis Porter

8. Kaid Bird

9. Ryan Saunders (Capt.)

10. Jonny Holmes

11. Tiernan White

12. Taylor Burnett

13. Will Hebbes

14. Rory Penfold

15. Will Stephen


16. Joel O’Keefe

17. Luke Westgarth-Taylor

18. Ben Harper


Tries: Bird, Bliss, Hebbes, Harper

Conversion: Harper

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