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Cobham push Havant all the way in narrow defeat

An exciting and highly contested game on Saturday (18 January), saw both teams play some really entertaining rugby and the outcome not being decided until the final whistle. Both sides had the opportunity to win it but unfortunately for Cobham RFC, it was they who came up short right at the death as Havant recorded a narrow victory by just three points (27-24).

With the score changing hands throughout the match, this was always going to be a tightly contested affair. The visitors received a generous welcome both on and off the pitch, and you could feel the importance of the game for both sides. Cobham scored three tries through Mario Zakakiotis, Theo Buffini and Rory Penfold, while fly half Ant Braithwate converted three penalties, to ensure the visitors headed back-up the A3 with a losing bonus point.

“I’m hugely proud of the boys and the way they responded from a what was a very poor performance last week against Horsham,” said Director of Rugby Steve Pope. “We didn't quite get what we wanted from today but there was a number of really positive improvements from last week. They showed total commitment and, for large periods of the game, looked the more dangerous side with the ball in hand.”

“Havant is a very difficult place to come and get a result. We may well feel disappointed by not taking more from the game given the opportunities we created. We did leave points out there, so we have to work on our decision making and game management. That said, given the reaction of the home side and their supporters at the final whistle, I think they realise they were lucky to hold on in the last 5 minutes.”

“Not to take anything away from Havant, as I've said before that I believe they are the strongest side in the league and best equipped to move into the national leagues; but we showed that when we are on our game, we are also more than capable of competing with top end of the table.”

“Frustrating as it is, we have lots of rugby to play and we will continue to push as hard as we can to show everyone how much we are improving week by week. From 1 to 18, the boys were excellent and hopefully the injury to Yanni isn't as bad as we think. I'm sure there will be some very sore bodies after this bruising encounter.”

“Well done to Havant and we wish them well for the rest of the season. Hopefully we can build on this and work our way into the top 3 and maybe even that play-off place. It’s a fairly quick turnaround for the squad, as we host KCS on Friday evening (24 January) under the lights and that will be another tough fixture. We do hope to see our supporters out in force for that one.”

Cobham 1st XV Squad

1. Luke Bliss

2. Andrew Murphy

3. Mario Zakakiotis

4. Sam Matcham

5. Joe Goddard

6. Louis Porter

7. Theo Buffini

8. Doug Rodman

9. Ryan Saunders (Capt.)

10. Ant Braithwaite

11. Rory Penfold

12. Yanni Loizia

13. James MacDonald

14. Tiernan White

15. Jonny Holmes


16. Olly Fox

17. Adrian Van Der Ploeg

18. Dan Allchurch


Tries: Mario Zakakiotis, Theo Buffini, Rory Penfold

Penalties: Ant Braithwaite (x 3)

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