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Brighton 18 Cobham 21

Report: Saturday February 28th 2015, London South 1

Cobham travelled south to challenge an in form Brighton Blues side, flying high after a run of recent strong results. Cobham, driven by the need to distance themselves from the leagues impending relegation fight, knew that points would be hard to come by. The game had the hallmarks of a tight affair as the sides previous encounter was decided by a last minute failed Brighton penalty attempt.

 

The game commenced in a veil of mist and drizzle that refused to abate all afternoon. The early phases reflected this as unforced errors from both sides made for a scrappy affair.

 

The deadlock was broken by Brighton Fly Half Morris with a well struck penalty. 3-0.This kicked the Cobham pack into gear who replied with a well constructed lineout drive deep in the Brighton 22. Richard Trepant the recipient took advantage and scored, expertly converted by Sam Watkinson. Brighton 3-7 Cobham.

 

The two sides then jousted for the much required territory the game would surely hinge on. Brighton, with a stiff wind to their backs managed to pin Cobham back inside their 22.  The resulting set piece pressure led to a Cobham yellow card for open side Fleming and a comfortable penalty slotted. 6-7.

 

Despite the conditions Cobham managed to control the next 10 minutes and saw Fleming return to the field without sustaining further arrears. This galvanised the side who were growing in condfidence towards the halftime break. It was perhaps with one eye to the interval that allowed Brighton to catch the Cobham defence napping as Brighton fly half Morris’ break led to a try on the stroke. This went unconverted leaving the game poised at 11-7.

 

After calm words at halftime the Cobham side started the second period with more intent. The wind aiding the team to find good field position, the Cobham backs started to look threatening. Pressure led to a penalty in front of the posts which Watkinson duly converted and a yellow card for Brighton produced. 11-13.

 

With the game still an arm wrestle, Cobham heads may have dipped when in quick succession scrum half Saunders and centre Thomas left the field with shoulder injuries. This forced part time winger Mobbs to return to marshal the pack whilst front row replacement Brown to shuffle to the wing!

 

Although not entirely alien to the versatile Brown, he found himself in space out wide and following a skilled double hack through and 50m chase, convert what must be a try of the year contender. His teammates mobbing him in elation and a degree of shock!

 

This left the scores at 11-18 and with the wind and momentum behind them, Cobham looked to close out the game. The committed and resolute Blues would have none of it. With five minutes to go they crossed following a series of penalties and eventually touched down under the posts. 18-18 and a nervous 2 minutes ensued for both sides.

 

No one could complain about this result as it reflected a hard fought but largely scrappy game. However with seconds remaining the standout fly half Watkinson found space in centre field and though a series of offloads made ground towards the Brighton 22. Scrambling defence led to a penalty on the edge of the Brighton 22m line. With the referee signalling that the penalty attempted would be the last kick, Watkinson stepped up knowing that a vital 2 points were up for grabs.

 

Extremely cooly he slotted the kick leaving Brighton deflated and the youthful Cobham side elated. 18-21.

 

With both Brighton vs Cobham games going to the last play this year, the two teams have served up great spectacles for there supporters. Cobham will look to emulate Brighton’s consistency when they host 3rd placed Sidcup at the Fairmile this weekend in another key fixture.

 

  • Report @ Dave Silver