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Cobham 16 Brighton 15

Report: Saturday November 1st 2014, London South 1

Cobham hosted visitors Brighton for this London 1 league match on Saturday. Brighton are sixth in this league eight places above Cobham. The small crowd were treated to an absorbing, intense and enthusiastic match  with a dramatic ending which gave credit to both sides.

Cobham kicked off facing a deceptively strong breeze on this bright sunny afternoon on a dry playing surface  with both sides displaying determined running and good defence. During this period Cobham gained an ascendancy in their forward play particularly in the set scrums where a number of heels against the head were achieved and the Brighton possession disrupted. Both sides made good inroads into the opposition half forcing good defence from both sides. The defence from Cobham was exceptional causing Brighton to concede many penalties in their efforts to cross the Cobham line. In contrast Cobham did not concede a penalty in this period. Eventually play was concentrated in the Brighton Half with many Cobham attacks one of which was rewarded with a penalty goal after 15 minutes which was kicked by Charlie Hampton. (Cobham 3 Brighton 0)

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From the kick off Brighton increased the intensity of their play forcing Cobham to defend their try line. Brighton were not going to be denied and following a number of mauls forced their way over the goal line only for the Brighton forward to be tackled causing him to lose control of the ball. This set back did not deter this determined Brighton side. The Cobham side were restricted to break outs from their own half  and it was from one of these that Dan Baker made a stunning midfield break only for the ball to be lost thus denying a try under the posts. Brighton returned to the attack with renewed vigour but were denied a score by a determined Cobham defence which did not concede penalties. Eventually the Cobham goal line was breached after a number of driving mauls with a try by Theo Malthouse after 35 minutes which was converted.   (Cobham 3 Brighton 7         

For the rest of the first half play was mainly restricted to the midfield where determined attacks from both sides  was repelled by committed  defences which prevented any more scores. Honours even.

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Playing into the wind Cobham had learnt valuable lessons from the last few games. Good line kicking in defence, retaining possession in their own half which drew penalties from the opposition when attempting to dispossess the Cobham players. Fewer penalties conceded. It was a confident display.

  • Half time Cobham 3 Brighton 7

The second half started with Brighton dominating the early exchanges. They attacked with determination and skill which confined play mainly to the Cobham half. To their credit the Cobham side to a man met this aggressive play with a strong defence  which created attack situations to take play into the Brighton half. Good following of long kicks out of defence with the aid of the wind caused Brighton to concede penalties  and it was from one of these that a kick at goal was missed. The pattern of play was repeated which resulted in a successful penalty converted by Charlie Hampton after 17 minutes. (Cobham 6 Brighton 7.)

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Now it was Cobham’s turn to ’up their game’  which they did to great effect. Aggressive skilful, and determined play took Cobham into the Brighton half where a number of penalties were conceded one of which was converted by Charlie Hampton.  As a result of these penalties the Brighton hooker was yellow carded.  (Cobham 9 Brighton 7)

Cobham were now deservedly in the lead playing confident and skilful rugby. From the kick off play returned to the Brighton try line but following a number of attacking mauls play returned to the midfield where following a Brighton tap penalty  Ben Joyce was yellow carded. Play was  now in the Cobham half with Cobham defending determined skilful attacks by the Brighton side. It was following one of these attacks that Brighton lost possession on the Cobham 10 yard line thus enabling  Max Macdonald to sprint half the length of the field to score unopposed. The difficult kick was converted by Charlie Hampton. Cobham now faced 10 minutes of  stern defence before victory could be celebrated.
(Cobham 16 Brighton 7)

Brighton replied with a number of determined and skilful  attacks. Play was forced to the Cobham try line where the play was concentrated.  Cobham’s defence was thoroughly tested but finally cracked  conceding an easy penalty which was converted by Alex Finch. 
(Cobham 16 Brighton 10.)

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With only a few minutes remaining Brighton were relentless in attack. Cobham defended valiantly but the pressure eventually told and Brighton scored in the corner. The referee signalled that time was  up which left only the conversion to take. The kick was high and straight but hit the cross bar and was retrieved by Cobham. The final whistle blew giving Cobham a well deserved win.

  • Final score Cobham 16 Brighton 15.

This victory albeit a narrow one was well deserved. This confident and skilful squad has improved week by week and with less mistakes being made can compete with many of the sides in this very competitive league. They deserve the support of all club members.