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Cobham 24 Sutton & Epsom 23 ....with photos

Report: Saturday September 13th 2014, London South 1

Photo #1

Cobham's first home game of the season was against old rivals Sutton & Epsom and following the heavy defeat against Twickenham Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore stated in the match programme that he was looking for 'a positive reaction from the team' and for them 'to deliver a much improved performance'. Cobham achieved both those objectives in defeating Sutton & Epsom 24-23 and scoring three tries but that final result will have been a little too close for comfort during a second half where Cobham failed to score and Sutton & Epsom clawed their way back into the match.

There were some enforced team changes for Cobham having lost scrum half Robbie Kennard and utility back Jean Louis Gravier in the ''Battle of Twickenham'. Will Elbourne and Dave Flower came into the back line, Dan Walsh and Joe Goddard making a start in the pack.

photo #2 S&E 2014 Photo 3

Sutton and Epsom had also narrowly lost their first game against Guildford and were looking to achieve their first points and they started positively securing two penalties for offside and holding on in the first ten minutes which were ably turned into points by scrum half Steve Munford. (0-6 ). From the kick off from the second penalty Goddard collected and from the possession Watkins ran strongly and from the resulting pressure fly half Dan Brown sailed an opportunist drop goal between the posts to put Cobham on the score board, well he would have done if the numbers had been available.( 3-6 ). A further infringement by Cobham lost the benefit of those points as S & E landed another penalty from the boot of Munford (3-9).

Alex Stout playing at number 8 is home grown for Cobham having been a member of the under 17 youth team who were National Champions in 2010 and having represented England at under 16. He achieved the all important first try of the game from a trade mark rolling maul (8-9) and Tim Green converted well for Cobham to take the lead (10-9). That was extended following a strong run from Joe McVey who broke to set up for prop Luke Charlton to drive over (15-9) and Green again converted (17-9). Cobham kicked away possession for S & E to score their first try but crucially it wasn’t converted (17-14).

Cobham hit back immediately as centre Tom Farrelly, another ex Cobham Youth player, executed a precise kick ahead which winger Max Macdonald chased down in the corner (22-14). There are always points scored or not which prove to make the difference and the conversion that Tim Green achieved from far out may have been one of those moments in this game (24-14). Half Time.

The expression a game of two halves originates from football but it is just as relevant to rugby and S & E will no doubt reflect on what might have been as they gradually fought back and chipped away at the score with further penalties from Munford (24-17) and (24-20)

Cobham's scrum delivery was erratic and disappointing at times throughout the game and S&E now capitalised from this and it was from one such scrum that a further penalty was achieved ( 24-23). It was however a subsequent penalty where S & E hit the post which was a further moment where the game’s final result could have been turned.

 S&E 2014 photo 6  photo 7

S & E having lost their first game by just 2 points will not have been pleased to lose this by just 1 point. Cobham withstood some strong attacks to prevent S & E breaching their line and although Mike Cudmore will have been a little disappointed that Cobham did not have more of the possession and territory in the second half and gain the bonus point fourth try that will have been compensated by the much improved defence.

There is still work to be done but the win enabled Cobham to lift their position in the league by 4 places and will have restored their confidence as they travel to Basingstoke next week























Tries :-Stout, Charlton, MacDonald

Conversions :- Green (3)

Drop Goal :-Brown