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Cobham 7 Sidcup 27

Report: Saturday March 7th 2015, London South 1

On Saturday, March 7th, Cobham were hosts to visitors from Sidcup for this London 1 league match. Sidcup are at present 3rd in the league  and as possible promotion candidates posed a real threat to the fast improving young Cobham side.   Cobham after a difficult run of games against the top sides achieved a hard fought and deserved win against Brighton to give some ‘breathing space’ from five other clubs. At this stage of the season taking in consideration Cobham’s  league position all matches are of great importance as a good performance would cement a mid table finish at the season’s end in April.

Cobham kicked off on a bright sunny afternoon having the slight benefit of a mild breeze . From the first whistle Cobham played determined, enthusiastic and skilful rugby which kept Sidcup in their own half and forcing them  to defend continuous attacks. The forwards led well by captain Joe  Goddard secured  good clean possession which was quickly and expertly delivered by debutant Christian Disley-May at scrum half to the threequarters marshalled at fly half by Sam Watkinson. Many attacks were mounted during this dominant period of play and scoring chances made which were not taken. Sidcup’s defence was solid and secure but still the scoring chances were made but not converted into points.

After  12 minutes Sidcup were able to break out of defence and mount an attack but were met by an equally resolute and determined defence. Cobham returned to the offensive forcing play deep into the Sidcup half and remaining on the attack for long periods but unable to convert possession and territory into points.

 After 22 minutes a  magnificent break by winger Max Macdonald was defended well by the Sidcup threequarters and ended with a 25 metre drop out which lead to a period of decisive Sidcup play and territorial advantage. Possession was retained by the rejuvenated Sidcup side and after several recycled plays Joe Thomas the Sidcup lock forced his way over Cobham’s try line to score an unconverted try.

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Sidcup 5

From the restart Sidcup were now on the offensive playing good attacking confident rugby. They were met by an obstinate and determined Cobham side who to a man had the confidence to attack the talented Sidcup side from defensive positions . Forwards and backs combined well but play remained mostly in the Cobham half with Sidcup mounting a number of attacks through their threequarters.  Eventually with Sidcup continuously recycling possession the Cobham defence ran out of  numbers allowing the Sidcup back row Bill Williams to cross the try line to score, which was converted by James Hardy.

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Sidcup 12

 

With only a few minutes remaining of this ‘long’ first half Sidcup continued their assault on the Cobham try line. They were playing quality 15 man rugby which had taken them to third place in this league. On the stroke of half time Sidcup’s aggressive and controlled attacks forced  Cobham mistakes resulting in another score for Bill Williams with James Hardy kicking the conversion.

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Sidcup 19

This was a half of missed chances for Cobham and the clinical finishing of this accomplished Sidcup side.   The match was closer than the score suggested.

Half Time Cobham 0 Sidcup 19

Sidcup started the second half playing the brand of rugby that had served them well in the first half. Play was confined to the Cobham half with the whole side in defensive mode. After 5 minutes a failed kick to touch was run back against the Cobham side and resulted in an unconverted try from Joe Thomas to increase the lead of this confident Sidcup side. 

                                                                                                                Cobham 0 Sidcup 24.

Cobham now put the indecisive performance of the first half behind them and began to match their opponents in all phases restricting most of the plays to the midfield. Cleaner possession was being won enabling the backline to mount a series of attacks on the Sidcup defence. After 15 minutes a  series of driving mauls on the Sidcup try line enabled the ever present Cobham lock Joe McVey to drive over the line for a well deserved score which was converted by Sam Watkinson.

                                                                                                                Cobham 7 Sidcup 24

Cobham continued to play the confident attractive rugby we have seen in recent weeks which tested the Sidcup defence to the limit and although being mainly on the defensive the  second half became a real contest between two committed sides. Sidcup did not ‘sit back’ on their lead and vigorously attempted  to increase their try count. They were met by an obstinate and skilful Cobham side which was in stark contrast to last 20 minutes of the first half. Cobham’s efforts denied any further Sidcup scores other than a simple penalty from Jamie Cutler with only 10 minutes left  to full time.

                                                                                                                Cobham 7 Sidcup 27      

From the restart both sides continued to play their own style of  absorbing rugby we had seen in the last half hour before the referees whistle heralded ‘no side’.

Final score Cobham 7 Sidcup 27

Having played the three top sides in recent weeks, Cobham emerged from the match with great credit, and the knowledge that they can compete at this level with the sides that are above them. They enter the last few games of this season with the confidence that that their style of play and commitment will result in the victories necessary to ensure they remain in this league for next season.

Squad

1.Dan Walsh

2.Chris Gibbons

3.Ben Joyce

4.Joe Goddard

5.Joe McVey

6.Richard Trepant

7.Rob Flemming

8.Alex Stout

9.Christian Disley-May

10.Sam Watkinson

11.Max MacDonald

12.Arran Cowell

13.Pierre Soucasse

14.Harry Mobbs

15.Jean-Louis Gravier

 

Subs

Josh Brown

Doug Rodman

Tom Gwynne