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Gosport and Fareham 29 Cobham 20

Report: Saturday October 25th 2014, London South 1

Cobham travelled to Gosport for this London 1 League match on Saturday, October 25th. Gosport are 4 places ahead of Cobham in the lower half of the league with a much better points difference.

The match began in bright sunshine on a very dry playing surface with Cobham playing into the sun and a strong westerly wind which as we shall see had a telling influence on the result of this match. Using the weather conditions to the full Gosport exerted early pressure on the Cobham defence forcing play to remain in the Cobham half. Cobham defended well and were limited to relieving kicks and break outs only to be driven back to their 25. On one such break out possession was kept and good rucking led to decisive running by the Cobham backs which resulted in a testing kick ahead by James MacDonald who just failed to complete this attack by good covering from the Gosport defence. Cobham were able to maintain this pressure from the resulting line out and good rucking which led to a try from scrum half Harry Mobbs which was converted by Dave Flower. (Cobham 7 Gosport and Fareham 0)

This was a bright confident start from this young Cobham side and exactly the game to be played in the prevailing weather conditions. However Gosport stung by this early score had renewed energy and vigour and for long periods play was restricted to the Cobham half. Cobham defended well and were able to mount a number of attacks from their own half to relieve the constant pressure from Gosport. However the pressure told and from a failed penalty kick out of defence from Cobham the Gosport attack was fluent and penetrating combined with missed tackles from the Cobham defence resulted in a try for Rory Penfold which was converted by Wayne Duggan. (Cobham 7 Gosport and Fareham 7)

The latter half of this first half proved to be crucial in the outcome of this match. It was during this period that the constant attacks by Gosport took its toll on the Cobham side. Cobham defended valiantly but chose to kick out of defence rather than retain possession and run at the opposition. When the latter option was taken ground was made and good attacking positions were achieved. These were not converted into points due to poor finishing, the loss of attacking line outs and mauls allowing Gosport to break out of defence and advance to the Cobham try line. Many penalties and crucially two yellow cards followed.

The pressure was maintained by Gosport and from a tap penalty close to the Cobham line a try was scored by Chris Thompson and converted by Wayne Duggan. (Cobham 7 Gosport and Fareham 14)

For the rest of the first half Gosport continually attacked but were met by stiff resistance from Cobham who to a man defended with great spirit even though they were for a time down to 13 men. Cobham were reduced to sporadic offensive attacks and it was from one of these that Gosport were forced to kick out of defence which was allowed to bounce by the Cobham defence. The bounce was cruel which allowed the Gosport player, Wes Duggan, to his credit following the kick ahead to collect the ball and score under the posts which was converted by Wayne Duggan. (Cobham 7 Gosport and Fareham 21)

  • Half time Cobham 7 Gosport and Fareham 21.

The second half began with substitutions from the bench for Cobham. Cobham with good possession from all aspects of the game gained good territorial advantage exerted early pressure which resulted in a penalty being converted by Dave Flower. (Cobham 10 Gosport and Fareham 21)

Good attacking positions were thwarted by a very resilient Gosport defence and many Cobham mistakes. Gosport defended well during this period and chose with great effect to run out of defence making good ground on many occasions. Strong abrasive running forced play to the Cobham try line which resulted in an unconverted try by Wes Duggan. (Cobham 10 Gosport and Fareham 26)

For the rest of this second half Cobham attacked with great spirit and commitment but were met by a strong defence which produced Cobham mistakes and the occasional foray into the Cobham half. Now it was Cobham’s turn to turn a defensive position into attack. A superb determined run by Josh Brown was halted a few yards from the Gosport line. Good backing up produced a try for Luke Charlton which was not converted. (Cobham 15 Gosport and Fareham 26)

The same pattern continued with Gosport breaking out of defensive positions in between many attacks from Cobham. One of these resulted in a simple penalty for Gosport converted by Wayne Duggan. (Cobham 15 Gosport and Fareham 29)

Cobham continued to attack with renewed vigour and were rewarded for this pressure in the last minute with a try by Luc Jones in the corner who went over for the touch down unopposed. The conversion was missed and the final whistle blown.

  • Result. Cobham 20 Gosport and Fareham 29.

All credit to this Cobham side for their effort and commitment. Cobham mistakes and better use of the weather conditions by Gosport gave them victory.