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1sts beaten in EDF Vase

Narrow defeat is first of season...

EDF Senior Vase
Old Reigatians 13 Cobham 11
17 November 2007

Cobham knocked out of EDF Senior Vase

Facing Old Reigatians in the 3rd round of the EDF Senior Vase, the Cobham team was somewhat changed from the previous week with seven different players but the fact that the score difference was only two points at the end it was a good indication of Cobham's strength in depth.

In the first half a Cobham try from Regan Haynes and two penalties from Chris Perry almost matched Reigatians score, also two penalties and a try, the only difference being the conversion. Cobham were in with a good chance at half time being only two points behind and turning around to play slightly downhill on the pitch which should have been a good advantage.

But for the second half Cobham's normal game of rigorous forward play at pace was far more difficult to achieve as it was a damp and chilly November day which made it extremely difficult to add to their score. The quality of play of the two teams was very similar but Reigatians were a little bit better organised in using and responding to the slope of their pitch and were able to defend strongly in the second half. In fact the late kick-off meant that it was dark at the end of the match and Cobham found it difficult to score despite some relentless attacks. Overall Reigatians managed to preserve their two point lead as there was no scoring by either side in the second half.

At the start of the match Reigatians won the toss, played down the slope and were quickly in the lead with a penalty in the opening minutes. Cobham quickly settled into their normal impressive style of play with forwards getting on the attack and making good ground, Regan Haynes having a good run, being well supported by his back row colleagues. Cobham had a few good moves and the forwards got close to the Reigatians line but good defence prevented Cobham from scoring. Reigatians responded with an attack but a hard tackle by Steve Burton stopped them in their tracks and Cobham were able to continue with their attacks.

They had a lineout deep in the Reigatians 22 where a good catch by Ben Pickett gave Cobham possession and the forwards combined well to drive over the line, Regan Haynes scoring a try to give Cobham the lead. But from the following re-start Reigatians responded quickly, winning the ball immediately and beating the Cobham defence in a run to the line, the left winger scoring under the posts, allowing the try to be easily converted and restoring the lead at 10-5. A good run by Regan Haynes took play deep into the opposition half and Chris Perry kicked a penalty to reduce the Reigatians lead to two points. The match then settled down to an even game, neither side was able to dominate, and after Reigatians extended their lead through a penalty, Cobham finished the half 13-11 down after another successful penalty, this time from a well struck kick by Nick Jones.

After half time Cobham played down the slope and there was every chance that they would win if they played their standard game. They kicked off and had some good possession but the game was halted due to the clash between Peter Hinchcliffe and an opposition centre. They both recovered after a few minutes and Cobham then attacked again and won a penalty due to Regatians hands in the ruck, but Chris Perry just missed despite a good kick and the score remained the same.

Reigatians were forced to defend the Cobham attacks and did quite well since the running on the pitch was not that easy. Cobham had plenty of possession but although the difficult defence work was associated with the high kicks, Reigatians were not presented with these kicks until midway through the second half.

Cobham then forced a couple of scrums five metres from the opposition line but were unable to drive over for another try, the wet pitch and dark sky did not help and despite their advantage of possession, Cobham were totally unable to score. Having defended well, Reigatians then attacked and for the next ten minutes the game was played in the Cobham half with Reigatians kicking the ball high and following up strongly, causing Cobham to do nothing but defend. The time went quickly and when Cobham forced play deep into the Reigatians 22 there was little opportunity to score, despite some magnificent attempts by the Cobham team.

This was the first loss of the season, but with many of the top players injured and due to return shortly, Cobham's top form will return in time for the return against Reigatians in the league.

Cobham: N Sutton, A Flower, S Burton, P Hinchcliffe, K Jarvis; N Jones, C Perry; T Lee, W Holland, J Bright, B Pickett, J Forward, B Creed, D Kearsey, R Haynes

Report by Tony Maddocks