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EDF Ruislip

Round One EDF Intermediate Cup

EDF Intermediate Cup

18 October 2008

Cobham 33 Ruislip 7

In another fantastic display of rugby from two fiercely combative sides, Cobham eventually ran out winners after scoring 26 unanswered points in the second half.

This was not so much a game of two halves as a game of five quarters, as the referee let the first half run to an amazing 59 minutes after his watch seemingly stopped sometime during proceedings.

During this initial period, there was little to separate the sides. Play switched from end to end, each side in its turn having periods of pressure in the opposition half, each side defending admirably. Ruislip’s well drilled scrum had Cobham under the cosh from the start, and it was only a masterclass display from No. 8 Jack Davison in dealing with scrum ball under pressure that negated the edge Ruislip had in this area, as time after time he picked up awkward ball at the back of the scrum, smashing his way over the gain line for the pack to recycle, thus putting Cobham back on the front foot, despite some considerable pressure.

After losing centre Botten after only 16 minutes, Cobham were lucky enough to have have the hugely experienced Martin Green as cover; and it was his turnover in midfield that led to a bullocking charge by Davison, taken on by debutant flanker Tom Reid, who handed off the last tackler before opening the score for Cobham after 26 minutes.

Almost from the re-start, Ruislip encamped deep in Cobham’s half, and after a series of drives lasting several minutes, the Ruislip 8 slipped a tackler in open play to score, evening the scores at seven all. Ruislip then enjoyed their longest period of pressure, as they battered away at Cobham’s resilient defence. Somewhat surprisingly, they twice elected to go for scrums having been awarded kickable penalties; and on both occasions, despite getting a good drive on, Cobham’s ruthless defence held firm, and both time broke for a belated half time with the scores still level.

Almost immediately in the second half, Cobham struck the first of two killer blows, when the speedy Blackmore picked off the ball as Ruislip attempted to go wide, and raced 50 metres for an interception try. The second killer blow came five minutes later. Lee Raikes, the Cobham tight head, who had enjoyed a terrific game in the loose, but had been a little under pressure in the tight against a smaller much more experienced operator, made way for the vastly experienced Darroch-Warren. Ruislip, having previously been very comfortable on their own put-in at the scrum, suddenly found themselves driven back as Cobham stole one against the head which replacement scrum half JP O’Reilly was happy to run in to extend the lead to 21 – 7.

From there, there was no way back for Ruislip, and whilst they could not be accused of rolling over easily, some of the ferocity they had earlier displayed was gone. A fine take and drive at a lineout saw hooker Mark Bennet drive over for a fourth try as Cobham entered the fourth (or was it fifth?) quarter; and with ten minutes to go, Ruislip went for touch with a penalty, and having kicked it dead, saw themselves back on half way for a scrum. From the ensuing scrum, Davison picked up, young Jones-Davies at fly half cheekily chipped his opposite number, regathered, and sent centre Fisher in from 40 metres to close the scoring at 33 – 7.

Cobham will have enjoyed this result. Although the score line may have been mildly flattering in the end, this was a terrific performance against a well organized and decidedly useful Ruislip side. Teenager Jones-Davies at fly half in only his second 1st XV game, had another fine afternoon, and taking over the kicking duties, landed 4 from 6 attempts. Debutant flanker Tom Reid also looked more than capable at this level, before being forced off with a knock at half time.

Next week Cobham are back in league action, with a challenging trip to Gravesend.

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