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Cobham 3XV vs. Barnes 3XV Saturday 05 October 2013

Second league match of the season played at Cobham RFC. Score Barnes 45 Cobham 12

On a fairly blustery and overcast Saturday afternoon, Barnes kicked off against Cobham – one of three matches being played on lush turf at Cobham’s spanking home.  Conditions were perfect for rugby.

 

Cobham had a few new faces in the team; Richard Phillip and Nick Mays both started while Ben Disley later made an appearance from the bench.  Cobham welcomed back to the team the ever dependable Wes Price and the elusive runner Kev Langston.  Tim, the aptly built Welsh centre (who played at full-back…), was re-introduced to 3rd team rugby and Cobham also welcomed back the English powerhouse, Luke Hahn!  Sadly Cobham were without two players; James Peacock is still lamenting why Boris Bikes do not come with a stabiliser option and Ian Parker has realised the dangers of Friday nights out.

 

After being well drilled in the warm up by Mike Carty, Cobham produced an assured performance in the first twenty minutes despite not getting the rub of the green with decisions.  Led from the front by captain Sneady, Cobham communicated with each other in defence and made first time tackles, denying Barnes any scoring opportunities for their wings.  Like a hungry Cheetah pouncing on a Gazelle, Chris Dack was ever physical in defence and made hard yards.  Cobham made some promising breaks with  the ball making it to the wings (Dave Price went on a good run just over the halfway line).  During a break out from Cobham’s twenty-two, the ever committed James Jackson picked up a knock to the head and he was replaced by Rob Taylor.  

 

At times Cobham were guilty of offloading when the pass wasn’t really on but it was encouraging that players were making the breaks and feeling confident – so confident in fact that Cobham turned down the chance of three points when camped in Barnes’ half, electing instead to go for the scrum (unfortunately Cobham were penalised in the next phase for holding on).  After a battling first quarter, Barnes led with three points from an ‘in front of the posts’ penalty. 

 

As the first half progressed, Cobham’s scrum was performing magnificently, despite enduring a slow ‘crouch, bind, set’ routine for each engagement.  Tom Cullen, Richard Phillip and Aaran Liston were fronting up, while Wes Price and Tom White were providing the push in the second row.  Cobham won a scrum against the head which gave Kev Langston the time to kick and chase down the right touchline resulting in a Barnes throw-in five yards from their line.  

 

Ronnie Lo is really making the number ten shirt his own with another combative and intelligent performance, and his marshalling of the backs’ defence resulted in a superb interception from outside centre Nick Mays.  Nick still had a lot to do when he caught the ball one handed in the centre of the pitch on Cobham’s thirty yard line, but to the joy of supporters he ran in under the posts for a try.  7-3 Cobham.  Perhaps Cobham players lost concentration slightly as Barnes responded quickly with a try of their own.  Barnes skilfully passed the ball through their three-quarters and their wing cut inside some missed tackles to go over.  It was 7-10 to Barnes at half time.

 

Despite some menacing black clouds the rain held off as Cobham restarted proceedings, but it wasn’t long before Cobham were enveloped by gloom of their own making.  Phil Hunt, playing in his old number nine position, made a poor attempt at a tackle as Barnes ran in a try in the right corner.  Like all good captains, Sneady got the team in a huddle and raised spirits, resulting in a Cobham fight back culminating in a try for Tom White.  Kev Langston and Richard Phillip barrelled through defenders and got Cobham within striking distance.  After a quick penalty tap, on the second phase Tom White bulldozed over.  It was 12-15 and Cobham were back in the game.

 

As with previous form, however, the last twenty minutes was chastening as Cobham conceded thirty unanswered points.  Barnes are a physically fit and skilful team, as demonstrated by the quality of their last try when their right wing picked up the ball in his own half and scored with Jason Robinson-esque aplomb.  Having said this, Cobham must work on physical fitness to play with intensity for the full eighty - and make sure heads do not drop.   Cobham did have chances to add to their score in the dying embers of the game and the introduction of Harry Blackmore, Chris Melton and Ben Disley, amongst others, gave added impetus.  Luke Hahn continued to make bombastic carries although as the game wore on Cobham’s back line saw less of the ball, with a number of scrums being won against the head by a wily Barnes pack.

 

Cobham 3XV have plenty of talent and bags of heart so it will not be long before they register a stonking victory!  (p.s.  Where were you Andrew Taylor?)

 

Squad

15 Tim, 14 Kev Langston, 13 Nick Mays, 12 Luke Hahn, 11 Dave Price, 10 Ronnie Lo, 9 Phil Hunt, 8 Chris Dack, 7 James Jackson, 6 Ian Snead, 5 Tom White, 4 Wes Price, 3 Arran Liston, 2 Richard Phillip, 1 Tom Cullen - 

Subs, Chris Melton, Rob Taylor, Harry Blackmore, Ben Disley.

 

Match Report Editor - Phil Hunt