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Saturday 02 November 2013 – Cobham 3XV vs. Old Paulines 3XV

Fifth league match of the season played at Old Paulines RFC

The sun was shining and the wind was howling like a particularly boisterous wolf and, given the start of the autumn internationals, Cobham received Old Paulines’ kick off at the earlier start time of 12:30pm - all fifteen players just about managed to get out of bed on time (This was vital given that there were no substitutes!).  New faces in the team included Stephen Jeatt and Howard Browning, whilst James McGlughlin and Chris Connelly were relatively new starters from The Chris Melton Academy.  


Cobham wisely used the wind to play a territory game in the first half, but an aggressive performance by the forwards at the breakdown meant the team also enjoyed more possession.  As Kieran Notter and Howard Browning provided the oomph, Tom Cullen, Ian Snead and Chris Melton were rock solid in the scrum – meaning the backs had a good platform on which to attack.   The first meaningful attack saw Cobham put many phases together near Old Paulines’ twenty-two yard line, including plenty of pick-and-goes – and ended with a chip kick to the corner resulting in a Cobham throw-in.  Gutsy Cobham battled back into the opposition’s twenty-two and, from a scrum, James McGlughlin picked up from the base and reverse passed it to Howard Browning to dive in under the posts!   


Confidence grew as the half wore on, with slick passing from Stephen Jeatt, Noah Kulei and Matt Sanderson creating two opportunities for David Price to speed down the wing like the Looney Tunes’ Road Runner.  Sumptuous interplay between Phil Hunt, Chris Dack, Kieran Notter and Tom Cullen almost resulted in a Blanco-esque score from Cobham’s own twenty-two, but a few phases later concerted pressure up front led to a Chris Connelly try in the corner.  0-12 to Cobham.  A disappointment for Cobham in the first half was an injury to Kieran Notter, meaning he had to switch positions with winger Dave Mardon – for the rest of the match Dave got thoroughly involved in the unfamiliar position of second row.  A further disappointment was that Cobham gifted a try to Old Paulines at the end of the half.  


Ah, the melancholy of writing a Cobham 3XV second half report…


Captain Ian Sneed spoke of playing with intensity and passion in the huddle at half time and perhaps Cobham should have heeded this advice sooner rather than later as Old Paulines got two quick tries.  It is true however that the blustery conditions worked in favour of the opposition and Old Paulines 3XV are a strong team.  It is also true that some decisions went against Cobham and Cobham played with more heart in the final three-quarters of the game and created chances to score themselves – although Old Paulines ran in another try requiring Cobham to score two converted tries for victory.  As the rain began to lash down Cobham continued to pick-and-go but, given increasingly dire conditions, the line out faltered and in open play there were many knock-ons.  A bright moment was a magical run from full back Joe Janeca, running a line that would appear as a squiggle if replicated on a piece of paper, whereby he put David Price in space to run for the corner (He nearly made it!).    


The final score was 31-12 to Old Paulines.  Cobham will, however, break their second half hoodoo against Old Reigatians on 9 November.



Cobham 3XV

1. Tom Cullen, 2. Ian Snead (Capt.), 3. Chris Melton, 4. Chris Connelly, 5. Kieran Notter, 6. Chris Dack, 7. James McGlughlin, 8. Howard Browning, 9. Phil Hunt, 10. Stephen Jeatt, 11. David Price, 12. Noah Kulei, 13. Matt Sanderson, 14. Dave Mardon, 15. Joe Janeca


Match Report Editor: Phil Hunt