Last Saturday Cobham travelled down the A3 to second placed London Cornish knowing a win would secure the championship but also aware that their only defeat this season was against this team.
Cobham took the London South West 2 division title on Saturday following a titanic struggle against promotion challengers London Cornish.
Following the rescheduling of the meeting of the league's two dominant sides, the fixture meant that Cobham required 2 points to gain the title, whilst Cornish would need 6 points to gain a playoff position.
With the seasons head to head standing at one all ( league and Cup) the large travelling Cobham support knew they would be in for a bruising encounter.
Cobham welcomed back the return of influential centre Matt Goddard, whilst Matt Koep moved to the 2nd row with veteran Rodman retained at 8.
The early kickoff did not lead to a slow start as The Cornishmen bludgeoned in their typical fashion. They say different styles make for good encounters and the contrast between the 'proper good old fashioned Cornish rugby' the home faithful love, and the high tempo width of Cobham did not disappoint.
The tight early exchanges bore this out. With the lion share of early possession it was clear that Cornish would attempt to maul to victory whilst with less possession, Cobham would look to cut their hosts in the wide channels.
The deadlock was broken in just this fashion. Cobham turnover ball deep in their half sprung a trademark outside break from Goddard. Feeding to his left he found wing James MacDonald who rounded the full back to score. The tricky conversion was nailed by fly half Weir. 0-7
This would be the last meaningful involvement for ever present Weir who succumbed to a tight hamstring on 15 minutes. Tom Farrelly replacing him in the vanguard.
The game then defaulted to Cobham tight defence and Cornish battering. With coaches Pope and Hopper urging their charges to chop low, it seemed that Cornish couldn't quite keep possession for long enough to breach the line meaningfully. Their heavyweight side were gaining yards through the maul and this proved the key to their opening score. A well worked lineout maul leading to a try ten metres from touch. With the conversion missed and a Farelly penalty shaving the posts, Cobhams lead remained 7-5 at half time.
With their backs looking threatening whenever wide, Director of Rugby Pope would want to avoid an arm wrestle and exploit the heavier sides growing fatigue in the second period.
This seemed to be the case as Cobham clawed back larger periods of possession despite the majority of play being centre field. A feeling that a further Cobham score might close out the game became apparent. They thought they had made this breakthrough as only to be denied by an adjudged forward pass.
With the game now into the last 10 minutes the intensity heightened. The Cornish battering ram was desperately being repelled with Cobham travelling speedily up field following turnovers. Still neither dam wouldn't break.
The coup-de-gras came from an unexpected sword. Having broken to the blindside, veteran Rodman's usually direct running style had deceived the opposition. As tacklers pincered simultaneously, a deft offload to the supporting James Clements left the simplest of finishes. Both were mobbed by teammates as Cornish hearts were broken.
With the ensuing conversion struck wide signalling full time, Cobham had achieved their goal. League Champions and promotion to London 1 South.
The squad compiled by Pope, largely made up of young Cobham academy talent numbered over 50. With the u21 side once more County Champions, the signs look bright for side. After the champagne had flowed Pope explained....
Squad from Saturday
1 Josh Brown
2 Jake McQuade
3 Ben Joyce
4 Jules Kunkler
5 Matt Koep
6 Dave Baker
7 Rob Fleming
8 Doug Rodman
9 Rob Kennard (Captain)
10 Oliver Weir
11 James MacDonald
12 Charlie Rooke
13 Matt Goddard
14 Max MacDonald
15 James Clements
16 Chris Lippiatt
17 Joe Davis
18 Tom Farrelly