Cobham completed the double over Chichester for the first time in 8 meetings between the 2 clubs.
There was a large crowd with the pre match Volunteers & VP’s lunch in the upstairs bar & other members in the sports bar supporting the teams.
The team saw some changes from last weeks trip to Brighton with Wings Alex Aves & Miles Fletcher coming in. Doug Rodman came into the Backrow & Tom Prigmore made his full debut in the 2ndrow after coming off the bench last week. Centre Ollie Rammage came into match squad for the first time.
With the weather more suited to ducks Cobham knew they would need to be very accurate with all their play in attack and defence.
After a slow start at Brighton, Cobham knew a good start would be needed against a physical Chichester & after 10 minutes Cobham found themselves 9-0 up, thanks to the boot of Centre Tom Farrelly. Cobham forcing Chichester into mistakes and giving away crucial points. Josh Brown, Sam Matcham & Ollie Fox causing Chichester problems at break down.
Despite the conditions, fullback James Clements was making inroads up the middle of the park every time he got the ball in hand and on one of his excellent runs from the back,was able to link up with fly-half Luke Flower to create a 2 on 1 to put wing Miles Fletcher in for the 1st Try, converted by Farrelly. Cobham 16-0 up.
With the conditions not letting up, Chichester were looking to get back in the game, trying to turn the Cobham defence with probing kicks. From one of these kicks Cobham missed a loose ball, allowing Chichester to regain the ball & go in under the posts 16-7 to Cobham.
With 10 minutes of the 1st half left, Chichester’s pressure got them a 2nd Try. Cobham’s defence was keeping Chichester out up the middle of the park, with Centre George Tunnacliffe leading the line all day, but with a cross field kick Chichester’s flyhalf found their left wing to score in the corner.
Conversion missed 16-12 to Cobham.
Cobham looked to exert more pressure back on Chichester and from the restart, gained a penalty which Farrelly took on from out wide which narrowly missed the post. Ending the 1st half with the scores at 16-12.
2nd half saw Cobham make a change with Nathan Spratt coming on for Tom Prigmore.
Despite the conditions, Cobham’s line out & scrums had been going well with Joe Goddard & Captain Adrian Van Der Ploeg exerting pressure on Chichester’s line out forcing a number of turn overs.
The frontrow of Brown, Murphy & Matcham are starting to become a real force as a unit together & were making life difficult for the opposition in the tight & loose.
Cobham looked to add a more physical edge to the back line with the conditions not letting up and Centre Ollie Rammage came on for Miles Fletcher to give the team a different option & carry. Rammage having a instant impact taking ball from scrum-half Disley-May off the line out & making dents in the Chichester defence.
Both defences were holding firm with neither side giving an inch in the wet conditions. With the scores still 16-12, Cobham got a penalty for offside in Chichester defence with Farrelly looking to nudge Cobham further ahead, but the ball hitting the posts & Chichester cleared their lines.
With 10 minutes to go, Cobham gained another penalty from Chichester’s hands in a ruck and Farrelly stepped up again to extend Cobham’s lead to 19-12.
From the restart, Cobham carried well back up into the Chichester half and with Cobham’s pressure exerted on Chichester, gained another penalty. This time Cobham went to the corner looking to keep hold of the ball & get one final score to finish the game.
From the resultant line-out, Cobham carried deep into the Chichester 22 with Hooker Murphy just short of the Line, then a further carry by flanker Rodman and help from the rest of forwards, had him go over the line for the final score and deny Chichester a loosing bonus point. Farrelly converting as the final whistle went.
26-12 to Cobham.
Cobham head into the final match of January away to Maidstone next weekend.
All Travelling Support Welcome.
After the match DOR Steve Pope said :-
" Well I have to say I'm totally delighted for the boys today, after a good start to the New Year the players are really starting to play some quality football.
The manner, control and application the players have shown over the last few games has been really pleasing.
In terrible conditions, the boys showed they can play both direct and expansive rugby. Against a good Chichester side they completed a home and away double. Some consistency in selection is starting to show in our performance And competition for selection is growing across the squad.
5 in a row is just what we asked for and although a cliche, one game at a time is how we are focusing on the second half of the season. We really need to build on this momentum and we want to push everyone above us hard.
Some excellent performances today ... The whole front row...
Joe Goddard ...if fact the whole pack..
along with George Tunnicliffee, James Clements to mention a few. in fact to a man the squad were outstanding today.
Looking ahead to next week and a tough fixture away to Maidstone, hopefully some important players returning to fitness to again raise the level competition
Big thanks to everyone who made the effort to watch in such awful weather."
1 Josh Brown
2 Andrew Murphy
3 Sam Matcham
4 Tom Prigmore
5 Joe Goddard
6 Doug Rodman
7 Ollie Fox
8 Adrian Van Der Ploeg (C)
9 Christian Disley-May
10 Luke Flower
11 Miles Fletcher
12 George Tunnacliffe
13 Tom Farrelly
14 Alex Aves
15 James Clements
16 Richard Philip
17 Nathan Spratt
18 Ollie Rammage
No 11 Miles Fletcher x 1 Try
No 6 Doug Rodman x 1 Try
No 13 Tom Farrelly x 4 Penalties x 2 Conversions
Cobham Allstars 45 London Exiles 14