Cobham travelled to Chiswick to play the team retaining second place in the league -CS 1863. Previously known as Civil Service RFC, they are one of the remaining* founder members of the Rugby Football Union in 1871 and as their name implies were themselves founded in 1863.
Having only lost to Medway and Chichester this season Cobham knew that they would be facing stiff opposition and they would also have to contend with a number of enforced team changes.
From the kick off Cobham gained the first scrum and immediately demonstrated their strength with new cap number 8 Richard Smith Bernal driving the pack forward. However CS 1863 have not achieved their league table position without scoring some good tries from incisive running and although Cobham withheld the backline for five minutes eventually number 7 Will Scott scored for the home side supporting a line break from full back James Houston, who added the extras 7-0.
Cobham's line out play was secure all afternoon with hooker Rich Phillip hitting his men Joe Goddard and Captain Adrian Van Der Ploeg and Cobham director of rugby Steve Pope will have been delighted with the immediate response from Cobham as they turned territorial advantage from a line out into a truck and trailer enabling Josh Brown to score an unconverted try 7-5.
There followed a passage of great free flowing rugby from both sides with CS 1863 shifting the ball along their line and requiring big tackles from Cobham to hold them back. Eventually full back James Houston broke through converting his own try 14-5 and as if the pace was not fast enough there then followed a frenetic period demonstrating high fitness levels from both sides. Eventually Tom Croft set up fly half Adam Nixon for the home sides third try on the half hour 19-5 and that remained the score at half time.
Cobham will have wanted to withstand the onslaught that they knew would be coming and will have been disappointed when second row Elliott Davis scored CS 1863's bonus point try converted by Houston 26-5 but that proved a turning point for Cobham who dug deep. They not only withstood any further scores but they enjoyed their best period of the game in a second half they edged. Special mention to full back Will Stephen for some try saving tackles and Richard Smith Bernal, Sam Matcham Rich Phillip for some barn storming charges- Matcham literally losing his shirt in one encounter. However despite territory and possession it took a well intercepted pass by Max MacDonald, deep in his half to advance the Cobham score by running the length of the pitch .Tom Farrelly converting 26-12
Cobham took further advantage when another great scrum provided scrum half Ryan Saunders with the opportunity to drive over Farrelly ensuring a bonus point final score line. 26-19
5.Adrian Van Der Ploeg
8.Richard Smith Bernal
14 Jordan Oldenshaw
16 Paul Mayer
Tries:- Josh Brown,Max MacDonald,Ryan Saunders
Conversions :- Farrelly (2)
* Other remaining members of Rugby Football Union Blackheath, Guy’s Hospital, Harlequins, King’s College, Richmond, St. Paul’s School and Wellington College