On Saturday Cobham undertook what will be their longest away journey this season to play Dover. Having suffered a second half defeat to CS1863 the previous week, director of rugby Pope's young charges would be keen to seek redemption. In seasons past Dover has always proved to be challenging location for Cobham to gain points as evidenced by a spectacular 0-0 result back in 2009!
The hosts have encountered a difficult start to their league campaign going down away to Kent rivals Maidstone and at home to CS 1863.
The game commenced with Cobham playing down the hill and they took early advantage with a try within five minutes from the fresh full back Ollie Kitto. Latching on to a deft kick through from the elusive Alex Aves, full back Kitto pounced to bag the five points which Farrelly made seven 0-7.
Only a heartbeat later Cobhams scrum dominance led by Sweden international Brown, forced a penalty try.0-14.
With seemingly complete ascendancy the back line clicked into gear again setting Aves screaming in. 0-19 and with 14 minutes on the clock Cobham had found themselves with a solid lead and within touching distance of a bonus point....
Instead of pushing through and putting the shell shocked Dover to the sword, Cobham seemed to take their foot of their hosts throat. Dover buoyed by some line out gifts and sloppy game management by Cobham started their comeback.
With quick succession Dover struck twice with direct and aggressive running, taking advantage of the limited territory available and adding a penalty before hslf time, the hosts had made a game of it. 15-19.
One could sense the sentiment of coach Gibbon's half time debrief... Continue to let the hosts play and suffer defeat or commit to putting the fixture beyond doubt.
However the second period started as the first had finished and Dover playing this half found yards around the fringes to cross from close range. 22-19
Both teams at various different stages during the match had enjoyed virtually complete dominance during the 60 minutes that had been played and the final result was in doubt.
Stung into action capricious Cobham had a game to chase down and it was through their dominate scrum, now bolstered by debutant Simeon Barnes that a penalty try from destructive scrummaging put Cobham back into the lead.19-24
Dover came back with a penalty but the game was sealed shortly afterwards through the cannon boot of Farrelly who slotted a penalty from 45m. 22-29. Seeing out the last five minutes Cobham took away the points and some valuable lessons learned. Talent gets nothing without application.
Next up Pope's Cobham take on local rivals Chobham who went down without crossing to CS Rugby.
Following the Dover raid, Coach Gibbons commented...
"The boys used up a 'get out of jail free" card today. Complacency nearly cost us the points however we dug deep and earned a result. Many teams won't get 5 points at what is a tough ground to play at. We roll on to the local derby next week with a buzz''.