The Cobham Cooters travelled away to the picturesque surroundings of Bushy Park on Saturday to take on the Teddington Stags, the visitors looking to maintain their unbeaten start in the league.
The opening passages of play saw possession change hands several times as both teams sought to obtain the ascendancy.
The first real chance came as Cooters number 8 Chris Dack evaded several tackles inside the Stags 22 before getting over the try line only for the referee to decide the ball had been held up by Teddington,
On 10 minutes the first try of the match was scored. Good work in the lineout fed quick ball to Cobham fly half Rhys Campbell-Smith on the 10 metre line. Managing to break through the first up tackles, he stepped round the full back to dot down just left of the posts. Converting his own try to create a 0-7 lead.
The next quarter of an hour turned into an arm wrestle as both sides jostled for territory. Teddington used their well drilled forward pack to move deep into the visitors half, however a solid defensive display repelled the danger and Cobham were able to clear from the back.
On 26 minutes Cobham produced some powerful forward play of their own. Again Dack was at the heart of it as he sat down the Stags full back with a huge bump-off in the tackle. Quick recycling of possession kept the visitors on the front foot and soon Teddington were pinned back close to the line. A phase or two later and right wing Matt Sanderson found himself in an unfamiliar position to crash the ball over the line from close range.
Just after the re-start a steady flow of interesting penalty decisions against Cobham gave Teddington chances to make good yardage with the boot. The resultant lineouts causing big problems for the Cobham pack, and shortly the ball was driven over for the Stags first points of the game. The Teddington fly half unable to add the extras.
From here the homeside gained momentum and not long after a second try was scored. This time good hands from the Teddington backs moved the ball wide to score on the right side. The conversion was missed to leave the score at 10-14 at halftime.
In the second half Cobham came out looking like a different side. They began to move the ball away from the dominant opposition forwards and soon found themselves within scoring range of the try line. A quick tapped penalty hit a charging Captain Ian Parker as he steamrollered over the same full back that was so politely asked to sit-down in the first half. The score given and the extras added.
Soon after the kick off newly re-constructed second row Leo Coates found himself on the scoreboard. When interviewed for details of his try Coates modestly proclaimed, “I won lineout ball – ball went to the backs – Dack took a pop – offloaded to me – I ran in from 20 metres”. The conversion completed to leave the score at 10-28.
Coates was able to re-pay the favour as a storming break of his own allowed Dack in for his first score of the game, who by this point had run almost a half marathon in line breaks without any reward. Campbell-Smith adding the extras.
Teddington wouldn’t lie down and again showed the importance of a good set piece. Another catch and drive gathered a head of steam and after making good ground the ball somehow found its way round to the short side as Teddington touchdown by the corner flag. The score 15-35 with 15 minutes to go.
Further tries from Campbell-Smith and Dack put the tie to bed and Cobham rolled out comfortable winners 15-47.
Teddington, fantastic hosts as always, supplied the man of the match awards as both sides enjoyed a beer in the clubhouse.