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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 1 Dec 14:00 - London & SE Division - London South 1 Full time

Cobham 9 v 30 Chichester

Blues made this game harder than it needed to be, but the result was what mattered in the end. Their fourth win on the bounce, and the bonus point, moves them up to 8th in the table.

Chichester made 4 changes to the side that beat Hove at Oaklands Park last time out and headed north with a squad of 17. Ben Polhill came into the pack, with Matt McLagan returning in the backs. Ben Robson, back from long term injury, and new signing Josh Terry were on the bench. Henry Anscombe captained the side.

Having won 3 games on the bounce Chichester travelled up the A3 to Cobham, full of confidence, knowing a win would move them above the opposition. Both teams have had challenges so far this season with Cobham edging the number of players used by 54 to 46 and losing bonus points 5 to 4. The torrential rain cleared up a couple of hours before kick-off and the game was played in overcast conditions with the occasional gust of wind and intermittent drizzle.

Blues kicked off into the wind and immediately conceded a penalty. The kick to touch didn’t leave the Cobham half and from the lineout Chichester surged forward preventing the opposition making any forward progress. A probing kick into the Cobham 22, from Henry Anscombe, was chased down by Matt McLagan and the mark was called. The clearance was sliced and from the lineout the ball was caught by Ed Bowden and passed across the backs. The forwards joined the fray, with powerful runs from Chris Johnson, Sam Drayson, Josh Cameron and Joe Woods. Chichester moved the ball into the opposition 22, before being penalised. A long kick found touch, close to Blues’ 22 metre line, but a poor Cobham pass from the lineout was hoofed up the field by Rhys Thompson, to clear the danger. Cobham conceded 2 penalties in quick succession and Chichester had a lineout on the 5 metre line. The ball was once again caught by Bowden and from the back of the driving maul Harry Seaman darted across the line to touch down in the corner. The conversion from Charlie Norton, into the gusting wind, fell just short. 0 - 5 and 10 minutes on the clock. From the restart another probing ball, from Anscombe, found touch close to the opposition 22 metre line. The overthrown ball was picked up by Woods who surged forward towards the opposition 5 metre line. The recycled ball was spun out across the backs but the pass missed its intended receiver and was knocked on. At the subsequent scrum Blues drove Cobham backwards, with Tyrese Makasi picking up and darting forward. The ball was spun out across the backs with the pass once again missing its intended receiver and being knocked on. Handling errors punctuated the next 10 minutes with neither team being able to hold on to the ball. After 25 minutes, Blues were penalised for not releasing the ball and Cobham slotted the kick from 25 metres. 3 - 5. After the restart powerful running from Johnson moved the ball back up the pitch and Cobham were penalised for an infringement, which was kicked by Norton. 3 - 8. Straight from the restart Blues were penalised for not releasing the ball and Cobham slotted their second penalty. 6 - 8. With 3 minutes left in the half Chichester were penalised again, gifting Cobham an easy kick, 22 metres out. 9 - 8. Shortly after the restart Blues were again penalised for an infringement at the breakdown but luckily the kick passed just wide of the posts. With seconds left on the clock it was Chobham’s turn to infringe, providing Norton with a straightforward kick in front of the posts. 9 - 11 and half time.

Cobham 9 Chichester 30 (01.12.18)
56 photos

The Chichester supporters were left scratching their heads. Despite creating a number of scoring chances, and being dominant in the scrum, Blues were lucky to be ahead having gifted Cobham their points.

The second half didn’t start well with Cobham moving the ball up the field and Chichester conceding yet another penalty, which was kicked into the corner for a lineout. Cobham spun the ball out and Johnson put in a thumping tackle to halt progress. At the subsequent breakdown Polhill stole the ball and Anscombe cleared down field with a monster kick, only for the chasing player to concede a penalty. The next 10 minutes were deadlocked with neither team being able to string together more than a couple of passes. Finally, a breakthrough! After a period of possession in the opposition 22, going through the phases, new boy Josh Terry surged forward making 15 metres before being stopped just short of the line. The ball was recycled to Anscombe for a pass to Sam Renwick who ghosted through the defence for a try out wide. Conversion missed. 9 - 16. Chichester were now playing with more confidence and it was Cobham conceding penalties. Drayson, Cameron and Terry, supported by Polhill and Makasi, were moving the ball forward with every carry and Chichester were soon back in the Cobham 22. Polhill carried the ball across the try line but the referee deemed it to be held up. From the 5 metre scrum the ball was passed to Thompson whose delicate cross field kick bounced for Ben Robson to collect at pace and dot down in the corner. Norton converted from the touchline. 9 - 23 with 20 minutes left and the Chichester faithful hopeful for a bonus point try. However, Cobham had other ideas and Chichester found themselves pinned in their 22 for the next 8 minutes defending wave after wave of attacks, with Woods and Baz Magda putting in try saving tackles. However, the penalty count was rising and finally the referee produced a yellow card and Blues were down to 14 men. Chichester seemed comfortable playing with a man down and Cobham were unable to make their advantage count. With less than 4 minutes left Blues returned to their full complement and upped the tempo looking for their fourth try. Once again they penned Cobham into their 22 and moved the ball from side to side looking for an opening. The energy levels and intensity were impressive and with time running out Cobham were penalised and Blues opted for the scrum. Seamen picked up, pirouetted past his opposite number, and passed to Renwick who outstripped the defence for his second try in the corner. Another exceptional conversion from Norton out wide. 9 - 30 and full time.

Blues made this game harder than it needed to be, but the result was what mattered in the end. Their fourth win on the bounce, and the bonus point, moves them up to 8th in the table.

Supporter’s man of the match was Josh Cameron

Chichester squad: Drayson, Cameron, Woods, Bowden, Magda, Makasi, Polhill, Johnson, Seaman, Anscombe (Captain), McLagan, Thompson, Renwick, Golds, Norton, Terry and Robson.

Next Saturday (8th December) Chichester entertain Sevenoaks at Oaklands Park. Kick-off is at 14:00.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

Videos and photos

Cobham 9 Chichester 30 (01.12.18)
56 photos

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
7. Dartfordians 13 32
8. London Cornish 13 31
9. Chichester 13 28
10. Cobham 13 27
11. Havant 13 22
12. Tottonians 13 21
13. Chobham 13 16

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