Cobham 40 Medway 28 (London 1 South) 02nd April 2022

Medway travelled to Cobham in Surrey on Saturday looking to extend their nine match unbeaten run having already secured promotion the previous week. The playing conditions were excellent for Rugby and both sides served up an entertaining affair. Sadly that winning Medway run came to end with Cobham running out deserved winners.

The game kicked off and within 2 minutes Medway were behind. A lethargic start and lost possession led to a missed tackle in midfield and the home centre scored a well taken converted try. 7-0. A Medway side, showing 7 changes from the previous week, came back into the game. On 20 minutes good phase play saw space created for Lordi Waqa who broke two home cover tackles to score. Dan Harvey converted to level the scores at 7-7. With 28 minutes gone Cobham regained the lead. A solid scrummage provided the platform. They went through phases, retaining possession well and eventually narrowed the Medway defence to create space for the right winger to finish smartly out wide. The try was converted and Medway went in at Half time 14-7 down.

The opening of the second half saw Medway deep in the opposition 22 pressing their line when a pass went astray. Cobham fly hacked downfield. Owen Church-Mills and Sean Marriott did well to recover the ball under pressure but as they looked to clear their lines Marriott’s kick was charged down and Medway found themselves 21-7 down within the first minute of the second half re-start. Medway once again had to chase the game and on 47 minutes they were back in it. Good game management from Dan Harvey and strong  carries from Henry Kenny, Michael Fankah, Maik Timmerman and Tom Beaumont saw the home line pressed. Medway were held up over the line. A goal line drop out saw Lordi Waqa run back hard from the resultant ruck Harvey and Antony Clement move the ball wide and a powerful run from John Sipawa sees him score. Harvey added the extras. 21-14.

Medway’s hopes off making a comeback were dashed. Back to back tries from the home side on 53 and 57 minutes both from the home back row on the back of excellent lead up play combined with poor tackling from Medway took the score out to 33-14. On 62 minutes Medway had a scrum just outside the home 22m.  Lewis Stimpson attacked the blindside and did well and offloaded the ball to the supporting Luke Burns who in turn broke a tackle to dive over and be awarded the try. This to the disappointment of the home crowd as they felt he did not have control of the ball. They had a point. 33-21. On 67 minutes there was no argument. Good work from a number of players created the space for Billy Sandison to punch over. Once again Harvey converted 33-28. Medway had come back well securing the try bonus point. They had another chance but Billy Humphrey was unable to ground the ball over the line and Cobham escaped. That was Medway’s last chance as Cobham closed the game out with another try from their industrious back row in the 72nd minute.

In truth Cobham deserved their victory. The positives for Medway is that they secured a try bonus point away from home and a lot of players in their squad gained some valuable game time.

Coach Taff Gwilliam said “Cobham were the better side today. We have no complaints. There are areas of our game that need to improve throughout the whole squad and we will continue to work on that” he added “We have had a great season and no matter what happens nothing can take that away. We look forward with confidence”