Brilliant Blues: Chichester crush Cobham with 60-point haul

Chichester’s superb start to the season continued when they battered Cobham 60-21 at sunny Oaklands Park.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 3:00 pm
Chichester racked up 60 points against Cobham / Picture: Alison Tanner

The Blues gave one of their best displays of running rugby for many seasons. The speed of their passing, linking and offloading was scintillating and much appreciated by their supporters.

Blues made five changes to the team that beat Horsham in the last game. Harry Norton and Cieran Johnston returned at No8 and scrum half respectively, with Ben Robson and Cam Hopkins making their first appearances of the season in the backs. Niall Wright made his Chichester debut in the second row.

Cobham kicked off up the slope and it took Chichester seven minutes to get the first points on the scoreboard.

Chichester racked up 60 points against Cobham / Picture: Alison Tanner

A defensive clearance provided Blues with a lineout just inside the opposition half. The ball was thrown to the back of the line and fed out quickly with Tyrese Makasi receiving the offload 30 metres out.

The young flanker burst through the defence to score under the posts. Converted by Tom Blewitt, 7-0.

With Cobham’s front row unavailable because of injury, Blues’ pack were dominating the scrum and an infringement provided Blewitt with the opportunity to kick a penalty, 10-0.

From the restart Chichester were soon back in the Cobham half. An overthrown lineout was recycled to Ross Miller whose pass found Hopkins, who put in a grubber kick and burst through to touchdown – 15-0 and 19 minutes on the clock.

From the restart it took a ruck and four passes for Blues to move the ball 70 metres and cross the whitewash again, with Cieran Johnston the scorer. Converted by Blewitt, 22-0.

The visitors put together their first sustained attack of the match resulting in a penalty try and yellow card for Chichester to make it 22-7.

Three minutes later Blues were down to 13 players and Cobham had reduced the deficit to 22-14.

The visitors poured forward, looking to reduce the deficit further, but Chichester captain Charlie Wallace intercepted the ball and ran 70 metres to score the bonus point try under the posts and steady the ship. Converted by Blewitt.

The half-time score was 29-14 with the Chichester faithful breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Chichester started the second half strongly and it only took three minutes for Johnstone to score his second try, darting down the blind side and breaking the tackle. Converted by Blewitt, 36-14.

On 47 minutes Blues increased the score with another converted try.

The move included two one-handed offloads that had the balcony in raptures, as Miller crossed the line next to the posts for 43-14.

Makasi gathered the restart and five passes later Miller crossed the white wash for his second try in the space of three minutes. Converted by Blewitt, 50-14.

For the next 20 minutes both teams moved the ball around, with Cobham having territorial advantage without being able to penetrate the well-drilled Blues’ defence.

With less than 10 minutes left it was the turn of the Chichester pack to get on the score sheet with a textbook lineout and drive for Richard Ives to crash over and score, 55 - 14.

Blues’ final try came from a Cobham overthrow at a lineout on the five-metre line, with Sam Drayson on hand to claim the ball and drive over the line. A missed conversion meant it was 60-14.

With a couple of minutes left, the visitors mounted a final assault on the Chichester try line and despite desperate defending touched down for a try close to the posts, which was converted.

Chichester: Ives, Brown, Woods, Deavall, Wheeler, Makasi, Wallace, Norton, Johnston, Thompson, Robson, Jenkinson, Miller, Hopkins, Blewitt, Seaman, Drayson, Polhill.

Chichester’s next match is on Saturday when they travel to Camberley. Kick off 3pm.

But after an absence of over 12 years, neighbours Bognor visit Oaklands Park, also on Saturday, when they play the Chichester second XV in the Hampshire Premier. Kick-off is at 3pm.