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1st XV - Match centre

Westcombe Park
B Smith, G Milligan, J Birch
J Cameron, O Church-Mills
J Cameron
Sat 1 Dec 14:00 - London & SE Division - London South 1 Full time

Combe power up front wins the day


Westcombe Park RFC 22-10 Havant RFC

It is to Havant's credit that they maintained a lead over or parity with Combe until well into the second period. However, an increasingly dominant home pack shoved their opposite numbers around the pitch both at scrum time and in the maul to provide the platform for a satisfying victory.

The game couldn't have started better for the visitors. Combe messed up their exit strategy at kickoff, gifting the ball to Havant who progressed deep into Combe territory brushed off a couple of tackle attempts to score with just over a minute on the clock. The try was converted.

Combe vs Havant 2018
12 photos

The next 30 minutes or so saw both sides huff and puff as they tried to gain the upper hand. The gusting wind and a continuous smirr of rain across the pitch were making handling difficult. Combe centre Bryan Young was much in evidence stripping the ball and making inroads, then tidying up loose ball and handing off attempts to slow him deep in Havant territory. Combe weren't having it all their own way with Havant's powerful hooker Jerome Trail bashing his way upfield in the close quarter exchanges.

On the 30 minute mark Westcombe Park finally got on the scoreboard through the boot of James Cameron when Havant were penalised for holding on after Combe had put together some effective and efficient phase play. Havant hit back with a penalty of their own after only a few minutes had passed to keep their lead by a converted try.

As the half was coming to a close Combe kept the pressure up and a fine Charlie O'Sullivan break got the home side deep into Havant territory. The pressure drew a penalty in the red zone which saw Havant down to 14 men. Combe took the scrum option and scrum half Bradley Smith ran a risky L-shaped run to score wide on the right. Cameron slotted a difficult conversion to bring the scores level.

The half ended with Combe on the front foot with centres Brad Saffrey and Young strong in attack and the first sign of the driving maul which would help Combe win the game.

Combe's defence was tested at the start of the second period with flanker Dave Pohlen chasing hard out to the touchline to make a robust tackle and the whole team performing an excellent exit strategy when under pressure at a Havant line out on Combe's 5m line.

2 penalties conceded by the visitors gave Combe good field position on the 22m line. From the line out Combe built an effective maul which moved at a good rate of knots over the line for flanker Milligan to claim the score. Owen Church-Mills, on for James Cameron who had taken a bit of a battering in the 1st half, slotted the points to put Combe into the lead for the first time in the match.

On 55 minutes Westcombe Park extended their lead. Converted lock Dylan Eames was on at prop and seemed to relish his role in driving Havant off their own ball at scrum time. Combe took full advantage of a fractured defence and wing Joe Birch sped in for a try wide out on the left. Church-Mills was unlucky to see his kick rebound off a post.

The Goddington Dene side pushed hard for the try which would bring the bonus point. But despite dominance at scrum time, the maul eating up yards and a number of penalties in Havant territory, a combination of good defence from the visitors and over exuberance from the home team, the match ended 22-10 to Combe.

A welcome win for Combe coupled with the rare fact of no serious injuries made for a happy clubhouse after the game and it was good to see Havant players and supporters enjoying Combe hospitality. Next week Combe are away to Dartfordians and then at home to Thurrock as the season hits the halfway point. A brace of wins in these two games would make for a happy Christmas.

Westcombe Park RFC: Simmons T, Hackett, Forsyth, Clarke, Pass, Milligan, Pohlen, O'Sullivan, Smith, Cameron, Hamilton, Young, Saffrey, Livett, Church-Mills

Replacements: Eames, Delderfield, Birch

Man of the match: Bradley Saffrey

Match Report: John Vallely

Bradley Saffery

Player of the Match

Bradley Saffery

Key moments

Try Try for Havant
Conversion Conversion for Havant
Penalty James Cameron kicks a penalty for Westcombe Park
Penalty Penalty kicked for Havant
Try Bradley Smith scores for Westcombe Park
Conversion James Cameron kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
Try George Milligan scores for Westcombe Park
Conversion Owen Church-Mills kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
Try Joe Birch scores for Westcombe Park

Videos and photos

Combe vs Havant 2018
12 photos
Combe vs Havant 2018


View 0 new events
80:00 +1:00 Player of the Match
Bradley Saffery is awarded player of the match for Westcombe Park
65:00 Try 22 - 10
Joe Birch scores for Westcombe Park
60:00 Sub On
Joe Birch is substituted on for Westcombe Park
53:00 Conversion 17 - 10
Owen Church-Mills kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
52:00 Try 15 - 10
George Milligan scores for Westcombe Park
50:00 Sub On
Dylan Eames is substituted on for Westcombe Park
End of period 1
38:00 Conversion 10 - 10
James Cameron kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
37:00 Try 8 - 10
Bradley Smith scores for Westcombe Park
35:00 Sub On
Owen Church-Mills is substituted on for Westcombe Park
33:00 Penalty 3 - 10
Penalty kicked for Havant
30:00 Penalty 3 - 7
James Cameron kicks a penalty for Westcombe Park
2:00 Conversion 0 - 7
Conversion for Havant
1:00 Try 0 - 5
Try for Havant
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Westcombe Park
  • Havant
  • 0
  • Try 1:00'
  • Conversion 2:00'
  • James Cameron Penalty 30:00'
  • Penalty 33:00'
  • Owen Church-Mills Sub On 35:00'
  • Bradley Smith Try 37:00'
  • James Cameron Conversion 38:00'
  • Dylan Eames Sub On 50:00'
  • George Milligan Try 52:00'
  • Owen Church-Mills Conversion 53:00'
  • Joe Birch Sub On 60:00'
  • Joe Birch Try 65:00'

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Sevenoaks 26 110
2. Brighton 26 107
3. Camberley 26 106
4. Medway 26 103
5. Thurrock 26 80
6. Havant 26 75
7. Westcombe Park 26 66

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