Match Report, Reeds Weybridge RFC vs Old Mid-Whitgiftians, 06-08-2018

Reeds March On Against Old Midwives

LEAGUE MATCH Saturday 6th October 2018

Reeds continued their Surrey 1 odyssey against a side that had just missed out on a play-off spot last season and whom had beaten eventual champions Old Mid-Whitgiftians (OMW) on two out of three occasions over the course of last season with a good win. OMW had a reputation for being strong scrummagers and maulers and on a day that was wet and miserable it was clear that Reeds would face a stern test in that department but they passed it with flying colours getting the nudge on in the scrums and repelling their close quarter forward rolling drives to ensure the scoreboard remained untroubled by the visitors.

Reeds wanted a fast start but on this occasion it didn’t happen and a whistle happy referee was happy to penalise Reeds for a multitude of offences. As a result the first 10 minutes of the game, with Reeds playing downhill, were cagey with the away side having the upper hand in terms of territory. Just after the 10 minute mark and following a period of good pressure OMW had a relatively easy chance from a central position just outside the 22 to take a 3 point lead but in poor conditions the kick drifted wide. This miss seemed to galvanise Reeds and shortly afterwards a good backline move saw centre Tom Mcclean make a good break, ably assisted by a nice short range off-load from Joe Wastie, only to be hauled down 5 meters short of the line. Reeds remained camped in that area of the field and following a scrum with a rewind move coming back on the blind side scrum half Ollie Palmer nudged a perfectly weighted grubber kick forwards defeating the rush defence to allow predatory wing Joe Moriarty to run through and dive onto the ball in the dead ball area. 15 minutes gone 7-0 to Reeds courtesy of a great conversion from fly half Jonny Rogers from out wide.

The rest of the first half was a cagey affair with OMW having the majority of the possession but failing to capitalise on it and Reeds defending strongly. At one point Reeds went down to 14 men for 10 minutes but thanks to some great defensive work and a scrum penalty earned by the Reeds tight 8 Reeds always managed to clear their lines.

Half time saw a score of 7-0 with the only real moment of class coming from Reeds. At half time the coaches stressed the need to keep their discipline and manage the off-side line, take the points when on offer, and make their first up tackles. Skipper Billy Maddock asked his side for a big effort playing against the elements and uphill.

This challenge seemed to Reeds fill with purpose and slowly they began to dominate their opponents and see more of the ball. After 50 minutes and following a series of drives that saw Reeds take the ball up and into contact, sucking players in, courtesy of Josh Brown, Herbie Finn, plus Alex and George Corner, Reeds manged to work their way up to the 22 metre line. Good hands along the back line then put winger Dan Veale away and with two players still to beat his silky running skills saw him leave them both standing as he deftly navigated the touch line to dot down and take the score to 12-0.

Reeds kept pressing and some good runs from full back Chris Stegmann allowed Reeds to make good ground. Reeds had now also upped their tackling intensity and also began to force penalty turnovers and make good ground with Michael Wasko, George Corner, Simon Woollatt, and loose head Josh Brown prominent. Good line out work and very solid scrums, with replacement prop Charlie Bolton carrying on the good foundations laid by Ritchie Phillips, saw Reeds begin to turn the screw. Over the next 10 minutes, OMW conceded two penalties which on a drier day Reeds might have converted but alas it was not to be.

Reeds superior fitness now began to tell and a great line out take on halfway from lock Finn saw a nice back line move with a neat inside pass in mid field to new entrant Ollie Savill who split the defence with a neat running line and a great turn of pace to almost reach the try line. Reeds promptly camped on the OMW line and after a series of close quarter drives spun the ball out along the line courtesy of Palmer and a flick-on pass from fly half Rogers to outwit the onrushing defence and allow replacement winger James Botterill to score out wide. 65 minutes gone 17-0 Reeds.

Reeds next score came from another good line out 12 meters from the OMW try line with the forwards setting a good catch and drive which was driven on by Brown to within a meter of the try line. Again the ball was deftly recycled through the hands with Rogers and Maddock combining well to put Botterill away to score his second try in the opposite corner. 22-0 to Reeds.

At this point the game was up from OMW and whilst they continued to press Reeds, it was Reeds superior ball handling skills that saw them almost score another two tries, with one certain score by Mcclean, following a training ground move, being pulled back for an alleged forward pass and another try go begging when prop Brown aggressively broke up field only to pass the ball to the opposition winger with the try line beckoning.

With the clock running down, OMW to their credit continued to try find a way to unlock Reeds defence but on the day it was not to be. Final Score 22-0 to Reeds.

Man of the match: Prop Josh Brown for a great all-round aggressive all-round display in both the loose and tight.

Josh Brown Man-of-Match Reeds 1st-XV vs OMW 06-08-18

Josh Brown Man-of-Match Reeds 1st-XV vs OMW 06-08-18

Honourable mentions to winger Dan Veale for his running lines, James Botterill for his two finishers tries and Jonny Rogers for marshalling the game well from 10 in very difficult conditions against a tough opponent.

Reeds 1st XV: Josh Brown, George Corner, Richie Phillips, Herbie Finn, Simon Woollatt, Michael Wasko, Joe Wastie, Alex Corner, Ollie Palmer, Jonny Rogers, Joe Moriarty, Billy Maddock (Captain), Tom Mcclean, Dan Veale, & Chris Stegmann. Replacements: Charlie Bolton, Ollie Savill, & James Botterill.

Next Up: Our next league game is at home to Old Freemans in two weeks’ time but before that we face Southsea Nomads in the 1st round of the RFU Junior Vase.

Mark Sukiennik