Plenty of Huff & Puff But no End Result
REEDS WEYBRIDGE 14 MEDWAY 17
Medway RFC founded some ninety years ago paid their first visit to Reeds attractive Whiteley Village ground last Saturday and came away with a hard- fought victory that after the first half looked a forlorn hope. Early on, Reeds playing up the slope spent the first ten minutes in a ferocious defence of their try line, they have the best defensive record in the league and conceded just the three penalty points. Jack Jesty, Reeds influential No 10, levelled the scores with a long-range penalty but it was the next score, initiated by Jesty that fired up the packed touchlines of Reeds supporters. Quick hands put young Marcus Clark in space, he was just a metre inside the touch line and still in his own half, he accelerated away, the cover wasn’t quick enough to bounce him into touch, Josh Clark his brother, was in support to take an inside scoring pass for a five pointer. The midfield was a serious battle ground with some huge tackles going in from both sides, and it was here that Chuggs Wallis earned his Man of the Match Award with his destructive, eye watering tackles and abrasive loose play. Medway laid siege to the Reeds line and there was the inevitable rash of penalties that followed the loose rucks and mauls. Fortunately for Reeds, the Medway penalty kicker didn’t have a good day and late in that first half it was Reeds, Jesty, who stretched the lead to eight points with a touch line penalty and Reeds had the slope to come at 11-3.
Immediately after the restart Reeds were soon on the attack, centre Matt Stevenson hoisted the ball up field and so nearly won the race for the ball as it just bounced out of play in the touchline area. It was Jesty who collected the Medway restart and decided to chance his luck with a drop goal attempt from 50 metres out, it bounced on to the cross bar and was over for a three pointer and an eleven-point advantage. At 14-3 Medway’s heads looked like they had dropped and maybe Reeds thought the game was up but it was a short lived lead. Medway launched a series of attacks and Reeds defence strayed offside too often and lost a man to the bin. Reeds were locked into defensive mode and Medway chipped a speculative kick into space, Stevenson, the centre trapped the ball but it bounced, as only a rugby ball can, into the arms of Sean Marriott the Medway centre for a converted try under the sticks which was against the run of play. Now, it was a four-point game, Reeds were now a man short and an emboldened Medway were on the march, winning plenty of ball and occupying territory in Reeds red zone, It was centre Max Bullock who finally crashed over the line for a converted try and a three point lead with ten minutes left on the clock. From the restart, Reeds drove play deep into Medway territory, there was a series of lineouts, loose rucks and mauls within a few meters of the try line and multiple penalties as well. Reeds could easily have drawn the game with a penalty in front of the sticks, but rightly decided to go for the win and laid down a series of scrums to try to secure the points. Reeds battered away at the Medway door but the visitors close quarter defence was rock solid leaving Reeds to collect the losing bonus point.
As the England rugby side know only too well, losing by close margins is so much harder to bear than a significant defeat, but in rugby there is no linear line to success, it’s a roller coaster of ups and downs, swings and roundabouts. What is important is to have the resilience, quality players and leadership to bounce back and Reeds have bucket loads of that.
Man of the Match Chuggs Wallis
Team: Lennon Day / George Corner / Rhys Day / Herbie Finn (capt) / Michael Wasko / Cameron Goodwin / Chuggs Wallis / Joe Wastie / Alex Corner (vice capt) / Ollie Palmer / Jack Jesty / Marcus Clark / Billy Maddock / Josh Clark / Joe Moriarty / Matt Stevenson / Jack Grady / Brad Robbins.
Next week Reeds Weybridge can expect another tough challenge in their away game to Gravesend.
GS Nov 5th 2023