Reeds Make It 4 Consecutive Away Wins
CHICHESTER 18 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 25
Just six points separated the two sides when Reeds won the home game early season despite Chichester fielding a side missing many regular starters so it was clear from that result that there was nothing much to choose between the two sides. Down in Sussex last Saturday, there was driving rain, a gusty wind, and mud underfoot but it was Reeds who managed the conditions more effectively, at the same time retaining their composure and structure to secure the result. Ongoing absenteeism and injuries had forced some changes to the Reeds squad, Ollie Tack the skipper of the Under 22 side came into the forwards and Jack Jesty, usually the full back, was playing at fly half, and his distribution skills and line kicking accuracy in the conditions, were a key factor in the win. Indeed, Reeds 18-man squad boasted no less than 9 U22 players and they were up against much larger, and more experienced opponents especially in the front 5 with a front row that was cleverly and consistently rotated throughout the match. In that first half, Reeds had the benefit of a gentle slope, Jesty hoisted a line kick deep into Chichester territory, Reeds won the lineout, locked the ball into a forward rumble come driving maul and it was the ubiquitous George Corner, the back row forward who collected the first try. Chichester soon responded with a penalty after pressure in Reeds 22, but it was Reeds second try that was the best of the day, it was initiated by Ethan Taylor, the full back, from within his own half who caught an aimless clearance kick, he can read the game so well and he set off on a sidestepping run that opened up the defence, young Ollie Tack was there to take the move on, he found Marcus Clark the winger in support and Reeds were in for a seven pointer to make it 12 – 3 with the conversion courtesy of older sibling Josh Clark.
At the change round, Reeds maintained that nine-point advantage, and they soon extended that lead with a long-range penalty from Josh Clark to make it 15 – 3. Reeds now looked in full control and another powerful break from Ollie Tack in mid-field saw the ball neatly off-loaded and carried to not far short of the home side’s try line but to no avail. Chichester however were never going to lie down and they began to cause problems for the Reeds defence with some long-range touch kicks resulting in a Reeds error gifting them good field position. A few penalties later Chichester were camped on the Reeds five-metre line and eventually drove over to make it 15 – 8. Chichester now started to exert more pressure and although Reeds extended their lead to 10 points courtesy of a penalty, a well worked blind side move saw the ball grubered through for one of their players to dive onto by the corner flag. Up front, Reeds were winning their fair share of the ball from the tight scrums and in the loose exchanges as well, it was in that battle ground that Josh Brown, unusually wearing the No 4 shirt, earned his Man of the Match Award, he had been a serious contender for the Award in past weeks, but on this occasion his ability to generate ruck ball from the breakdowns and quickly sack a number of attempted mauls was a key factor during the game. Simon Fozard, the lock forward, back from serious injury is a shrewd lineout operator, and he provided quality possession for the Reeds backs. It was now back to a five-point game, the next score was going to be the decider with Chichester being roared on by the partisan home crowd. Fortunately, it came from Reeds – they won the ball from a loose ruck in the Chichester 22, Jonathan Lack the scrum half saw some space down the blindside and a chance for a 3 on 2, he fired the ball out to Josh Clark who drew his man and offloaded to Marcus Clark the winger who came steaming up the touchline and squeezed over by the flag with Josh Clark once again collecting the extras. Reeds now had a twelve-point advantage, and with a couple of minutes left on the clock it was going to be Reeds day. Over-zealous celebrations by Reeds however resulted in a penalty to Chichester on the half way line – perhaps there was a lack of concentration in those last moments which allowed Chichester to come back with an unconverted try through one of their loose forwards. It was too late to affect the result on this occasion but it gifted Chichester a losing bonus point.
Ollie Tack Reeds 1st XV debutant
Brian Huntley from the Kent Society was in charge of events, his firm control of the game was an important factor for the players and spectators
Nigel Connell, Reeds Weybridge Director of Rugby commented afterwards, ‘That the weather conditions demanded total commitment from the players, and they responded with a quality performance and a fourth win, on the trot, away from home’
Josh Brown / Rhys Day / Lennan Day / Kerran Beavis / Simon Fozard / George Corner / Ollie Tack / Alex Corner (skipper) / Ross Stratton / Jonathan Lack / Jack Jesty / Peter Cole / Josh Clark / Joe Moriarty / Billy Maddock / Marcus Clark / Ethan Taylor.
Next week, Reeds Weybridge First and Second teams are away to Guildford.
Kick Off 2:00pm