Reeds Secure 5 Point Win Against Stubborn Opponents
Twickenham 19 Reeds RFC 22
Twickenham RFC, are one of the oldest clubs in the Union, they are now in their 155th year, but not having much success this season. However, like all town sides in the London leagues, they can field some very aggressive and able players who are good enough to test any side in the league, and they certainly did that against Reeds last Saturday. Reeds like dry calm conditions which allow them to fire the ball around the park with torpedo style passes to unleash their powerful back division. It was dry enough last Saturday but the gusting wind restricted those options and Reeds were involved in some lengthy midfield dogfights which limited Reeds expansive style and also some of their line out play. That said Reeds started quickly with 30+ phases of play and it was they who collected the first try of the day as they managed to get the ball away to Chris Stegmann out on the wing. He is seriously quick and determined as well, the defence tried to bounce him into touch but he squeezed in by the flag. Twickenham responded from the restart, they drove play deep into Reeds 22, won the loose ruck, switched play and the Reeds cover wasn’t able to shut down the attack, leaving the Twickenham winger try line bound for a seven pointer. There were some fearsome exchanges in the loose rucks and mauls, Douw Styger the flanker is such a force in these situations and he earned his Man of the Match Award for his remarkable ball winning and tackling ability. If there had been a second award, it certainly would have gone to hooker George Corner, just the man to have in those loose encounters where he can shut down an attack and at the same time win the ball. Joe Moriarty out on the wing had a couple of block busting runs that had tested the Twickenham defence, he is a real handful on the move and he was put away on the 22, he bounced a couple of defenders out of the way to secure Reeds second try – 7 – 10 and Reeds had a three-point lead. Not for long though, just before the break, quick hands put the Twickenham backs into space, smart passing, and the home side were a couple of points in front at the change round, at 12-10 and with a packed touchline of support they sensed that they could give Reeds some further problems in the second half.
Up front, Reeds were now in charge, with the Twickenham scrum consistently being rocked back at some pace and with Reeds relentlessly attacking Twickenham’s break-down to secure turnover ball. That effort provided Reeds with plenty of attacking options and Josh Clark at 10 did a sterling job of taking the ball to the gain-line and maintaining the defences’ attentions but those windy conditions certainly curtailed Reeds ability to move the ball out wide and at pace. Reeds had the better of the territory and from a series of mauls in front of the sticks the ubiquitous George Corner stole away from a loose maul and bashed his way over, it gave Reeds a five-point lead at 12 – 17 but against a determined Twickenham side, a five-point lead was never decisive and sure enough Twickenham responded with a good try of their own to make it 19 – 17. That last quarter was a nail-biting time for Reeds supporters, Twickenham lost a man to the bin, perhaps that was a factor, together with Reeds fitness, that enabled them to concentrate play in the Twickenham 22. Finally, it was Josh Clark, the No 10 who took the ball down the blind side, one tackle would have put him into touch, but somehow, he glided through the defence for a try by the flag. Reeds needed to keep possession and lock play down in the Twickenham red zone, it wasn’t easy but Reeds managed to run the clock down for that narrow victory. Nigel Connell, Reeds Weybridge Director of Rugby commented afterwards that ‘Twickenham RFC could mount a successful challenge to any side in the league, a win and a bonus point as well against a committed opposition was a significant achievement’
Next week Reeds face Winchester away who are sure to pose some questions at home.
Reeds 2nd XV lost a closely contested game against the Law Society 33-36, with two tries sadly being disallowed.
GS March 13th 2022