Reeds secure losing bonus point against table topping Horsham

HORSHAM 50 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 26

It was a nailed-on certainty, that top of the table Horsham, were going to field a big set of aggressive forwards, not good news for Reeds as they had a large number of absentees and four 1st XV debutants taking to the field. Given those circumstances, Reeds set their minimum targets, firstly to come away with a four try bonus point and secondly to deliver a full on, eighty-minute response. They achieved both targets, four tries and an outstanding display of resilience and mental toughness in very challenging circumstances underpinned by great leadership from skipper Alex Corner and the senior players on the pitch with the vocal travelling Reeds supporters also playing their part. In what was to become a clash of styles Horsham scored all their tries through their front 9 whereas Reeds scored their 4 tries through their back three. In that first quarter, those rampaging Horsham forwards set up camp in Reeds 22 leaving Reeds in defensive mode, but Reeds held out and were the first to score courtesy of those talented, quick men that Reeds have out wide who were always a threat. And it was the two Clark brothers, Josh and Marcus who combined for Reeds first score, young Marcus Clark, is seriously fast, with sidesteps as well and he outdistanced the cover to level the score after some smart interplay. Horsham hit straight back after a period of territorial dominance and it was the Horsham scrum half who neatly sidestepped his way through to touch down under the sticks to draw the game level. It was hard going for Reeds in the tight scrums, they were up against a heavier pack but Toby Rawding the hooker, making his first appearance for the 1st XV, managed to squeeze the ball away on Reeds ball. But on the Horsham ball their scrum gave them plenty of possession going forward and a rumble over from the five-metre line and Horsham were in front again. Not for long, Reeds debutant scrum half, Jonathan Lack darted away from the cover, Jack Jesty the debutant full back came hammering into the line and crashed over by the corner flag, a siege gun kick from way out by Pete Cole and Reeds were level after 20 minutes at 14 all. But those big Horsham forwards were in dominant form, driving play through the midfield one out from the ruck and running onto the ball with pace, drawing the Reeds back row defence into the rucks and mauls. Two more loose forward drives close to Reeds line and Horsham had a two try lead at the change round, Reeds having squandered a few chances of their own in the red zone and turned down 2 chances to take 3 points. It was a three try lead shortly after the break, but it was Marcus Clark, the winger, who was on the score sheet again, he was put away just inside the touch line 50 meters out with the Horsham cover fanning across, but his blistering pace and chip ahead took him through the defence for an unconverted try. His ability to capitalise on unpromising pockets of space is extraordinary and his two try total earned him the Man of the Match Award. It was against the run of play, and with the Horsham pack taking up residence in the Reeds half there was an inevitability about the score line. Horsham clocked up three more tries before the finish but it was the bonus point try response from Reeds that delighted the Reeds supporters, it came from winger Joe Moriarty, he was put away on the half way line, three defenders were bounced off as they tried to stop him, but he is such a ruthless finisher with a combination power, pace and speed that took him over the try line to allow Reeds to end game on a high note with Reeds becoming the first side in secure a try bonus point against Horsham at home in the league this season.

After the game, DoR Nige Connell was quick to praise the performance of every single player in very challenging circumstances and the team will move on in a very positive frame of mind to face their next set of opponents in the current block of 5 games.

Man of the Match – Marcus Clark

Team sheet: Kerran Beavis. Rhys Day. Lennon Day. Shannon Fuller. Luke Edwards. Cameron Goodwin. George Corner. Alex Corner (capt). Jonathan Lack. Toby Rawding. Peter Cole. Joe Moriarty. Josh Clark. Marcus Clark. Jonathan Levett. Jack Jesty. Will Jones.

Next week Reeds Weybridge are at Home to KCS Old Boys

GS 23.10.22