STREATHAM & CROYDON 18 pts. REEDS WEYBRIDGE 55 pts
Following two good league wins on the bounce, Reeds came to Frant Road to play Streatham who had also started their league campaign with two wins. Whilst team selection was delayed due to injuries and unavailability, the omens pre game looked good with the day damp but dry in the main and overcast – the sort of conditions that Reeds often thrive upon.
Notwithstanding that for the first quarter of the game Reeds were struggling to get into their stride and their back play whilst expansive was not as crisp as usual. Streatham were also starting to use their larger pack to good effect and during this period eked out two penalties from their forwards to take a 6-0 point lead.
Reeds then hit the accelerator and scored 4 great tries in less than 10 minutes to stamp their authority on the game, the first one came courtesy of a retreating scrum where scrum-half Ollie Palmer did well to get the ball away and into the backs where skipper Billy Maddock drove the ball up and bounced off a number of would be tacklers to create a hole in mid-field. A neat offload to Tom Mcclean was followed by another offload from him to Will Ambidge who dotted down near the posts for a ‘’route one’’ first score. 20 minutes gone 6 – 7 to Reeds.
Reeds next 3 tries followed in quick succession from the resulting 3 kick offs with Streatham having no answer to Reeds play out wide. In the first instance Simon Woollatt fielded the kick-off and drove forwards 5 meters with the rest of the pack in close attendance, Palmer then moved the ball out wide with Mclean the try scoring beneficiary following some good interplay involving Pete Davidge, Maddock, and winger Chris Stegmann. 22 minutes gone 6 – 14 to Reeds.
The next kick off saw Tony Adams field the ball neatly and once again shift the ball away from the point of attack and into the hands of the backs via Ambidge. This time the ball came back on the inside with Maddock passing to Joe Moriarty who weaved through two or three players and sold a sublime dummy inside pass to accelerate away and score himself under the posts. 23 minutes gone 6 – 21 to Reeds.
Streatham, failing to learn from previous mistakes and defend properly out wide , once again kicked off to the forwards and this time Adam Smith fielded the ball well and drove forwards into contact. Rapid re-cycling after a 20 meter clean break from Alex Corner saw the ball recycled in imperious fashion along the back line for Mcclean to score once again this time by the corner flag. 25 minutes – 6 – 26 to Reeds.
Reeds were now in full flow and more good work by the forwards with Davin Samuel and Simon Fozard to the fore saw Stegmann take the ball on an intelligent line out wide and pass back inside for Mcclean to score his third try of the match before half time. 30 minutes gone 6 -33 to Reeds.
At this point the game was beginning to look like a lost cause but Streatham had other ideas and a concerted spell of pressure from them saw them breach the line to go into the break 11 – 33 down.
Half time 11 – 33 to Reeds.
The messages from the half time huddle were clear- Reeds were playing some good rugby but needed to stop inviting pressure on themselves from their own mistakes and cut out the error count whilst tightening up defence especially around the ruck area and introduce greater defensive line speed. Half time saw Simon Fozard, who had been immense in the close quarter combat and line out, replaced by Joe Wastie.
It was clear that the next score would be vital in the context of the game as Streatham would clearly not go down without a fight and it went Reeds way within 4 minutes of the restart. Wastie had a big hand in the opening score, firstly he took a neat line out throw from Toby Blyther and when the ball was dropped in mid field was on hand to pick it up and take the ball forward on an intelligent line and find winger Moriarty who still having a lot of work to do scrabbled over the try line in corner despite players clinging onto him. 11 – 38 to Reeds.
Ollie Savill now joined the fray to replace Ambidge who retired hurt with Tom Hunt also joining the fray at full back to make his Reeds seniors debut with skipper Maddock moving into the forwards.
Many sides would have capitulated at this point but Streatham who had been dominating the game in the scrums started to work a more aggressive forward orientated game plan with a number of close quarter drives and resulting penalties eventually leading to a breach of the Reeds try line near the posts. 51 minutes gone 18 – 38 to Reeds.
Streatham sought to repeat the dose and resorted to a limited but very effect forward orientated game plan with new flanker Ollie Savill and skipper Maddock showing prominently in the Reeds defensive effort. This time however more pressure in the Reeds 22 was relieved from a turnover from Wastie who passed the ball to Mcclean whose nimble footwork saw him skip past 3 or 4 Streatham defenders and then run 70 meters to bag another score. 58 minutes gone 18 – 43 to Reeds.
Credit to Streatham who continued to push to make the score more respectable however another great 10 meter carry in mid field this time from lock Woollatt resulted in another smooth flowing backs move with silver service from Palmer and Davidge seeing the ball worked into the hands of Mcclean and then Tom Hunt who joined the line neatly from full back to round the last defender and score under the posts. 18 – 50 to Reeds with 4 minutes left.
Reds were now continuing to push and a neat move in the backs with Rogers and Mcclean coming round on the loop resulted in a sublime pass out of the back of his hand to winger Stegmann who scorched up the touchline to record Reeds final try on the whistle ending what was an very hard fought game and another great team performance from 1-18 and a real case of the Reeds rapier blunting the Streatham broadsword.
Final Score 18 – 55 to Reeds.
Man of the match: Tom Mcclean for his 4 tries and his play which has really brought another dimension to the Reeds back line.
Honourable mentions for: Billy Maddock for another strong yet intelligent contribution in both the back line and forwards, Joe Wastie for a great cameo performance that helped to create to 2 tries when we needed them in the second half, and Tom Hunt for his first seniors try for Reeds.
Next Up: Southampton RFC away in the 1st Round of the Junior Vase
Adam Smith, Toby Blyther, Davin Samuel, Tony Adams, Simon Woollatt, Alex Corner, Will
Ambidge, Simon Fozard, Ollie Palmer, Pete Davidge, Joe Moriarty, Billy Maddock, Tom
Mcclean, Chris Stegmann, Jonny Rogers. Subs: Joe Wastie Ollie Savill & Tom Hunt