Reeds Run Riot at US Portsmouth to Make it 5 from 5
LONDON SOUTH WEST THREE
Reeds Run Riot at US Portsmouth.
US Portsmouth 7 pts Reeds Weybridge 109 pts
Reeds and US Portsmouth have enjoyed contrasting fortunes this season with Reeds winning all their games and US Portsmouth yet to register a win however Reeds were expecting a tussle from a side whom had finished close to the top of the league last season.
In recent weeks Reeds have been afflicted by a series of slow starts but with the benefit of a week off following a Home Walk Over against Harrow in the Senior Vase, the away team were quickly into their stride on the perfect 4G pitch with forwards and backs putting together a series of flowing moves over the course of 80 minutes to score 17 tries. US Portsmouth to their credit did not give up and there were periods of play when they managed to exert pressure in Reeds half, including a score from their rampaging prop mid-way through the half following a penalty that took them close to the Reeds line, but generally speaking they were outclassed by a side with greater fitness and skill levels.
The writing was on the wall early on with Alex Corner, Reeds jinking no 8, breaking from mid field to the US Portsmouth 5 meter line, where quick ball from the ensuing ruck allowed Jonny Rogers to step back against the defence and score. US Portsmouth tried to hit back but from a scrum in Reeds half turnover ball at the scrum saw quick ball find skipper Billy Maddock who pirouetted out of the tackle, make good yards, and offload to speedster Rhys Lewis who stepped two covering defenders to score under the posts.
Reeds were now well into their stride and scored 4 more tries to secure the bonus point before the half time break with forwards and backs running penetrating lines and offloading out of the tackle to create mayhem amongst the US Portsmouth ranks, the pick of the scores coming from Rhys Lewis who, following a clearance kick, gathered his own angled chip kick to beat the onrushing defence and score. Abrasive number 6 Douw Styger and centre Chris Stegmann showed contrasting skills to respectively hand off and glide past the US Portsmouth defensive line to score.
Half time 36-7 with coach Connell asking the team to maintain tempo and concentration for the second half.
Reeds were true to their word and with US Portsmouth wilting under almost incessant pressure Reeds racked up another 11 second half tries with multiple scores coming from sharp and incisive first phase play. Turnover ball from Will Ambidge saw Reeds secure a penalty and kick for territory, great ball off the top of the ensuing line out from athletic lock Herbie Finn saw the ball fired out at pace on the gain line to Ambidge who’s penetrating break saw him run 40m to score. Finn was at it again minutes later securing a loose ball and offloading to live wire scrum half Ollie Palmer who in turned popped the ball to second half replacement Michael Wasko who broke a number of tackles and unselfishly offload to his back row partner Styger to dot down.
The flood gates were well and truly open now and further scores came with ruthless efficiency from almost every kick off with wing Joe Moriarty (2), hooker George Corner (1), wing Rhys Lewis (2 – making 4 in total) full back Rogers (1), young Riley Milsom on in the second half for his debut (1), Palmer (1) and Chris Stegmann (1) with all eighteen players fully contributing to the overall win and able to sustain sharp and accurate attacks characterised throughout by some great running lines and offloading.
Man of the match though went to Ollie Palmer who was instrumental in keeping the tempo high and who mixed his normal smooth service and ‘tap and goes’, with some sniping runs around the fringes to keep US Portsmouth guessing and Reeds in firm control.