Reeds put 8 past Old Wimbledonians!

Reeds played their first friendly of the season at Old Paulines on a wet and windy day against a make shift side from OW’s with an eye very much on the new league campaign.

The first 20 minutes saw Reeds struggling to get into their stride and look after the ball with the result that OW’s scored a well worked early try and conversion to go 7-0 up. As the first half wore on Reeds began to slowly work their way into the game, aided by the fact the OW’s had to go down to 14 men, with the pack securing better ball and Reeds beginning to execute their expansive game plan with more precision. Following a few phases and some good recycling and sustained pressure Reeds managed to work the ball out wide with Malcolm Harding the try scoring beneficiary. 25 minutes gone 7-7.

The Reeds back row of Dom Wooldridge & Will Ambidge and centres Billy Maddock, Ollie Savill, and Davy Downey on his debut were now starting to make some telling line busting runs. Not to be outdone, Alex Keefe also made a good mid-field break with the ball going through several pairs of forwards hands to take play into OW’s 22. The resulting scrum by OW’s led to a Reeds turnover with Matt Connell getting the ball away sharply and Jonny Rogers joining the back line and gliding through a space in OW’s defence to score under the post. 37 minutes gone, 7-14 to Reeds.
From the resulting kick off OW’s player was tackled into touch by Simon Woollatt and with Simon Fozard taking good line out ball from a nice throw in from Toby Blyther, Reeds launched another passage of play with Pete Davidge and Rogers again prominent in the build. Once again Harding found the gap for a try from 30 meters out.

Half time 21-7 to Reeds thanks to 3 try conversions from the metronomic Davidge.

At half time the coaches and senior players talked about the need to sharpen up at the ruck, be more aggressive and look after the ball, and go through their processes in order to earn the right to score tries.

The game re-commenced with uncontested scrums and both teams playing with 13 men each due to OW injuries.
The second half started poorly for Reeds with the forwards being counter rucked and OW’s scoring near the posts from turnover ball in the Reeds 22. 45 minutes gone, 21- 14 Reeds. That early score and memories of the half time talk seemed to galvanise Reeds and from the resulting kick off Reeds secured ball and a bursting run from Maddock took play to 7 meters out with quick recycling resulting in a follow up line breaking burst from Downey with his momentum taking him over the line. 50 minutes gone, 28-14 to Reeds.

Reeds now had the bit well and truly between their teeth and on 55 minutes Reeds scored again through a line out take and break from Fozard, which was finished off by Woollatt – 33-14 to Reeds. 10 minutes later and wonderful interplay from the fly half and centres saw Chris Stegmann score – 65 minutes gone, 40-14 to Reeds. OW’s continued to contest the game vigorously but good line speed from Reeds in defence saw Stegmann hack on from a dropped ball in the Reeds half and with his sublime footballing skills control the ball over 60 meters to score. 72 minutes gone, 47-14 to Reeds.

With around 5 minutes of the game left Reeds again secured good field position with the influential Rogers again crossing the line with a gliding run to round off the scoring action.

Final score Reeds 54 – OW’s 14 with plenty of chances being created but with the need nonetheless for Reeds to continue to watch out for some of their old failings as we move into the season proper.
Man of the Match: Simon Fozard for his line out play, all court tackling, work-rate and contribution around the pitch.

Honourable mentions: Simon Woollatt, Dom Wooldridge, Will Ambidge, for their hard work at the break down and mobility around the pitch; Ollie Savill, Billy Maddock & Davey Downey for their organisation, line breaks and defensive contribution; Matt Connell for his lively display at scrum half.

Reeds side

1. Adam Smith, 2. Toby Blyther, 3. Ben Lewis, 4. Simon Fozard, 5. Simon Woollatt, 6. Dom Wooldridge, 7. Will Ambidge, 8. Alex Keefe, 9. Matt Connell, 10. Pete Davidge, 11. Chris Stegmann, 12. Billy Maddock, 13. Ollie Savill, 14. Malcolm Harding, 15. Jonny Rogers. Subs: Tom Ambidge, Davey Downey, Joe Moriarty.
Reeds 2nd XV v Old Paulines

Reeds 2nd XV

Reeds 2nd XV played an enthralling game against a well drilled larger side with a ‘scratch’ Reeds side narrowly losing 5-0 – a very promising start to the new season with the younger players in particular acquitting themselves well.

Mark Sukiennik

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