Reeds U16 v Cobham (Surrey League 1) – 18 Dec 2016

Some victories are played out in warm sunshine, when the game plan is executed faultlessly and everything clicks together like a good training session. Other times, it’s tough, it’s cold, the opposition is committed and makes things difficult for you, things don’t quite go to plan. Those are the times when a team has to dig deep and show their character. Yet, those victories can be the sweetest of all. Today was such a day for Reeds.

The day boded much promise, with Reeds fielding a strong team, given a boost by the return of Archie Finn after a very lengthy injury layoff – welcome back Archie. However the first 5 minutes of the game showed that we were in for a tough time. Cobham capitalised on some early mistakes to score in the corner, and then things got worse for Reeds when Ricky Yuksel suffered a shoulder injury which forced him off the field. Or to be precise, it forced the match to move to another field whilst his injury was attended to.

The new field suited Reeds a bit better, and they started building a few phases of play. Will Fitch finished off a great team try, with Dan Aldwinckle adding a fine touchline conversion. The boys started playing with more confidence, and Dan soon scored a try of his own. Max Minnie was delivering some strong runs, and was a source of reliable lineout ball at 4 when Cobham put pressure on the front of our lineout. To their credit, Cobham were playing with a lot of heart and piling players into the breakdown to disrupt our platform. They fought back with a try of their own, and the teams were locked at 12-12 at halftime.

After some stern words during the interval, Reeds started playing with more composure in the second half, and importantly played large portions of it in Cobham’s 22 metre area. The pressure started to reap rewards with 3 more tries during a purple patch for Reeds. First to break the shackles was Max Hall forcing himself over for a try in the corner. And when it comes to determination, nobody does it quite like Lorcan… a barnstorming run, legs pumping, nostrils flaring, 3 defenders clutching on desperately as he dragged them over the tryline with him. Reeds where now flying, and another phased build up soon followed, with Lorcan offloading to the ever-present Will Fitch to score his second try of the match.

A late try for Cobham on the final whistle was not enough to take the gloss off a very character building League 1 victory for Reeds. The level of competitiveness this year is fierce, but Reeds showed today that they can dig deep and pull off tough wins when the chips are down. There were some great performances all around the park, but one performance was perfect: game reading, distribution, tackling, vision, and some fine runs, Thomas Sturmer did it all today and was a worthy man of the match.

Reeds can go into the Christmas break with some confidence and the boys deserve a second helping of Christmas pudding. Looking forward to 2017 – go Reeds.

Greg Tack

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