On Saturday Old Reigaitian 1st XV travelled away to Sussex to play Chichester RFC. Chichester may be lower in the league than OR’s but they hold a very decent Home record with their only losses to the top two teams in Horsham & Farnham.
With last weeks disappointment against Guildford this was an opportunity to bounce back.
From the start the Home side had OR’s under pressure and the visitors needed to show a lot of commitment and endeavour to keep Chichester from scoring and it wasn’t until the16th minute that Reigatian’s forward got the upper hand in the Scrum and quick ball went wide the ball was recycled quickly and Tom Woodford find himself with space to go over for the first try of the afternoon, Lucas Overtoom was his reliable self and added the conversion.
This seemed to settle the Visitors and with playing good patterns and showing excellent patience their working their way to the home side line. In the 21st minute Old Reigatian’s forwards won their own line out and started to drive towards the line. They didn’t quite make it and the ball was moved out to the backs and again Woodford found the whole in the defensive line and scored his second of the day again Overtoom added the conversion. 0 – 14.
With a momentary lapse in concentration the Chichester Lock came on to the ball at pace and completed broke the OR’s defensive line, he made over 20 meters before being tackled and the players in Green and Blue scrambled back in defence as fast as possible. The Home forwards picked and went to try and force their way over and eventually they crashed over by the posts and with an easy kick the score was 7-14.
Lucas Overtoom added a penalty in the 35 minute to stretch the lead to 7-17.
From the restart OR’s showed some great handling and playing with good hands and great support the ball finally found its way to Finn Coyle who showed great pace to finish off the move and with Overtoom’s kick the score at half time was 7-24.
Old Reigatian started the second half as they had finished the first with some great interpassing and support play and 5 minutes into the half a rare try for Hooker Ciaran Nestor which was very popular with the travelling supporters, again Overtoom’s kick made the score 7-31 with 30 minutes to play.
This looked like a comfortable victory on the road, but credit to Chichester they didn’t give up and came back at the visitors. When Dan Jones received a yellow card to give the home side a ten minute man advantage the took full advantage and with the camped on OR’s try line their forwards managed to force their way over to move the score to 14-31.
With the home sides left wing looking very dangerous and making ground every time he carried the ball. From the restart Chichester found themselves within striking distance and again used their pick n go tactics which again proved successful with another try. 21-31.
With only two scores separating the two teams the Home side and supporters felt Chichester could steal victory in the last few minutes. In the 28 minute of the second half again Chichester managed somehow to score 28-31.
With Dan Jones back from the Sin Bin and Sam Foreman having been replaced both return to not only add their physicality and experience to steady the ship. ORs suddenly looked more in control and kept control of the ball and finally started to put the home side under pressure. With this time the home defending they conceded a penalty. Overtoom stepped up to try and move Reigatian six points clear meaning the home team would need a converted try. For the first time Overtoom missed and a 22 drop out to the home team.
With the ball dropping into Max Coyle’s safe hands the Chichester left wing jumped in front of Coyle to snatch the ball and set off towards the Reigatian try line. With the home crowd cheering him on he looked set to move them into the lead for the first time. Then Sam Turner appeared from nowhere and made the most spectacular tackle and turnover the ball! Sam making his second start for the 1st XV this season due to a long term injury showed he is back and what a match winning tackle to celebrate!
Very exciting game for the naturals but th second week in a row a healthy lead has disappeared and something that needs to be addressed but an away win with a try scoring bonus point were the important statistics and OR’s maintain fifth in the league with Reeds at Home next Saturday.
1. Reilly Franklin – Talbot © 2. Ciaran Nestor 3. Toby Collister 4. Joe Gregson 5. Tom Bestwick 6. Jonny Long 7. Sam Foreman 8. Dan Jones 9. Alex Skinner 10. Harry Serjeant 11. Finn Coyle 12. Lucas Overtoom 13. Max Coyle 14. Sam Turner 15. Tom Woodford 16. Ethan Monk 17. Harry Plowman 18. Patrick White