Saturday’s venue was probably one of the smallest pitches in the league and on an exposed Parkland playing the wide free flowing Rugby was going to be a challedge.
From the kick off Dartfordins had obviously done their homework as the rucks were never contested and the whole width of the pitch was covered with a red and Yellow defensive wall. As much as OR’s tried to play the phases time and time again they struggled to make any ground.
Gareth Stephens looked dangerous and with his strength managed to break the defensive line on a few occasions but the Reigate team couldn’t make these breaks count.
Then in a ten minute spell things to a turn for the worse. Sam Foreman took a knock and was unable to continue to be replaced by young Alex King he was closely followed by Gareth Stephens who had a dead leg he tried to continue but you could see the pain on his face when he tried to run flat out, Then this season’s top try scorer Finn Coyle also took a knock and came off.
The two backs being replaced by Sam Turner and Dom Smith.
While the visitors were busy trying to reorganise their team and settle back into their structure Dartfordians took a rare visit into Reigatian’s 22. From the Line Out their heavy pack got their driving maul formed early and with great effect marching towards the try line. Try to the home team and a good conversion to take a 7-0 lead with half time approaching half time.
OR’s reacted well and played themselves down field from the restart, with a frantic defence the home team gave away a penalty which Lucas Overtoom kicked comfortably to make the score 7-3 at Half Time.
The second half and now to make matter worse Reigatian were playing up the slope again it was not the festival of running rugby we have seen sometimes this season with Dartfordian’s totally committed defence.
However with in eight minutes Dartfordians had managed a break away try with a try in the corner and they had stretched their lead to 12-3. Not the scenario that Reigatian had found themselves in very often this season and they showed great heart to keep fighting. Sadly we hadn’t seen the end of the injury worries with flyhalf Ben Holder turning his Ankle and needed to be helped from the field of play. Fortunately Finn Coyle had recovered enough to rejoin the game. However as much as Ors tried they certainlt didn’t get th erub of the green this week, Sam Turner put himself in the Sin Bin for the last ten minutes of the game for a tip tackle.
The home team added one more try in the 39 minute of the second Half to take the score to 19-3 and Reigatian’s heaviest defeat of the season so far and the first fixture they have come away from with no points. Special mention to Captain Reilly Franklin-Talbot who made his 100th appearance for the 1st XV. He always leads by example and Saturday was no different as he must have carried into contact more than anyone else on the pitch. He sets a great example for the team and it was a shame that Saturday didn’t work out for him and the team. Back to Training and see what magic the Physio can work as we prepare to face Battersea Ironsides next Saturday at Park Lane
1. Toby Collister, 2. Ciaran Nestor, 3. Mike Layzell, 4. Joe Gregson, 5. Dan Grant, 6. Oly Guy, 7.Sam Foreman, 8. Reilly Franklin – Talbot © 9. Harry Serjaent, 10. Ben Holder, 11. Harrison Mitchell, 12. Lucas Overtoom, 13. Gareth Stephens 14. Finn Coyle, 15. Tom Woodford, 16. Alex King, 17. Dom Smith, 18. Sam Turner