On Saturday Old Reigatian 1st XV hosted KCS 1st XV on a foul Jan day to kick off the league campaign in 2023.
KCS currently reside at the bottom of the league but as this season has shown there are no easy fixtures and with OR’s losing five of their last six games it was important to start the new year with a Win.
With a strong wind going straight down the pitch and driving rain it was never going to be a game of free flowing Rugby.
Reigatian’s Captain Reilly Franklin-Talbot decided to play into the Wind the first half and the Visitors quickly took advantage of the conditions with a try after 5 minutes which was converted giving them an early 0-7 lead. However these conditions made it nearly impossible to kick for field position in this half.
Many times the Home side would put some phases together only for the ball to be lost in contact and at the breakdown allowing KCS to move play back towards the Reigatian try line. The home side defended well and managed to keep the Visitors scoreless for long periods.
However in the 21st minutes Dan Jones was shown a yellow card for offside at a maul. With one player down it was going to be impossible to hold KCS out and with 2 minutes left on the Sin Bin KCS managed to score a second try. 0-14.
This remained the score until half time.
The second half Old Reigatian knew they had to take the game to KCS if they were to overhaul the 14 point lead.
After 10 minutes it looked to all that Reigatian had the first try of the afternoon with the ball moving wide one of the KCS defenders attempted a tackle which was high however the ball was released and debutant Finlay Lock looked to have scored in the corner.
Bizarrely the Ref had called the play back for the high tackle yellow carded the KCS player and awarded a penalty to Reigatian but disallowed the try. Despite the frustration field position was held and OR’s went again this time Gareth Stephens broke the defensive line to score and Lucas Overtoom slotted the conversion to cut the gap to 7 points and one converted try.
3 minutes later Tom Woodford chased a kick ahead to control the ball over the try line and again Overtoom added the extras to tie the scores 14-14. With only 15 minutes gone in the second half OR’s had plenty of time to seal the victory and look for a try scoring bonus point.
With half an hour gone of the second half Max Coyle showed his pace on a pitch that was slowing turning into a bog as the heavy rain continued. Max outpaced the KCS defence to move the home side into the lead for the first time. Overtoom continued his outstanding kicking with a kick from the touchline. 21-14. From the restart Alex Skinner put a kick through which found open space Skinner managed to win the race and kicked ahead again and Finn Coyle not to be outdone by his brother won the foot race to score the last try of the afternoon.
This time the kick was missed but with four tries a bonus point was collected and five points gained. This win marked Toby Collister’s 100th 1st XV appearance for which he had his Cap presented to him after the game. A special thank you to all the supporters that braved the weather and great to see loyal supporter Peter Jackson back on the side-lines following health issues.
1. Reilly Franklin-Talbot, 2. Ciaran Nestor, 3. Toby Collister, 4. Dan Grant, 5.Tom Bestwick, 6.Da Jones, 7. Finlay Lock, 8. Oli Brooks, 9. Alex Skinner, 10. Lucas Overtoom, 11. Finn Coyle, 12. Gareth Stephens, 13. Max Coyle, 14. Owen Knowles, 15.Tom Woodford, 16. Ethan Monk, 17.Jude Clark, 18. Sam Turner