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Old Reigatian RFC

KCS 2nd XV vs Old Reigatian 2nd XV, Match Report

KCS 2nd XV 41 v Old Reigatian 2nd XV 45

The composer Rossini wrote about Wagner’s music, ‘Beautiful moments but awful quarters of an hour’. This looked as though it would be a fair summation of the AXV’s performance at KCS on Saturday, but somehow the boys turned what was heading towards a damp squib into a spectacular firework display.

With several regular squad members sidelined, it was going to be interesting to see how [and if] the momentum would continue to build within the group, but early OR pressure, good hands and classy breaks from Joe Wills and Toby Brann, appeared to show that things were still very much on the up. This was backed up by some tough tackling [Olly Guy, Lewis Freeman, Noel Jones and Dan John amongst others], ball stealing from Harry Plowman and gutsy work from unstinting Jude McRobbie. There were, though, danger signs and when the KCS fly half made a telling break; it showed what was to come.
Three quick tries [Jonny Bridges on the outside, leaving his opponent for dead, after powerful loose forward play and slick ¾ hands; a Toby Brann individual score…and the mystery try, which I thought had been scored by Dan Westley, but have subsequently been informed, by those who were closer to the action and could see more clearly, that it was someone else – most likely Joe. If anyone is claiming the try [other than Noel], please let me know, Ben Holder, making a welcome return to the Green and Blue, converted two of the three.

So, at 19 – 0 to the good, we looked in total control and, although, still early in proceedings, presumably thought we had done enough to coast through the last hour or so of the game.
Wrong! KCS came back hard, and despite desperate covering from Joe, scored out wide, having created an overlap. There were then intermittent passages of ORs showing what we can do [Elliot Anderson looking classy on his return from injury, and Lewis carrying ball forwards], but, in a flash, KCS were within a couple of points, having broken through our defence twice more at pace, leaving us wondering what had happened.

Ed Forsyth, now on for Dan W, illustrated his bravery and experience at the breakdown, tidying up several messy situations, but the opposition were on a higher plain, whilst we had lost our composure and our way, offering up several penalties in quick succession. Another break down the middle was thwarted by Kern Bush-Nelson [on for Ben], with a last gasp tackle, but it was not long before our line was breached again, leaving the half time score at 24 – 19.

Often the 10-minute break is a chance to assess and reflect, giving a reboot for the second period, but we still appeared somewhat shellshocked, leaking another goal early after play had restarted [31 – 19].

In these situations, it is easy for panic to set in, leaving the door open for further problems, however, from somewhere we found the urgency and resolve that had gone missing, and a second Jonny Bridges try, converted by Chris Chalder, brought back life. Suddenly, it was game on again! Great movement by Kern and Elliot set Joe up to take us back into the lead [31 – 33], but KCS responded swiftly to regain the upper hand. By this stage, it was difficult to keep up with proceedings and the scoreline, with the lead changing every few minutes.

A customary line break by Adam Mendoza saw his pass reach Noel [still in the thick of the action], who made further yards before offloading to Dan J to score the try of the afternoon – again Chris took the extra two points to give us a tenuous command at 38 – 40. A kickable penalty put KCS back up by one point, and then a moment of magic, as Joe chased the ensuing kick-off and caught the ball. This action kept us planted in the opposition 22, with pressure mounting on the KCS line. After what seemed like a lifetime, Ed sniped his way over the whitewash to score a classic scrum half try [41 – 45].

There was still time for KCS to regather possession, but a tackle by Harry, literally and metaphorically, seemed to knock the wind out of them, and one had to hope that this was now their last chance gone. Still they worked up field, but eventually in the gathering afternoon gloom, the ball found touch and the referee concluded the game.

Full credit to both teams for one of the most exciting games I have seen in a long time – ‘Entertaining and eventful’ was the apt summing up by Adam M, later in the evening – and showed that resilience is now becoming a key part of our armour.

All played their part in this important victory with Adam Harrington back for his first game since early season, Alex Le Berruyer making his maiden start in ORs senior rugby [10 years after his last game for the Colts] and Josh Bradford coming on from the sidelines. A particular mention for Olly – whilst the team pulled themselves around, the captain had a big role to play in refocusing the players and leading us to, what at times, seemed like an unlikely victory.

Theoretically, the coming Saturday is a rest week, but as Steve said it could be a re-arranged fixture from earlier postponements, so keep the focus and make training. The 2nd December is away at Farnham – they are at the business end of the league, so will offer us our toughest challenge yet!

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