Old Reigatian 1st XV hosted Reeds Weybridge Saturday with Reeds sitting second in league with 5 wins out of five but missing out on one Bonus point handing Chiswick the top spot. However Reeds have been on a journey where they have had one defeat in the last 56 fixtures which was back in Feb 2018, not confirmed stats but certainly they have had a great run and OR’s knew they would have to be on top of their game for 80 minutes to stand any chance of taking the points.
Fair to say Reeds looked the part with some big backs and athletic looking forwards and in the early exchanges both teams looked to move the ball and play some expansive rugby.
But the Home side again got off to a great start which is becoming a trade mark with the half backs of Alex Skinner and Ben Holder patiently playing the structures and working our way towards the Reeds line. Reeds conceded a penalty Max Coyle kicked for the corner. The forwards drove for the line sucking in defenders as they inched towards the line, Skinner released the ball which was moved to the midfield where there looked plenty of space Max Coyle feed to debutant Tom Woodford who caught the ball as he dived over the line to get OR’s 5 – 0 up Alex Skinner added the extras. Before an early try had signalled a quiet period for Reigatian’s but not Saturday with a great intensity in the teams defensive, Reeds attacked and great line speed for the defenders saw Sam Foreman rip the ball of a Reed back to find himself with the ball in open space, quickly Harrison Mitchell was on his shoulder and Foreman passed the ball on to the speedy Winger who wasn’t going to be caught as he ran in a try from a good 40 meters out. Again Skinner added the extras 14 – 0. What a start and Reeds regrouped and started to apply some pressure but The hosts defence was outstanding all afternoon with two man tackles prevent Reeds off load game and time after time knocking down their strong runners. Accepting the defensive wall was going to be hard to break down Reeds decided to kick a couple of penalties bringing them back into the game at 14-6. Reeds have some quality players and a series of good play saw them finally break down OR’s and as half time approached they managed to close the gap to a single point with a converted try.
Half Time 14 – 13
Second half started as a very tense affair with the big home crowd cheering OR’s on and Reeds knowing that this week they had a game on their hands, and having won they last two fixtures 129 – 0 and 62 – 9 then being a point down at the beginning of a second half was unchartered waters. However they started strongly and got awarded another penalty which would have put them in front for the first time. The kick sailed wide and OR’s came straight back and going wide quickly to find Finn Coyle with some space Finn raced to the corner to stretch the lead and with an outstanding conversion Reigatian lead increased to 21 – 13 again Reeds came back with a Penalty but the home side looked determined not to let this game slip away from them and after some pressure close to Reeds line Sam Foreman who had been outstanding all game forced his way over and with Skinner adding the extras 28 – 16 in what was an awesome game of rugby Reeds again pick themselves up and closed the gap to one score with an unconverted try 28 – 21. OR’s sensibly played the territory and moved play back in to Reeds half. At the breakdown Reeds gave away a penalty just to the right of the posts. Surely Captain Reilly Franklin – Talbot would request a kick at goal to get that two score cushion, but before Reilly could speak to the Ref Alex Skinner had taken a quick tap and run, with the whole of the touchline with their heads in their hands wondering why Skinner hadn’t taken the points he found Ryan Travers on his shoulder in support who dotted the ball down for the teams fifth try and with an easy kick OR’s now lead 35 – 21. Travers has returned to play in Blue & Green after a couple of seasons with Esher and marked his come back in style. With the clock ticking Reeds knew they needed to score again to get a losing bonus point and with their restart they found Max Coyle who gathered the restart and set off on one of his electric runs leaving a number of reeds players behind him and with a well judged kick ahead looked like he could add another try to the home sides tally. The Reeds fullback who had already spent 10 minutes in the sin bin saw he wasn’t going to win the race to the ball and clinically took Max out leaving the Ref no option than to award a penalty try and show the fullback a second yellow and closely followed by a red card.
This was a remarkable game played on the whole in a great competitive spirt with two quality teams. Reed’s coaching staff were gracious in defeat saying that the best team on the day had won, and OR’s players overjoyed, with Tom Woodford claiming after the game “That was the best game of rugby I had ever played in!”with a performance like that one suspects he has many more 1st XV appearances ahead of him. Numbers 1 – 18 were outstanding. The home supporters were outstanding and a massive thank you to all who came down to support it made a huge difference and the whole squad were truly grateful. Lastly after the match Harry Plowman received his cap for 50 1st XV appearances, a memorable match to reach such a milestone.
Old Reigatian 42 – 21 Reeds Weybridge
1. Ciaran Nestor 2. George Wheeler 3. Toby Collister 4. Reilly Franklin Talbot © 5. Dan Jones 6. Sam Foreman 7. Oli Brooks 8. Jack Baart 9. Alex Skinner 10. Ben Holder 11. Finn Coyle 12. Rob Williamson 13. Max Coyle 14. Harrison Mitchell 15. Tom Woodford 16. Harry Plowman 17. Ryan Travers 18. Luke Quartermaine