In what only can be described as a foul day at Park Lane, Old Reigatian hosted Tottonians from Southampton which we all felt would be a tight game but what unfolded was a really entertaining hard fought encounter and credit to the players from both teams for the level of Rugby played in such atrocious conditions.
OR’s started well and showed their willingness to play an open running rugby despite the conditions. This was highlighted early with a passage of play that went through 11 phases gaining ground with each phase only for the ball to be lost in contact with the try line in sight.
However with great field position OR’s were not to be denied and from a scrappy line out Dan Jones collected the loose ball to make a clean break, the ball was worked in field where Captain Reilly Franklin-Talbot set up another phase for Alex Skinner to switch play back and Ben Holder found Jones again who finished off a great try in these conditions.
Perry hitting the upright in good attempt at the conversation from wide out on the left wing giving the hosts an early 5-0 lead.
From the restart OR’s failed to gather the long kick which immediately put them under pressure with a line out close to their line. This was Totts first trip into the home side’s 22. Having won the line out, a couple of phases in field and the Totts Left Winger joined the line midfield and scored under the posts which allowed an easy conversation for the game to swing Totts way 5-7 within minutes.
OR’s continued to get the better of possession and field position but due to the conditions unforced errors restricted the scoring opportunities with OR’s coming close with a driving maul and again not crossing the line.
Alex Skinner came close when he was the fastest to react to a loose ball fly hacking towards the try line only for Totts defence to manage to hold on once again and clear their lines.
Half Time 5-7
Directly from the restart Totts flyhalf intelligently put a massive high ball up in to the OR’s 22 which in the gale force wind OR’s failed to secure and in the rush to reclaim possession OR’s conceded a kickable penalty to move Totts 5-10 ahead.
We then entered a period where both teams decided it was time for a game kick tennis with Max Coyle winning that game with a huge kick putting OR’s within striking distance again. From the lineout Reilly got the team over the gain line once again, Skinner put the Totts defence under pressure with a clever box kick. When Totts tried to clear their lines Finn Coyle managed to charge the kick down and only narrowly lost the race to touchdown with the defender managing to kick the ball dead. Once again OR’s denied any points.
From an OR’s scrum midfield they launched another attack moving to their right along the line. Max Coyle received the ball with Adam Tarpey outside , Max broke the tackle to find himself in open space , Max made easy work of the last two defenders to score just to the right of the uprights. A great individual try and great to see Max showing his class. George Perry adding the extra 2 points. OR’s lead 12-10.
Again straight from the restart OR’s failed to secure the kick off then failed to win their own line out Totts moved the ball quickly away to the midfield winning the ruck the ball came back the same way which found a mismatch in defence and one of their backs managed to beat the last OR’s defender to touch down under the post, conversion taken and Totts reclaim the lead 12-17.
After a sustained period of pressure from Totts when the OR’s defence held firm. However one infringement lead to Dan Jones ending up in the sin bin for ten minutes. Totts continued to hammer away with no success and after another penalty against OR’s Totts decided to go for goal adding three points to make the score 12-20 to give OR’s needing two scores to regain the lead.
With Jones in the sin bin the rest of the forwards seemed to dig deep and started to gain the upper hand in the scrum and forward exchanges. One occasion OR’s were driving a maul forward in full control looking dominant. A Totts forward clearly enter the maul from an offside position and collapsed the OR’s forward with the ball. All Reigatian players and coaching staff were expecting a penalty to be awarded from where we could mount another attack. Sadly a scrum was awarded to Totts which again went backwards but the Totts 9 was quick enough to get the ball away to his 10 who launched another high kick which in the swirling winds OR’s failed to claim cleanly and Totts again kicked ahead for 50 meters to score under the posts. The 2 extra points comfortably added Totts move to 12-27 ahead.
From the restart OR’s kicked for good field position and from the line out another driving maul was set up and with Dan Jones back on the field a full pack inched closer to Totts try line. As the line approached the maul was collapsed, on this occasion the Ref ran straight between the posts to award a penalty try. 19-27.
With time ticking away OR’s went straight back at Totts stealing the ball midfield from a scrappy line out, with a scrum that completely dominated the opposition and were awarded a scrum penalty which Jack Leech put the kick into the corner just in time for the final line out. OR’s won the lineout and drove to the line. Captain Reilly Franklin – Talbot managed to get to the back of the maul to dive over to score claiming a losing bonus point and try scoring bonus point. Conversion was added with a great kick in the conditions from George Perry.
This was certainly a thrilling game played in awful conditions.
Old Reigatian 26 Tottonians 27
Old Reigatian 1st XV
1. Ciaran Nestor 2. George Wheeler 3.Toby Collister 4. Reilly Franklin-Talbot 5. Tom Bestwick 6. Dan Jones 7. Sam Foreman 8. Jack Baart 9. Alex Skinner 10. Ben Holder 11. Finn Coyle 12. Rob Williamson 13. George Perry 14. Adam Tarpey 15. Max Coyle
16. Harry Plowman 17. Dan Grant 18. Jack Leech