Reeds maintain unbeaten run against a resolute Pompey side
REEDS WEYBRIDGE 30pts PORTSMOUTH 10pts
Reeds are used to facing town sides who arrive with a huge set of forwards that present serious problems in the set pieces, the Pompey forwards were certainly big enough but it was the Reeds pack that had the visitors tight scrummage back pedalling for most of the afternoon. And that dominance existed in the lineouts as well with some pin point accurate throw ins from hooker Toby Blyther finding Reeds jumpers every time. That possession from the formal passages of play led to a constant series of attacks deep in Pompey territory. Rugby buffs love to see a big winger on the move, and Reeds supporters saw plenty of that from Joe Moriarty, he has pace and balance combined with raw power with good hands as well, he caused no end of problems for the Pompey defenders. Reeds were attacking from all parts but they just couldn’t break down a resolute Pompey defence and they had to rely on the clinical kicking skills of fly half Pete Davidge who converted pack success into penalty points that edged them into a 3 – 0 lead. They went further ahead from another penalty award, this time the move initiated by scrum half Ollie Palmer, he spotted that the Pompey forwards were slow to retreat from a penalty award and he was away, try line bound, he was stopped just short of the line but flanker Will Ambidge took the pass and bashed his way over in front of the posts – 10 – 0 Reeds. Just before the break Davidge banged over another difficult penalty in the blustery conditions to make it 13-0 at half time. Reeds now had the slope to come in their favour in the second half, they were winning plenty of ball and fancied their chances of clocking up a four try bonus point award. Soon after the restart Reeds were awarded another midfield penalty, not an easy conversion but Pete Davidge slotted the conversion and they had the comfort of a 16 – 0 lead. Reeds were now camped in Pompey territory and the visitors were locked into defensive mode constantly fielding a barrage of Reeds attacks but from a series of rucks and mauls just five metres out, Josh Brown, Reeds mobile prop forward wrestled his way over for the second try of the day to make it 23 – 0. No question about the try of the afternoon, it was started by centre Tom McLean, he sidestepped his way through the heavy traffic, offloaded the possession when he was checked and then was up in support to take an inside pass and score the try, it was a magical piece of elusive running. At 30 – 0 there was no way back for Pompey from that point, Reeds on the other hand wanted that four try bonus point. Perhaps they were over anxious to get that fourth try from almost any situation, when they might have been better to go through the phases, and with Reeds a man down due to a yellow card it led to some big holes appearing in the Reeds defence and it was Pompey who to their credit continued to press the game and score two late unconverted tries from Noah Cannon their quick outside centre.
The Man of the Match award went to Herbie Finn the lock forward who delivered another inspirational performance, he was key to some of Reeds best moments.
Next week Reeds are away to Effingham and Leatherhead. Effingham are having a difficult season with just the one league win to their credit.
George Spinks 23/02/20