Reeds Trounce Trojans in Mud-bath
Trojans RFC, founded in 1874 are one of the oldest clubs in the Union but this is not one of their vintage years having won just two games in the current season. With that backdrop, Reeds might have thought they were in for an easy ride but it didn’t work out like that, because in the first quarter Reeds were locked into defensive mode with the home side deep in Reeds territory and it brought the first score of the game. It was a solo effort from Patrick Gibbs the fly half, he attacked within Reeds twenty two, sold a huge dummy that wrong footed the cover and touched down by the flag, the conversion went adrift but Reeds knew they had a game on their hands. Reeds strategy is based on pace in all departments and they have the fitness and ball players to follow the plan, however, mud is a great leveller and the difficult conditions at the Trojans ground limited Reeds speed and intensity, especially out wide. But that didn’t stop Reeds front five, they were having the better of the tight scrums and in the loose there were some thunderous charges and clever running lines from young Joe Wastie and Michael Wasko, and once they got their hands on the ball you would need a wrench to remove it. That provided some space for Reeds back division, quick possession and fast hands gave winger Joe Moriarty just enough space to squeeze in close to the flag for their first try of the day, Pete Davidge banged over the touchline conversion and they had their noses in front. Reeds skipper, Billy Maddock sensed that if he could stretch the Trojans defence around the park, points would come, but it wasn’t easy running in a quagmire, the pace was slowed and handling was tricky. It was Reeds forwards who instigated the second try, they drove play to within ten metres, the defence was sucked in to cover the danger and that left enough space for Joe Moriarty to cross out wide following a sublime offload from Simon Woollatt for his second try of the afternoon. Reeds front row were making life very difficult for the Trojan set piece, Trojans back division needed the ball going forward in the conditions and it didn’t happen. Reeds were proving to be a real handful in the loose, Joe Wastie the young forward clocked up the third try of the day when he collected the ball some fifteen metres out, the defence thought they had him nailed but he has such abrasive power and that, plus some jinking steps, took him over the line. Just before half time Reeds were awarded a penalty under the sticks, it was a certain three points, or skipper Billy Maddock could go for the high risk scrum and the prospect of a four try bonus point. He chose the scrum, Trojans went backwards and quick hands saw Joe Moriarty in for his hat trick. With Reeds winning plenty of ball, a second half Trojan revival didn’t seem likely and when Ollie Savill Reeds winger accelerated away down the open side to give full back Jonny Rogers the scoring pass, the final result wasn’t in doubt. There were two more tries late on, Savill caught a telling kick cross-field from outside centre Tom McClean, the defence couldn’t cover the danger and Savill who is such a potent finisher crossed for the sixth try of the day. Trojans didn’t give up the battle and late on were rewarded with their second try of the day, Reeds back line were up flat in defence, the Trojans centre chipped the ball and won the race for the try line. Just on the stroke of time Reeds set piece rumbled over the tiring Trojans pack and were awarded a penalty try. Winger Joe Moriarty was a constant threat all afternoon, his speed of thought, brilliant footwork and confrontational attacking style together with a hat trick of tries earned him the Man of the Match Award.
It was a score line that didn’t quite reflect the game, Trojans were always threatening but it was Reeds fitness and determination in challenging circumstances that enabled them to grab the win and the bonus point as well.
Next week Reeds are at home to Portsmouth in the RFU Senior Vase, Reeds won the away league game earlier in the season and Reeds will expect another aggressive examination from the visitors.
George Spinks 24.11.19