Youthful rugby, played in the best of spirits
Although the scoreline would suggest a comfortable win, this is quite a tricky game to make sense off.
When Aylesbury played to their potential, Reading had no answer, and when Reading played to their potential, Aylesbury struggled to contain them. Aylesbury led 12-7 at half-time, but with Reading scoring just before the whistle, it was them that went in with the heads and tails up. In the first 15 minutes of the second half, Aylesbury fielded their strongest back-line and played some fabulous, mature, controlled rugby, racing away with the scoreline. However, whether it was complacency, fitness, injuries,or subsequent changes in personnel in the backs, Aylesbury allowed Reading back in to the game with a few missed tackles. The highlight being a try scored the length of the pitch, started by Reading's back row who turned over a ruck 1m from their own try-line and, moving the ball quickly wide, saw Aylesbury's back 3 slow to respond to the threat, and caught out of position.
There were a number of very good individual performances today - Arthur (man of the match) was utterly tireless, putting in a huge shift at hooker and then in the back-row, catching and ferrying for the team, encouraging and chasing his team-mates both on and off the pitch. Jack put in another tireless, self-less performance in the second row. Max tackled and ran and ran and tackled, Will (prop) will henceforth be known as Will "the sidestep" after totally wrong footing an opponent. In the front row Will, Arthur, John, Robbie and Kyle set a sold foundation in the scrums and in the loose Dominic put in numerous hi-octane runs, especially in the second-half, and eventually scored the try that he's been threatening us with for the past few games and thoroughly deserved, in what was probably his best performance for us. In the backs, Josh and James shared scrum-half duties, and both were getting the ball out much more quickly than in previous games. That said, the forwards need to listen to the game and stop taking the ball from the back of the ruck when the 9 is about to pass it. Paul Daniels (RIP) would have been proud at the way they made the ball disappear from right in front of the 9's eyes. Joseph put in a number of important tackles in the second half and kept the back line ticking over throughout the game with reliable distribution. George and Charlie caused problems all day with their running lines and passing and Ben was like a bolt of electricity, scoring a hat-trick of tries, a handful of conversions and some great covering tackles. Caion and Jasper, sharing 15 duties, both tackled well and are starting to show an understanding of "the pendulum". A special mention also to Rhys, who although injured, turned up to support his teammates, and end up running the line as a reward. That'll learn him. We also had a number of boys easing themselves back into rugby after injury, with solid performances: Harrison, Matthew, Robbie and Previn.