Reeds Weybridge 2nd XV 14 v 42 Old Tiffinian 2nd XV
Tiffs Outclass Opponents
On the 28th October, Old Tiffs descended into the heart of leafy Surrey with a team full of new (and many young) faces keen to bag a first win of the season against side whom they had comprehensively beaten 86-5 the season before.
Unfortunately, form and previous results matter little in the Surrey Reserve League West Conference as captain Sedgers aptly demonstrated with his pre-game announcement that he was one of only two players in the current side who actually ran out against Reeds in the aforementioned thrashing. With the hosts looking like a large and well drilled unit during the warm up, OT's early confidence may have proven to be misplaced. Thankfully, it wasn't.
Tiffs started strongly up the slope and quickly exercised their dominance by keeping possession and making numerous inroads into the weak Weybridge defence. Strong carries from almost all members of the pack culminated in 2 tries in the first 10 minutes. The writer believes that these may have gone to big Nige and the even bigger Fridge, but unfortunately cannot remember. Congrats to whoever did score them.
It quickly became apparent that the older and less skillful Reeds team struggled to deal with Tiffs superior pace and handling and the majority of the first 40 was spent in the Reeds half. Finally Tiffs were able to use the pace and skill that had been hiding underneath a series of undermanned contests that failed to live up to expectations earlier in the season.
Morale was high amongst the rampaging visitors when Gards left the field with a knee injury [Ed - Some would say morale was high because he left the field...], allowing the questionably fit Ali Watkins to make his long awaited return. Despite only having one functioning leg and very little cardio fitness he impressed from the off with a stunning conversion right on the touchline (following a fine finish from Pedro in the corner) minutes after his introduction and a final haul of 5/5 when the game came to a close.
The first half came to a close with Tiffs 5 tries up to nil, with a try apiece from the young Matt Quinn and Ekow Daniels, who provided the pack with powerful carrying and a physical presence in the breakdown, a key component of Tiffs initial dominance. Signs of Reeds frustration were becoming apparent with their Shrek-esque second row binned for a late hit, giving us an advantage going into the second 40.
Resumption of play resulted in a change of fortunes for Reeds, with a mysterious flanker in an orange scrum cap, who played for 5 minutes at a time before being substituted, breaking the Tiffs defensive line on multiple occasions and creating scoring opportunities for the home team (It was later discovered he was only 17 and had a Surrey game the next day. Exciting stuff!).
The atmosphere was tense in Weybridge, with a clear Reeds try not spotted by the ref and a binning for Banjo’s mate riling up the home fans, it was safe to say that some of the comments heard from the sidelines may not have been uttered in the spirit of the game.
The combination of Reeds needing to salvage some pride accompanied by a period of weak defence from Tiffs, resulted in 2 tries for the home side.
Thankfully for the boys from Grists, the tries provided a suitable wake up call and Tiffs aggression returned to earlier levels as the match came to a close, with 2 late tries from Pedro and the number 8 turned winger Quinn to end the match at 7 tries to 2.
The last play of the game saw Tiffs turn over a ruck and the ball run loose at the back. Despite the utter dominance of the score line, Banjo made no mistake in kicking the ball firmly off the pitch from the back of the ruck, successfully but entirely accidentally, hitting a female spectator in the head. If only his line out throwing had been as accurate, Tiffs may have scored even more.
Tiffs now go into Ladies Day with a hard fought and well deserved win that hopefully sets a new tone for the rest of the season. With larger squads and structures starting to assemble, the future is bright.
Final Score Reeds Weybridge 2nd XV 14 v 42 Old Tiffinian 2nd XV
MOM Matt Quinn - carried strongly and bagged a brace on his debut
DOD goes to the returning Ali Watkins who kicked straight into opposition hands in open play not once, but twice
NB - The female spectator was thankfully uninjured
Match Report by Ben Studdert