A tremendous effort from all 12 members of the squad. Once again, they proved that they are a hard-working, competitive side, who pull together when the going gets tough. Lawrence introduced himself as a wrecking machine at the breakdown and Harry has hopefully proved to himself that his game is about more than the set piece. The 5 back row boys put in a shift, showing all round skills, filling in throughout the team. Luke carried well. Anthony predictably looked completely at home in 7s and Kenny showed again how much he has learned this year. Given the balance of the squad, Marcus and Gordon had to play almost every minute and they ran themselves into the ground. Gordon converted most of our tries, with Kenny and Alex chipping in as well.
I think I have the correct scorers in the correct games, if not, apologies.
Chichester 38 Reading 12
For the first seven minutes of this game, the guys looked as though, not only had they never played 7s before but they had never met each other. Every Chichester kick off resulted in a try, most converted.
BUT, a quick chat at half time to remind themselves about the game plan – quick ruck ball, keep it alive where possible and go for it when its on – and we won the second half 2 tries to one. Predictably it was Anthony who got us off the mark, seizing on a stray pass to get in from 20 metres. Mike H got the second and we were up and running.
Reading 14 Salisbury 14
Josh and Patrick scored for us in a really even game against a side we were to meet again in the final. We were also starting to work as a unit in defence and force turnovers.
Haslemere 24 Reading 19
Long range tries from Gordon and Anthony and another try from Patrick. By the end of this game, every member of the squad had played but we had also lost Luke with a bang on the head and Kenny with a combination of injury and exhaustion, so were down to 10 for the rest of the day.
A long wait followed before the plate semi-final and the guys did well to avoid seizing up.
Plate Semi Final Reading 21 Alton 17
A comfortable win against the hosts, who got the benefit of any doubt throughout from the ref. Anthony scored one and should have had another but after he was held up, Marcus scampered over. Alex got the other try, which he then converted. By now, we looked like a well organised side, playing a structured game.
Plate Final Salisbury 24 Reading 19
This time Salisbury were just a bit too good for us. Again we scored three tries – Mike H, Anthony and Gordon all getting over. A touch of fatigue balanced the experience the guys had picked up. Marcus and Gordon finally ran out of gas but when Patrick was injured, Marcus had to go back on at scrum half. Almost immediately, he got a finger in the eye, forcing Gordon to return for the last 5 minutes. We were never out of it and never stopped working.