Five try haul from captain Veale leads 14 man Reading to a close victory at windy Chinnor
On a cold and windy day so different from the glorious weather of last week, a disjointed Reading team with only one sub did just enough to win out in a close encounter against a spirited Chinnor team. Indeed it needed a last minute try from Adam Veale to secure victory when much of the momentum was behind Chinnor, who from being behind all game fancied victory at the end.
Under pressure from the start with many players unavailable, Reading were forced to re-align after losing stand-in scrum half James Wonter-Smith with a suspected broken finger within the first ten minutes. After losing Wontner-Smith, who had started well in an un-familiar position, the remaining backs all moved in one and several forwards helped out in the backs. The players coped well, but with so many players out of their normal positions it was a wonder how Reading managed to dominate large parts of the game.
Reading’s victory however owed much too individual performances as the team struggled to work together, and isolated runs produced a number of turnovers.
The first of six tries from the forwards came from Adam Veale converted by Tom Lawson, and after 20 minutes Veale got a second and Reading were reasonably comfortable with a 12-0 lead.
Chinnor however started to find holes in the Reading defence, and scored two unconverted tries in succession to bring the score back to 10-12.
Adam Veale then went over again, following a good run from Josh Nichol, playing his first game of the season for the Wanderers, before Tim Hill got in on the act with a strong run to the line and Reading were back in control at half-time following the Tom Lawson conversion with the score at 10-24.
In the second half with a cross wind not really offering any advantage Adam Veale scored his fourth try following a break and kick through from Will Cocks.
Following a couple of knocks centre Dan Stocks had to leave the field with a knee injury, leaving Reading to become extremely stretched and allowing Chinnor to score three tries - bringing the score back to Chinnor 27 Reading 29.
The momentum was now all with Chinnor as they sought one more try in the last 5 minutes to secure victory, and it was at this point that Reading finally started to work as a team, retaining the ball through multiple phases before Veale broke through to score his fifth try for Reading, converted by Cocks to win the game for Reading.
With so many players out of position, Reading will be pleased to come away with a bonus point win to keep their top three finish chances alive. We wish James Wontner-Smith and Dan Stocks a speedy recovery from their injuries. Cpt Adam Veale, said “Under the circumstances, it was a brilliant outcome, some mistakes were made but overall a fantastic effort from the guys, well done”
Reading: Graham Wontner-Smith, Ricky Willcock, Richard Bellingham, Dan Parsons, Tim Laverye, Simon Everett, Adam Veale (Capt), Tim Hill, James Wontner-Smith (Chris Hagger, 10 mins), Will Cocks, Josh Nichol, Tom Lawson, Jason Donnelly, Dan Stocks, Dwayne Rosie.
By Tim Cocks