Relentless Rams Reproduce Derby Day Excellence
Rams’ blistering start to their 2018/19 campaign continued with a third straight victory in the Thames Valley derby against Henley Hawks
Report by Callum Pitfield
Photos courtesy of Paul Clark - S2S photography
League leaders Rams managed to score another seven tries for a 3rd consecutive game as they maintain their unbeaten start.
After all the excitement of another bonus point victory Rams head coach Seb Reynolds said “The efforts the front five was outstanding, it was extremely pleasing to see. It was a slow start for us as we had to fight to get on top physically”.
Rams began the game in an unfamiliar fashion as they found themselves in a physical battle against the away side. Quickly both sides found themselves packing down for the first scrummage of the game as Henley’s number 9, Webb, fed the ball into the scrum. However, Rams managed to win the initial shove and turn over the Henley scrummage.
Before the home side had managed to adapt to the physicality of the opening 15 minutes they found themselves 0-3 down courtesy of the accurate boot of Butler.
Rams held their nerve against the Hawks pressure and through effective clearance kicks from the half back pairing the men in blue asserted their way quickly down into the Hawks 22. It was here that Seers threw the dummy to skip past the defender and put the ball down just to the left of the sticks.
Hawks responded instantly from the restart as Butler threw a miss pass to winger Portland who sprinted down the left touch line before being stopped 5 meters out. This pressure was evidently causing the home side some difficulties as Henderson received a yellow card and was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. To capitalise on this opportunity Hawks kicked to touch and organised a routine catch and drive that saw them fight back to earn themselves 5 points as Emery controlled the maul that he had started.
As Rams began to grow in confidence a dummy pass from Lloyd (9) deceived the oncoming Hawks defenders to narrow to the breakdown as he brought Rams 3 meters out. Lloyd finished what he started as he sniped through a small gap to score Rams second try.
The first half drew to a close with Rams kicking to the corner where Taylor caught the ball and created an effective maul. The ball was moved to the back where Vooght patiently waited to put the ball down and conclude the first half with Rams on top 17-8.
The second half began in similar fashion as continual Rams pressure resulted in a yellow card for Hawk’s Perry as Thompson went over to score claiming the bonus point. Hawks responded instantaneously as their captain, Lunnon, broke through three tackles to evade the left-hand touchline as he scored in the corner.
However, Hawks didn’t trouble the scorers again as the final quarter belonged to the Reading men with Stapley, Baker and Duffelen completing a seven try haul.
At full-time the score was 43-13 to Rams, who retain the top league position with maximum points after the three opening fixtures of the 18/19 season.
Rams now turn their attention to next Saturday’s away fixture against previous National League 1 side: Old Albanian, kicking off at 3pm.
Tries: Seers 21’, Lloyd 29’, Vooght 38’, Thomson 48’, Stapley 60’, Baker 73’, Duffelen 80’.
Conversions: Seers 30’, 49, 74 Richardson 75’
Tries: Emery 25’ Lunnon 53’
Pen: Butler 14’
HT Score: 17-8
Star Man: Ollie Taylor (Rams)
Referee: James Clarke
Rams (15-9, then 1-8)
Duffelen; Rossiter; Bryant; Jones; Denham; Seers; Lloyd; Kidd; Henderson; Baker; Taylor; Thompson; Collis; Vooght; Stapley © Reps: Drew; McDonnell-Roberts; Guttridge; Richardson; Cole.
Henley Hawks (15-9, then 1-8)
Roddy; Robinson; Morrison; Perry; Antoniou; Butler; Webb; Stock; Emery; Mason; Neale; Hyde; Lunnon ©; Lowe; Bradley Reps: Primmett; Manning; MacDoughall; White; Goodison.