1 month ago
By Andy Clark
READING 10 MARLOW 41 Match Report
Reading made a disappointing start to the new season as their defence was torn apart in a frantic first half hour of the game. During this time the visitors scored five tries and led 29-0. For Reading it was a case of re-grouping and re-focussing to try to get back into the game. To their credit they did just that and tries either side of half time brought them back at 10-29. However two more tries by the visitors ensured a comfortable bonus point victory for them.
Marlow’s strength was in the backs where long passes and swift backing up and running proved to be too much for Reading’s early season defence. Running and passing the ball from deep at great speed Marlow scored tries in 6th, 13th, 19th, 26th and 29th minutes. The first two tries were very similar, with the Reading defence being outflanked, the third try came after a scrum half break, the fourth came from a break from within their own half and the fifth from a scrum in the Marlow 22, swift passing and running setting up the try.
The nightmare was halted as a period of forward pressure from Reading resulted in a try for skipper Charlie Davies to make the half time score 5-29. Then Reading started the second half well, exerting a lot of pressure as Marlow, down to 14 men because of a yellow card, found it hard to contain the Reading pack. Three minutes into the second half Reading opted for a scrum from a penalty given against the visitors and centre Grant Spears powered his way over in the corner. This was as good as it got as Marlow exploited further defensive lapses for two more tries.
Long-term official Alan Bright commented: “The score did not reflect the effort put in by the Reading team, which at times looked quite good, but until changes in style of play were made at half time the defence struggled against a very useful attacking side.”
Experienced supporter Hazel Dilley felt that there was a “great improvement from last year. Yes they lost but the second half was a good deal better than the first. They still do the odd kick when possession would have been better and they still do the long pass which fails two out of three times. (Nevertheless) the season looks promising.”
It is these positives that Reading need to take into their next game when they entertain Windsor at home next Saturday.
Tries: Charlie Davies, Grant Spears.
READING: Alex Dorliac; Will Proctor Searle, Paul Boulard, Grant Spears, Chris Greig; Luke Burns, Ray Mead; Josh Pallett, Alex Watson, Josh Nicol, Jamie McNab, Ryan Smith, Fraser Keofman, Taylor McRoberts, Charlie Davies (capt).
Replacements: Dan Gyles, Steve King, Lloyd Thomas.
Updated 10:51 - 17 Sep 2018 by Clare Swadling