TOTTONIANS 69 READING 7 SOUTH CENTRAL 2 01102022
Report by Peter Chidgey
Reading slumped to their biggest defeat for five years in a game where they were out fought and out thought by a Tottonians team which seemed a yard quicker in both attack and defence. Tottonians used their possession, of which they had a plentiful supply, well, scoring eleven tries to Reading’s one.
This was Reading’s first ever visit to Tottonians, who are based on the outskirts of Southampton, but it was one they will want to forget. Their hosts took the lead after three minutes from a missed tackle in midfield and this was to be a recurring pattern.
Midway through the first half Tottonians had already earned a bonus point for scoring four tries and were leading 24-0. Reading did not seem to have an answer to the speed at which their opponents moved the ball and their quick offloading. Reading, on the other hand, by then had hardly ventured out of their own half, had not been in their opponents 22 and had lost influential front row Josh Pallett to a rib injury.
Reading did eventually spend some time in their opponent’s half but were unable to maintain possession as handling errors soon returned the ball to their opponents.
It was from a Tottonians attack that looked like it would lead to their fifth try that Reading scored their only try when Matt Daw pounced on a loose ball from a misplaced pass and impressively sprinted the length of the field to score near the posts for Sam Bowers to convert.
Any hope of a revival was soon dashed as Tottonians scored a converted try after Reading twice failed to secure their own line out ball, another problem throughout. This made the half time score 31-7.
Tottonians ran in another converted try soon after the break after another missed tackle in midfield. Reading had a good period of pressure after this score but failed to make it pay and eventually their opponents relieved the pressure and scored after Reading lost their own line out ball. This was quickly followed by another try when Tottonians took a quick throw to the front of a line out which Reading had not covered.
Tottonians continued to add to their score running in three more tries in the last fifteen minutes to make the final score 69-7
This was a disappointing result after the good performance in losing against Marlborough the previous week. Reading were never really in this game after giving away the early tries. Their defence lacked aggression and too many tackles were missed. They did not win enough ball and when they did they were unable to retain it for long enough to put pressure on their opponents.
Next week there is a no game and the week after they play at home against Buckingham, who are bottom of the table, in a game which has now become a must win in terms of their league position.
Try: Matt Daw
Conversion: Sam Bowers
Team: Jordan Gomez; Sam Taylor-Davis, Alex Dorliac, Alex Murray-Smith, Matt Daw; Sam Bowers, Nathan Wheeler; Josh Pallett, Steve King, Josh Nichol; Kyle Turner, Ryan Smith; Will Proctor-Searle, Gavin Egan, Brent Lee.
Replacements: Harry Wilson, Greg Jackson, Max Pepper