As you can see from the score, this was a very hard fought game on a windy afternoon in Bushey Park.
Yet again the young men of Reading were outstanding and apart from a dreadful piece of ‘bad luck’ in the dying seconds of the game, they would have run out winners.
The game was played as three 25 minute sessions, the first ending 14 – 14, the second 12 – 10 to Reading and the final session, 15 – 12 to Teddington. The two sides were evenly matched, there never being more than 7 points separating the sides. The game was played with a great deal of intensity and played in the spirit of sportsmanship we are coming to expect when our side take to the pitch.
Yet again we played as a team, supporting one another in every aspect of the game. Tank led the pack and drove them on to become the dominant force towards the end. Special mention must be made for Alfie, Tom and Vig who, although would, I’m sure, show their preference for playing up front, collectively played in the centres at some time in the game showing just how strong they are.
Every player was immense although I think it is time for me to tell them how good they are.
1. Tank has shown that he is a front row player to be reckoned with this season and has proved that he can compete at this level and match anything that is thrown at him
2. Will continues to be everywhere on the park, available at all breakdowns and having a knack of being in the loose when the ball pops up for him to score
3. Eli is a tower of strength and has shown an enormous amount of maturity this season as he has become the cornerstone of the pack
4. Euan has developed a running power that I did not see last season and as his strength visibly increases, he is stealing more and more ball and driving the team forward
5. Hairy Jake showed today that not only is he becoming a very fine, mobile second row, his tackling is immense. Not many people will get past him now
6. The transformation in Louis this season has been enormous. He was the target in the lineout today and the aggression he now shows in his tackling is starting to make him a fine all round player
7. Michael has showed what a class player his is. Moving from the front row to the flank today he showed his pace, his handling skills and his tremendous tackling
8. The work Sam Bannister puts in is enormous. His is our quiet man around the field but he is everywhere. He has grown in confidence and has started want more and more of the ball. Great to see
9. Alfie has a built in ability to keep the team spirits high. His versatility and strength allows him to play in the back row or in the centres making yards every time he gets the ball. Although picking up an injury today, he still wanted to get back into the game although sense prevailed in the end. We wish him a speedy recovery
10. Ollie is starting to read a game better this season and has added a lot of variation to his game that keeps us going forward. His ability to pass off either hand is giving the backs a real advantage over the opposition. Also, get well soon, Ollie
11. Mishy has become one of our utility players in the backs being able to play in all positions from scrum half to full back. He has grown enormously in confidence this season and today, when placed at scrum half, linked immediately with Sam to set off some great moves
12. Sam Bowers is able to read a game so well and links beautifully with both Ollie and Mishy. His kicking from hand immense and can take pressure off us with one single blow. He has gained pace and confidence this year
13. Tom has shown what a class act he is. He has the ability to run at players, tackle players and play in so many positions. This makes him such a great asset
14. Vig is now a banker in the centres. He has pace, handling skills and tackles like the back row player he was last season. Great to see him in full flow
15. Stevie has shown just how good he is as a strike winger. He is strong, has great hands, is a great tackler and above all, wants to be involved all the time.
16. The desire Andrew R shows to play this game is infectious. I have seen him make tackles this season that he would have never considered last year. Great testament to his determination and his great ability
17. Phil has shown he is not only a great runner with the ball but also has demanded the respect of his team mates both on and off the pitch. He is a great example of how this wonderful game should be played.
By Alan Hale