Rams rack up fifteen wins at home to ratify league win
By Rams Info
Rams battled through to victory against Birmingham & Solihull, fresh off being crowned National 2 south champions, with the score finishing 38 – 24 at Old Bath Road.
Match Report by Cameron Temple
Photos courtesy of Paul Clark S2S Photography
The home team gave a season’s debut to Rory Paxton, a first team debut to Kieran Leicester (who has been coming to the club since he was 3) and also named Anthony Marris in the squad for only the second time this season as the explosive prop has been recovering from long term injury.
The Reading men dominated the first half, but seemed to lack motivation in the second half, which Rams head coach, Seb Reynolds, addressed in his post match comments saying, “considering we’ve been working towards the goal all season that was achieved last week, there was bound to be a drop off in intensity, but I think the lads were excellent today. We talked about wanting to put on a performance in front of the home crowd, and I think we did that it the first half, despite slowing down slightly after the break, but in fairness to Birmingham they fought back hard and made life very difficult for us”
Rams came out flying from the off, scoring within the first 5 minutes of the game, as Steadman took the ball out the back of a maul and brushed aside a number of Bees’ defenders to take the ball over the line.
The men from Reading capitalised on this momentum almost immediately, flying forward, with Lloyd, Baker and Vooght combining with some slick passing, finding Rossiter on the wing, who ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts.
As the away side began to find their feet in the game, they replied with a penalty try of their own, with Duffelen also being sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on.
Despite Birmingham’s extra man, they were unable to prevent Denham scoring in the corner, after Lloyd distributed the ball down the line following an impressive drive from the Rams pack.
The Rams followed this up with their bonus point try just before half time, as Henderson darted through the opposition defence, playing the ball off to Vooght who ran the ball over the line comfortably.
After the break, the Rams began where they left off, scoring in the first minute of the second half, as Page broke and sped through the Bees’ defence to score under the posts.
From this point, momentum swung in the way of the travelling side, as they scored three tries in quick succession to bring themselves within touching distance of the Rams lead, making for a nervy final ten minutes.
However, as has been the case so many times this season, it was Rams who produced a strong finish, as they saw out the game and Rossiter even managed to sneak his second try of the afternoon.
This signaled the final whistle and cued the celebrations for the Rams, as they were awarded the National 2 South trophy and medals by Berkshire RFU's Jon Dance [b[/b]in front of their elated home crowd.
Tries: Steadman 6, Rossiter 7, Denham 20, Vooght 38, Page 42, Rossiter 80
Conversions: Humberstone 7, 20, 42
Birmingham & Solihull:
Tries: Penalty try 17, Raimondi 46, Venus 59, Kelly 70
Conversions: Jolly 59
Half time: 26 – 7
Referee: Samuel Phillips
Man of the Match: Ben Henderson – Rams
Rams (15-9, then 1-8):
Duffelen, Rossiter, Leicester, Humberstone A, Denham, Humberstone T, Lloyd, Steadman, Henderson, Baker, Taylor, Stapley C, Page, Vooght, Collis.
Replacements: Paxton, Marris, Crame, Corrigan, Richardson
Birmingham & Solihull:
Phillips, Nunney, Kelly, Tilsley, Venus, O’Brien, Jolly, Foreman, Raimondi, Bingham, Weaver, Cooper, Scriven, Brown, Jadwat.
Replacements: Nel, Pearl, Spink, Dight, Smith