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Reading RFC suffer damaging defeat in bottom of the table clash – Reading Today Online

Reading RFC Stock Picture: John Newport

Reading lost their bottom of the league clash despite having enough of the possession and territory to win away at Salisbury.

Salisbury made much more of their limited opportunities running in three tries to Reading‘s one from far fewer entries into the Reading 22.

Reading began the match well, taking advantage of some shaky defending from Salisbury.

Reading had a good spell of possession although were unable to get over the line. Eventually they opted for a penalty which Tom Sharp kicked to give them an early lead.

After the Reading score Salisbury came more into the game which became increasingly error strewn.

Although initially they didn’t seem to present a real threat with Reading still seeming to have more of the initiative. Salisbury however took the lead against the run of play with a bizarre try.

In an attempt to run the ball out of their own half a wild pass hit the head of the intended receiver and bounced twenty metres forward beyond the advancing Reading defence.

Salisbury were quicker on the uptake and their wing ran through and picked up the ball and with a good turn of speed, outstripped the defence to score under the posts for a converted try.

The try gave Salisbury more confidence and they put together some good attacks but could not breach the Reading defence.

Eventually Reading got back on the front foot and Sharp kicked another penalty to reduce Salisbury’s lead to a point.

Salisbury put on more pressure towards the end of the half with Reading‘s defence successfully keeping them out from a line out near the Reading line just before half time.

This left the score at the interval 7-6 in the host’s favour reflecting a first half in which defences were on top.

Reading began the second half in a similar way to the first with a period of pressure featuring some good phase play but they were unable to break the Salisbury defensive line.

Salisbury then showed them how to score when a disguised pass from their number 10 left a gap in the Reading line which Salisbury took advantage of to score a converted try near the posts for a 14-6 lead.

Reading came back with a pleasing move involving forwards and backs and eventually Proctor-Searle was put through a gap by a good miss pass from Sharp and he beat the last defender to score a try which Sharp could not convert.

The rest of the half was mainly Reading in terms of possession and territory but they were unable to make anything of it.

Meanwhile, on one of the rare occasions that Salisbury broke out they managed to move the ball wide to score an unconverted try in the corner for a 19-11 lead.

For the last fifteen minutes, Reading bombarded the Salisbury line but were unable to get through as a result both of some solid Salisbury defence and their own mistakes. The home team thus ended up holding on to win the game.

For Reading the back row of Proctor-Searle, Cunningham and Scott were always prominent in both attack and defence whilst in the back line Dorliac was always looking to go forward.

However, Reading’s season-long inability to turn pressure into points was in evidence again in a match where they had plenty of opportunities but could make very little of them.

Reading’s next game will be at London Irish Wild Geese on March 16 when they will be a part of the St Patrick’s Day festivities.

Tries: Proctor-Searle

Penalties: Sharp (2)

Reading RFC: Alex Dorliac (capt); Jason Carr, Jos Clarke, Archie Wright, Charlie Attard; Tom Sharp, Hayden Wheeler; Joe Clarkson, Steve King, Alfie Fryer; Ben Eastwood, Ryan Smith; Will Proctor-Searle, Alex Rowe, Rob Cunningham.

Replacements: Joe Dottson, Ollie Moore, Ben Mitchell.

Report by Peter Chidgey

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