Visitors beaten on trip to league leaders – Reading Today Online

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Reading lost out to top of the league Jersey in windy conditions in front of a big crowd including up to 40 of their own supporters who had made the long trip.

Reading conceded early in both halves then defended well and attacked for long periods with little reward, before conceding more points at the end of each half.

Jersey who have a 100% record and average 46 points a game ultimately had too much for Reading, showing a superior ability to finish off their opportunities allied with a strong defence.

Jersey started strongly with the gale force wind at their back and were 12- 0 up after eight minutes.

They used the conditions well to set up line outs deep in the Reading 22 from the first of which their number eight scored a try about which there was a hint of obstruction and from the second their left wing scored in the corner from a backs’ move.

Reading had a good period for the next twenty minutes, Initially defending steadfastly but after a clever kick from Wheeler they attacked in the Jersey 22.

Here, they were stopped by a series of infringements by Jersey which ultimately led to a yellow card for one of the home forwards.

However, Reading almost immediately gave away a penalty of their own and using the wind Jersey worked their way up the pitch and from a five metre scrum they moved the ball out to their full back who scored in the corner and converted his own try to make the score 19-0.

Reading spent the next period on attack prompted by scrum half Wheeler whose probing kicks were turning the Jersey defence around and with strong carrying from Smith and Pallet.

However, Jersey kept them out and used the wind to push Reading back in their own half at every opportunity.

Reading had done well to hold Jersey to under 20 points given the wind, but they could not hold on till the break as in the last three minutes of the half Jersey scored two more tries.

The first came as Reading trying to free themselves from pressure lost the ball in their own 22.

The ball was quickly moved out to the Jersey wing who scored in the corner. The second try came directly from the kick off which caught in the wind and left the Reading defence on the back foot allowing one of the Jersey forwards to put the wing away for another try.

This made the score 31-0 at half time which was a poor reward for Reading’s first half efforts playing into a gale.

After the break. Reading using the wind gained some good positions but the line out malfunctioned on two occasions when they looked to have opportunities.

Jersey broke out of their 22 after ten minutes when their wing intercepted from a Reading back move and although caught, he manged to move the ball to a supporting player who scored an unconverted try in the corner to make the score 36-0.

This remained the score with the match moving into a pattern of Reading attacking, with Rice increasingly prominent, but unable to break through the Jersey defence and Jersey strong on the counter-attack when in possession.

The last five minutes saw a flurry of tries. Jersey scored two more, the first after making a mess of a tiring Reading scrum and the second almost immediately after from a counter-attack from their 22.

Reading then gained some reward for their efforts when an over ambitious attempt by Jersey to run the ball from their own line came unstuck and Carr pounced on the loose ball to score a try for Reading which David converted with a good kick from wide out.

This was a good display by this predominantly young Reading side against what is undoubtedly the best outfit in the league. They persevered throughout and for periods in the game kept out their high-flying opponents and made them work to defend their own line. Ultimately though, Jersey had too many weapons in their armoury in both attack and defence.

Next week Reading play Witney at home in a game from which they need a result if they want to make any progress to avoid the bottom places in the league come the end of the season.

Try: Carr

Conversion: David

Reading RFC: Jos Clarke; Charlie Attard, Archie Wright, Tom David Jason Carr; John Sharp, Hayden Wheeler; Josh Pallett, Joe Dottson, Steve King; Ryan Smith, Harvey Rice; Will Proctor-Searle (capt.), Max Pepper, Rob Cunningham

Replacements: Alfie Fryer, Ollie Sharp, Josh Nicol

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