It was Ladies Day at Horn Park, and a strong OCs side was looking to set things right against Old Reigatians following a home defeat at the beginning of the year. With Bill Withers playing in the background, South East London’s finest women on the sidelines, and a resounding team talk in the bank, OCs walked on looking to put an end to a three game loss streak.
OCs kick off, and after a rapid charge down from Miles Jones, Quba Edwin skips past half of Reigate’s line to dot down under the sticks. Chris Harris conversion, 7 – 0. Mid-field play continued, and despite some excellent home lineout defence, Reigate put in a chip over the top to return fire. 7 – 7. However, after quickly regaining control with a penalty conversion, OCs pull a page out of the textbook with a team try that wouldn’t look out of place at Monday night run-throughs. Smithy breaks off the back of a maul in our 22, and after an incisive line by Jack Griffiths, several hard-soft phases allow Quba to get his second in the corner in usual fashion. Conversion good, 17 – 7.
OCs continue to display some brilliant maul defence, but several high tackles allow Reigate to demonstrate their attacking prowess off the back of a scrum, bringing the score to 17 – 12. Some more sustained attacking play from OCs resulted in George Newins going over the whitewash – however, neither the ref nor the touch judge decided it was worthy of seeing, so it was brought back for a scrum. Some persistent defence from Reigate on their 5 prevented OCs getting what was rightfully theirs, and that was half time.
The second half begins with a seemingly effortless break by Jiggy, forcing Reigate into a lineout on their 5. Charlie Baker makes light work of the steal, and George Newins dots down in the corner – undeniably this time. 22 – 12. Play restarted with a sequence of back and forth turnovers, and despite some resilience from OCs in their own 22, Reigate touch down in the corner. 22 – 19. Not forgetting that today was ultimately a day of entertainment, captain Andy O’Malley bravely attempted to bridge the gap between rugby and football with a Messi-esque ‘touch’ into touch. Some struggled exit attempts led to Reigate picking a hole down the middle and scoring under the uprights, leaving OCs scratching their heads. 22 – 26.
However, after another line out steal from Charlie Baker, and the ‘stay in the fight’ mantra undoubtedly ringing in OCs players’ minds, OCs keep possession with some dangerous off-the-cuff creativity. After constant attacking pressure, Oscar forces a high tackle penalty, which allows Dele to score off the back of yet another lineout maul to regain the lead. 27 – 26. Some more clean breaks into Reigates half end with number 11 being caught offside, allowing OCs to add a penalty conversion to their tally. 30 – 26. One more score off the back of the maul from George Newins, and some solid game management on our own 22, brought the game to a close at 37 – 26. A hard fought win to set up OCs properly for the rest of the season.
This week’s MOTM award was a tough decision, after some very impressive individual performances. However, the teddy is given to Smithy for safe-keeping after some solid physicality in attack and defence.
Thanks to everyone for making the day a success, and we look forward to welcoming you all back!
Tries – Quba Edwin x2, George Newins x 2, Dele
Conversions – Chris Harris x3. Penalties – Chris Harris x2