Justin would like to remind you he is having a party up at the club June 5th, 7:30 til late.
All are welcome – kids too!
The Rhinos are Champions of the Thames Valley Invitation League Division B for the third successive year, but only after giving themselves, and their supporters, a might big scare.
With only five minutes on the clock, they found themselves 12-0 down, as the Bracknell midfield threatened to run rings around the Rhino defence, scoring two quick fire tries. The first, after a misunderstanding between the Reading centres, gifted the ball to the home side, and then straight from the kick off the Bracknell outside centre, who scored the first try, turned provider for his fly half. Fortunately, these Rhinos are made of stern stuff, and within three minutes they had clawed their way back thanks to a clever kick from Gareth Belshaw, which took them to within five metres of their opponent’s line. The subsequent lineout failed to hit the target, and Danny Pratt had only to fall down over the line to score. This gave Reading new belief, but all their hard work was undone, as the Bracknell midfield again broke through the visitor’s defence for a third time midway through the half.
As Reading pressed, the home side’s discipline crumbled and resulted in one of their locks receiving a yellow card for persistent offending. During his absence, Pratt and Belshaw combined from a scrum, and eventually Captain Sharp drove over from a couple of yards for a converted try to make it 19-12. Instead of pressing home their one man advantage, the Rhinos then fell asleep after conceding a penalty, and the quick witted scrum half burst through a non-existent defence to set up his fly half for his second try of the half.
Once again Reading came back, and from a quickly taken tap penalty of their own, the ball was shipped down the line and winger Wayne Quintyn dived over for his first Rhino try. Unfortunately, full back Nick Robins-Cherry was injured whilst making the extra man, and was forced to leave the field, joining legendary prop Andy Clark (ribs) on the sidelines.
After two successive draws, the Rhinos got back to winning ways against TVIL Division C side Wheatley III. In truth had they been a little more clinical, and had regular goal kicker Justin Wheeler been in their side, a much bigger score would have been possible. As it was they outscored their opponents by eight tries to one, and were all but home and dry within the first fifteen minutes.
The one concern at the moment for Captain Sharp is the ever lengthening injury list, which meant debuts for prop Ian Livingstone, centre Giovanni Tira, and wingers Luke Stanley and Dai Batten. All played their part by scoring four of the day’s tries. Joining Livingstone in the front row was the legend that is Dave Parish, and the Vets very own possum Duncan Colley. Whilst the other debutants joined the back division, alongside Jerry Downes, Dave Swan and Nick Robins-Cherry.
Almost from the first whistle, the Rhinos encamped in the Wheatley half, and could have scored within a couple of minutes, however a mazy run from Jofi Alexander was halted just short of the try line. They didn’t have long to wait though, as five minutes later standoff Downes chipped through for Robins-Cherry to touch down for his fifth try of the season. Downes added the conversion from the far touchline for a seven nil lead. Downes then extended the lead with a try of his own, after No. 8 Mark McAdden and Scrum Half Simon Waterer broke from a five metre scrum, Downes spotted a gap in the home side’s defence to go over for an unconverted score. It was to be another twenty minutes before the third and final score of the half came along, during which time Wheatley managed to escape from their half to exert a little pressure on the Rhino defence. This was all to no avail as from a free kick, Downes released debutant Tira to power over for another unconverted try, and a half time lead of 17-0.