The Colts headed to the leafy surroundings of Whiteley village on Sunday, with the first Waterfall Cup fixture of the season. Healthy squad numbers, including club debutant Cooper, meant that squad rotation would be a nice problem for the coaching team to have to make sure everybody had a decent amount of game time.
Chobham kicked off with the slope and Reeds immediately showed their intention to play an expansive game by working the ball across field and into the open spaces. The move was developing nicely for them and it was Olly out wide who made an important tackle to keep play around midfield.
The early exchanges continued in much the same vein with Reeds powerful midfield trying to pierce the blue defensive line, whilst Chobham with the possession they had looking to play a tighter game to draw in the Reeds defence.
Reeds earned a penalty wide on the right with around 15 minutes played and a very good kick from the narrow angle gave Reeds an attacking line 5 yards short. They shortened the line to five and then reacted quicker than Chob with the spare forwards piling in to get the shove on. The drive was halted but smart hands meant the home 13 had space to run in and put the first points on the board.
Play continued a little scrappily as Chobham spilled an attempt to gather their own restart, and Reeds followed up with a kick straight into touch. It was Reeds who shook themselves into life from a quickly taken penalty forcing Chobham into desperate defence on their own line once more. With a try seeming certain Jack popped up and pinched a vital turnover to keep things at 7-0.
The relief was only temporary though as Reeds attacked from a rare drop out with the scrum half kinking forward. Two or three phases later they crossed the whitewash in the corner and stretched the lead to 12 points.
The two score lead gave Reeds the breathing room to work through their backline and try to break through once more creating opportunities with offloads out of the tackle. They crossed again on half an hour as pace proved the killer as they outstripped the defence into the corner once more.
Then, just as the half seemed to be drawing to a conclusion a missed pass behind a defensive scrum gave Reeds a final opening with a 5 yard scrum. Again they were able to find just enough space to dive over in the far corner to lead 22-0 at the break.
The second half was going to be tough going back up the slope but Chob defended manfully for the opening 10 minutes or so and had a couple of forays into the Reeds 25 but couldn’t make the crucial break and get over the line. A couple of penalty decisions meant that Chob now had their backs to their own posts once more. The initial drive was stopped fairly quickly but Reeds still had the ball and a neat inside pass helped by a couple of lacklustre tackles opened their account in the second period, stretching to 29-0 ahead.
It was soon 34-0 as Chob lost a scrum against the head and the resulting scrambling defence wasn’t able to stop a now familiar score wide in one of the corners.
The hosts now had their tails up and it could have got very messy but some big hits from Doug, Al and Billy kept Reeds honest and plugged the leaks for a while.
Reeds kept trying to play their backs into space and inevitably they managed to cross twice more as the Chob boys started to tire and the lead was now 46 points and still 10 minutes to play.
During this final period Chobham raised the spirits of the supporters with a catch and drive of their own from just in the blue half, almost jogging to the Reeds 25. There was a big hint of offside as Reeds eventually brought the maul down and a Reeds scrum was no reward for the territorial gain.
Injury time was played in the Chobham half but Reeds had exhausted their good luck and couldn’t create any more clear chances and the game ended with the Reeds scrum half getting swamped at a messy lineout in midfield.
Squad: Aran, Lewis, MattW, Keaton, Andy, Ewen, Harry, Dan, Harrison, Olly, Callum, MattN, Al, Fin, Doug, Ben, Billy, Finn, Jack, GeorgeC, Cooper, Sam, Gideon.