READING RFC made it back-to-back wins in Southern Counties North with a 53-23 home victory over Gosford All Blacks.

Reading recovered from a bad start to run in eight tries at a packed Holme Park following their 7-4 triumph at Drifters a week earlier.

Gosford scored the first and last tries and four in all to claim a bonus point.

But they were blown apart by Reading’s fast, off-loading game in the middle period.

Coach Ben Wills admitted: “Another bad start but we did not panic. Last year we could well have folded but we kept to our plans, confident that we would gain command.”

Gosford went ahead with an early penalty and extended their lead to 8-0 with an unconverted try.

Reading replied with their first try on 20 minutes, Jos Clarke off-loading to Will Proctor-Searle to score.

But Gosford regained the lead when they seized on a wayward pass and notched another try to go 13-7 up.

However, the hosts hit back with Alex Watson sending Fraser Koefman over the line and Nick Portch’s conversion gave them a lead they would never relinquish.

Instead, Reading went on the attack with Chris Greig running in their next score from 35 yards out, and another successful Portch conversion plus a drop-goal from fly-half Alex Murray-Smith put them 24-13 in front at the interval.

Gosford refused to lie down and grabbed their second try soon after the restart to reduce the gap to six points.

Yet Reading quickly pulled away again thanks to an Ashley Chapman touchdown and another from Proctor-Searle.

Outstanding full-back James Mitchell was next to cross the whitewash followed by another from Grieg, before Mitchell notched his second try of the day.

Gosford had the final say with the last try from a lineout drive, but Reading had already done more than enough, with Portch converting two more touchdowns in the second half.

Reading’s win was only their third at home in 2017, but at the half-way stage of this season they are now the third highest points scorers in the division.

Reading return to action on January 13 when they host third-placed Windsor.

Reading: J.Mitchell, B.Mitchell, Proctor-Searle, Clarke, Greig, Murray-Smith, Portch, Pallett, Watson, Johnson, Chapman, Smith, Koefman, O’Toole, Spears. Reps: Nicol, Howard, Wills.