READING RFC’s 37-10 victory at home to Stow-on-the-Wold remarkably gave them the double over another side in their league for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

When the sides met earlier in the season, Reading were the first side to beat them after three games. Since then the Gloucestershire side have found the going tough and they are now fourth-from-bottom, 11 points behind Reading.

Reading had the game sewn up in the first half-hour, by which time they already had five tries.

The hosts were 27-3 up at that stage they conceded an early second-half try before scoring another two themselves to seal a comfortable victory.

The second half became more of a slog as weather conditions worsened, the ball became more difficult to handle, and both sides made plenty of mistakes under pressure.

Reading head coach Ben Wills was especially pleased with the first-half performance. “We played well, pushing them back yards in the scrums, dominating the line-outs, making good decisions and scoring tries,” he said.

The tries did indeed flow right from the beginning, the first one coming from prolific wing Chris Greig in the fourth minute.

This followed some good driving play from the forwards before Greig forced his way over. The conversion was missed, as was every other Reading conversion attempt in the match in admittedly windy and muddy conditions.

Three minutes later Reading’s dangerous full back, James Mitchell, was pulled down just short of the line after a great run, but the subsequent line-out and drive for the line resulted in the referee awarding Reading a penalty try.

Stow returned with a penalty but two tries from No. 8 Grant Spears, one from driving play in the loose and the other from a five-metre scrum, gave Reading a healthy 22-3 lead, despite the lack of conversions.

Before half time Mitchell came close to a try after another penetrating run before, in the 32nd minute, Nick Portch used his strength to drive over from a five-metre scrum.

In the second half Stow came more into the game. An improved scrummage and some good driving play brought them an early try, but that ended their scoring.

Reading’s final two tries came late in the game as Melvyn Gilmour and Fraser Koefman both showed they had the strength and skill to make the line.

The match will give Wills and his team some confidence before they travel to take on high-flying Thatcham next Saturday.