READING RFC’s campaign to win a Southern Counties promotion play-off place remained on course as they comfortably overcame Bicester, scoring seven tries in a 39-12 bonus-point win.

The game was virtually over by half-time as five tries gave them a 27-0 lead.

The second half was more even, as Reading experimented with their line-up and Bicester, to their credit, put in a good forward effort.

Two tries for each side made for a more even second period.

Reading’s first score came in the sixth minute when good turnover ball was transferred efficiently down the three-quarter line for wing Ejiro Erhirhie to score his first try for the club.

Reading were stronger in the pack and the go-forward momentum was very useful for No. 8 Rob Cunningham in scoring the next two tries.

The first, in the 18th minute, came with a typical catch-and-drive, while the second came from supporting a Ricky Willcock drive.

Full back Alex Dorliac converted and Reading were scoring at practically a point a minute.

The momentum was maintained as five minutes later some slick passing and good backing up led to a try for scrum-half Callum Cload, his 11th of the season.

Just before half-time, Cunningham completed his hat-trick as Reading emphasised their superiority at the scrum with a push-over try.

With the game effectively won, Reading became less clinical in the second half.

Five minutes into the half Bicester scored a converted try, but Reading replied immediately as turnover ball was driven in the Bicester 22 before being released for Dorliac to score a deserved try.

Seven minutes later a well constructed move with well-timed passing gave wing Chris Greig yet another try.

For Greig it was his 109th career try for Reading, while Dorliac’s was his 114th. Leading 39-7 with 25 minutes to go, it was perhaps natural that Reading should lose some of their intensity and stray from the game plan.

Bicester came back well to put Reading under some pressure and they deserved the 70th-minute unconverted try which finished the scoring for the afternoon.

Reading coach Ben Wills was happy with his side’s performance, stating: “There was some brilliant stuff in the first half and we looked good at times in the second half. We eased off a bit in the second half, but they couldn’t really get anywhere as our defence was good. That rates as a good win.”