READING RFC’s first-ever visit to Gosford All Blacks brought them what was ultimately a comfortable 43-8 Southern Counties North victory against a side with a rugged set of forwards but whose limited game plan made them relatively easy to close down.

Their strength was in driving among the forwards, but Reading defended resolutely and had too much pace outside for the home side.

As had happened in the first match between the sides at Sonning Lane, it was a closely fought affair in the first half, which finished with Reading just 14-8 ahead, but Reading’s extra pace outside the scrum began to tell in the second half during which they scored 29 unanswered points.

Yet it was the home side who took an early lead with a fifth-minute penalty, only for Reading to hit back shortly after when from a scrum 10 yards out centre Alex Dorliac was unstoppable.

Sam Bowers kicked the first of his five successful conversions.

The home side continued to attack through the forwards, but conceded another try as Reading winger Will Proctor-Searle cut inside from the left with an elusive run to the posts.

Five minutes later a well-judged Gosford kick bounced conveniently for their wing to latch onto for the try, leaving them 14-8 down at the break.

Eight minutes into the second half, however, the Gosford scrum half was yellow carded and Reading scored immediately after as a line-out catch-and-drive saw Ashley Chapman touch down.

Three minutes later Bowers kicked a penalty and the lead had risen to 14 points.

Reading were now on top and 15 minutes later Dorliac spotted a gap and drove his way through to touch down.

Soon after, some good passing along the backs gave James Mitchell the opportunity to race 50 yards for try number five.

The final try came two minutes from time as Bowers threw an outrageously long pass to put Grant Spears into space for a run to the line.

There was just time left for skipper Charlie Davies to set off on a 45-yard run to the line, but he was cut down by a very good cover tackle.

Davies had a fine game in both the line-out and around the field, but in the end it was a good team victory, everybody playing their part.

Reading – who look likely to end the campaign in seventh position – entertain High Wycombe in their last game of the season on Saturday.

  • BERKSHIRE Shire Hall produced an impressive display to beat Faringdon 29-14 in the BB&O Championship.