Bracknell Bulls 5 Reading Rhinos 14
By The Real Hummers
With the withdrawal of the two West Berkshire sides from the Vets Cup, it was left to the two sides from East Berkshire to contest the Berkshire Vets final on a fine sunny April afternoon.
Bracknell kicked off playing away from the clubhouse in the first half. The kick off did not go according to plan with it sailing out ‘on the full’ giving the Rhinos an early chance to show their dominance in the scrum.
With the first minute gone on the clock the first replacement of the match – the ref! Closely followed in the second minute by Matt Tipper – who up to that point claims he was having a storming game...
The Rhinos dominated both possession and territory, however they failed to make their dominance pay, missing two kicks at goal.
It was in fact the Bulls that broke the deadlock with a fine try. The ball moved swiftly down the back line allowing evergreen Ben Nowak to score in the corner. The conversion was missed. No further scores were made in the first half, leaving the score line 5-0 to the Bulls at half time.
Into the second half and the Rhinos continued to control possession. With 15 minutes gone of the second half the referee deemed that Simon Whiteside had transgressed and he was sin binned for 10 minutes.
Again the Rhinos could not break down the committed Bulls defence. However with just 10 minutes remaining of the half, the Rhinos finally managed to cross the Bulls try line, going under the posts from catch and drive from a line out. The try was converted, meaning the Bulls now trailed by two points for the first time in the game.
Now, with less than ten minutes of the game to go the Bulls had to start to play the more expansive rugby that they have become famous for world wide. And it was properly with this in mind that a big wind up pass from Rory G-Jones was intercepted by the Rhinos, allowing them to go unopposed under the Bulls posts. The Rhinos now leading 14-5.
With seconds remaining on the clock Simon Whiteside was shown his second yellow card of the day, for not rolling away from the tackle area.. He later claimed he was too tied to roll away!!
With the Bulls down to fourteen men the final whistle was blown by the referee. Final score Bracknell Bulls 5 Reading Rhinos 14.
It was left to non playing skipper of the day Martin Radford to comment “I thought once we had settled, we were good for our 5-0 lead absorbing all that The Rhinos could through at us, but the contest was ultimately decided in a 15 minute second period were we lost 3 of our front 5 to injury and our hooker to a yellow card. But well done to the Rhinos for their resilience when chasing the game in the last 20 minutes.”
Bracknell Bulls squad: Dan Ledger, Steven Reid, Stuart Silvester, Rob Munro, David Rosi, Allen O'Brien, Ian Sutherland, David Tonkinson, Simon Brambley, Bryce Phillipps, Christopher Heath Turrall, Ben Nowak, Matt Tipper, Pete Weakford, Rory G-Jones, Chris Samson, Lee Woods, Martin Radford, Simon Whiteside, Alex Wright