Sat 21 Apr 2018
High Wycombe finished off their league programme with an away trip to Reading. After last weeks encouraging performance against Windsor, Wycombe were forced into several changes due to injury and unavailability.
It was the home team that started on the front foot and from a scrum on their own twenty-two, a well worked back row move put the Reading winger into space. With James Outten to beat an accurate pass back inside enabled the full back to score 5-0. The away team responded well and after a turnover from Joff Forber built some continuity inside the Reading half. With the defence stretched fly half Freddie Roddick spotted a gap and had the pace to go outside his man and sidestep the fullback to score under the post, Freddie converted his own try 5-7. Wycombe continued to play free flowing rugby and had a lineout five metres from the Reading line, when an accurate grubber kick from second row Eddie Roche was taken into touch by the Reading fullback. Unfortunately, from the lineout and the resulting maul the forwards were held up and the home team cleared. Then from a scrum, a cross field kick fell into space and was hacked forward by the Reading winger, the ball bounced just inside the touchline and fortuitously into the hands of the chasing winger. His pass back inside was knocked back by a Wycombe hand and kicked clear. The ball didn’t find touch and gave the Reading backs a chance to attack, a stretched defence and missed tackles allowed Reading to score 12-7. From the restart Wycombe were penalised which gave the home team possession. Initially the defence did well but a wayward clearing kick allowed another counter attack and their dangerous winger went over to score 19-7, and there was no further score in the first half.
Wycombe started the second half strongly and a break from James Outten took play up to the halfway line. Unfortunately, with the fullback to beat he couldn’t find his brother Will on the outside and the ball went into touch. A knock on at the lineout gave Wycombe a scrum, although under pressure Joe Openshaw managed to get the ball away and Reading were then penalised. A quick tap took the defence by surprise and a pass from Joe Openshaw put Tom Catchpole away who showed tremendous pace to score, Freddie made the kick 19-14. A lapse in concentration allowed Reading to turn over the ball inside the Wycombe half and good hands saw the winger score in the corner 24-14. Good pressure from Wycombe forced Reading into conceding a penalty and Freddie took the points 24-17. The home team hit back with a penalty of their own 27-17. Wycombe continued to play free flowing rugby and an accurate backs move enabled Harry Tanner to cut back inside, he offloaded to James Outten and with Wycombe close to the line the final pass was knocked on and Reading cleared. From a lineout Reading looked to use their backs and threw a long pass out wide, Harry Tanner read the move and intercepted the ball and ran in to score under the posts 27-24. With fifteen minutes to go Wycombe were looking for the win but it wasn’t to be as from a penalty Reading didn’t find touch and the away team looked to counter attack but were penalised at a ruck. This gave Reading a lineout five metres out and after an infringement close to the line Reading were awarded a penalty try 34-24. Although Wycombe came close to scoring some solid defending meant the final score was 34-24.