Super Seru secures promotion for ReadingBy Steve Williams
April 28, 2009
Reading 16 Newton Abbot 10
A moment of brilliance from wing Seru Niubasaga was enough to see Reading win their South West Division 2 play-off.
He set up the vital try for prop Andrew Grierson that secured victory at Holme Park on Saturday.
Reading, having been relegated last season, are now promoted to the newly-formed National South West 3 (formerly South West .
They can now look forward to derby games against local rivals Redingensians, Bracknell and Maidenhead in an expanded 14-club league.
Both the Reading and Newton Abbot defences played well in a match full of tension and both sides were guilty of errors.
Reading started well and were 6-0 up within as many minutes through two Rob Sweeney penalties after Newton Abbot failed to deal with some good long kicking.
Stung by this early set back Newton Abbot came back into the game and exerted pressure through a series of forward drives which they combined with moving the ball quickly wide when the opportunity arose.
They were rewarded with unconverted tries from Matt Templeman and Neil Johns, both of whom squeezed over in the corner after good driving play led to overlaps on the left.
When the second try went over Reading were down to 14 men as skipper Andy Evans had been yellow carded and things were beginning to look bleak.
However, they came back through a Sweeney penalty after Newton Abbot prop Tichias, had in turn been yellow carded for killing the ball to prevent a promising attack.
Newton Abbot, though, still turned around with the lead and had looked the livelier team in the first half.
But Reading, now playing into the wind, showed more resolve in the second half.
They were rewarded with a try in the first five minutes when a clever kick and retrieve by Niubasaga deep in his own half left the Fijian clear.
He was caught after running 70 metres, but the ball was recycled along the line to Grierson, who bulldozed over under the posts. Sweeney added the points. As the half progressed Reading exerted more control.
They were helped in this by the indiscipline of their opponents who had influential hooker Simon Mabin yellow carded on the hour mark.
Reading worked hard to keep possession and on a number of occasions slowly worked their way up the pitch, only to be kicked back by Andy Birkett, the Newton Abbot outside half who used the wind to good effect.
But despite the visitors getting into some good positions the Reading defence held out and the game finished with the home side controlling the ball.
Reading director of rugby Jason Dance admitted: “The defensive display was the problem in the first half.
“Yellow cards have been a problem for a bit this season and it was our captain who ended up being yellow carded unfortunately on this occasion.
“In the second half, playing against the wind actually favoured us because we kept the ball more and made them tackle more and looked the better side on the ball.
“I don’t think they (Newton Abbot) got the advantage up front that they had been used too all season. We pressured their line-out, we pressurised their scrum.”
Skipper Andy Evans was delighted at the way his side had risen to the challenge against the wind.
He said: “We put in a massive defensive game in the second half, but we pulled a try out of it as well.”
Evans said he will shortly sit down with club officials and start sorting out the squad for next season.
“We’re back up where we want to be and we’ll see what happens playing wise. The club are definitely on the up now.”
Try scorer Grierson admitted: “I didn’t know a great deal about it (his try) to be honest, but it was a good team performance, with everybody playing for each other.
Reading: Doriac; Lynch (Donnelly 13 mins.), Vuadreu, Evans (c), Niubasaga; Sweeney, Lester; Auld (Bellingham 66 - 68 mins.), Fisher, Grierson; Keneally, Davies; Phillips, Cornish, Heirene.
Redingensians 22 Bracknell 41
Bracknell comfortably beat hosts Redingensians to win the Berkshire Cup final at the Old Bath Road ground on Sunday.
The fired-up visitors came out of the starting blocks like a rocket and were 14-0 up inside five minutes.
Bracknell scored inside the first minute with a try set up by veteran coach Chris Sheasby and finished off by scrum-half Luke Carter.
Skipper Ben Nowak converted and was in action again within minutes as they stretched their lead to 14-0 after a sparkling try scoring run from new wing Kevin McKenzie.
Gensians opened their account with a penalty from fly-half Andrew Webb. only for the visitors to grab their third try when prop Gary Staples touched down and Nowak converted.
He also added a penalty before pressure on the visitors’ line was rewarded on the stroke of half-time when skipper Tom Clare drove over.
A big shove from the Bracknell pack saw them extend their lead in the second-half when flanker Graham Sparks touched down and within two minutes McKenzie blasted his way over for his second.
He completed his hat-trick on 70 minutes.
Gensians produced a late surge when replacement Tom Allen touched down under the posts, lock Warren Milne converting, and Webb also finished off under the posts for Pete Freeth to convert.
Bracknell wing Nick Shears admitted that, while it couldn’t make up for missing out on promotion in the play-offs the previous day, they were still pleased to lift the cup.
He said: “We're chuffed to bits, obviously we were a bit disheartened because of Saturday, but as soon as the final whistle blew that was that game done and we had to move on and the next job – job done.”