RUGBY: Grove pay penalty for missing kicks

Herald Series: Wallingford lock Carl Tappin charges past a would-be Thatcham tackler during his side’s heavy defeat on Saturday Wallingford lock Carl Tappin charges past a would-be Thatcham tackler during his side’s heavy defeat on Saturday

Grove went down 20-18 at home to Reading in South West 1 East, but should have won after landing only one of five makeable place-kicks.

Apart from a spectacular try from wing Harry Carr, the first half was a lacklustre affair.

Reading led with a try after 12 minutes, winger Carr replying after dancing his way past several defenders, but then missing the relatively simple conversion.

A converted Reading try made it 12-5 at the break.

For the second half, Grove reshuffled their backs.

Carr intercepted a wayward Reading pass to shoot over for his and Grove’s second try. This time Dave Johnson missed the kick.

A fortunate breakaway try edged Reading further ahead at 17-10.

But Grove came back as Dave Maryon reduced the arrears with a penalty.

With ten minutes remaining, Grove went on all-out attack, and were rewarded when No 8 Rory Gratwohl broke through to touch down, giving his side the lead for the first time.

The crucial conversion attempt was again missed and a long-range penalty kick which sailed between the posts saw Reading ahead again.

Guy Nicholl beat everyone except the final defender in the dying seconds.

Wallingford’s struggles in Southern Counties North continued when they crashed to a 53-19 defeat at home to Thatcham.

Wallingford’s tries came from Harvey Bateman, Phil Dawes and James Norris.

The battle of the giants between two sides who had tasted defeat only once this season saw Berks Bucks & Oxon Championship leaders Abingdon go down 31-12 to second-placed visitors Wheatley.

The home side raced into the lead with a converted try, but from the restart, Wheatley replied with one of their own after good work from the back row.

Fly half Adam Muir then danced through to score under the posts and another try from Sean O’Leary put Wheatley further in command.

Abingdon’s second try made the half-time score 19-12.

Wheatley made an instant impact after the break as O’Leary bagged his second try, but for the next 30 minutes, Abingdon put the visitors’ defence to the sword.

However, they weathered the storm before adding a final try as Muir jinked his way over.


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