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Ready to raid: Reading Rugby League make superb start to season

Reading Raiders RLFC
Reading Raiders RLFC

Reading Raiders opened their season with an exceptional win as they took the points in an away game against Oxfordshire Cavaliers.

Oxford started the match with a couple of early impressive incursions towards the Reading’s try-line but were repelled by a solid Raiders’ defence.

In response, they soon organised themselves, with a slick first try. The scorer, right-winger Jab Siwela, dived in, off a perfectly timed pass from Luke Schofield, linking up from full-back.

Schofield was instrumental in starting a procession of flowing rugby from a team delighted to be back in post pandemic action.

Christian Floyd finished off some well-engineered play for the second try with Ben Radford converting for a 10-0 lead as Raiders applied heavy pressure on the Oxford line.

Luke Schofield’s 85-yard solo explosive run treated the crowd to a classic show of speed as he rounded the home defence for the third, goaled by Ben Radford.

As the forwards continued to impress, it was Gavin Egan whose devastating break earned him his debut try for the club. Ben Radford’s conversion brought up a 22-0 lead as the overall outcome started to look inevitable.

John Boucher, off a Brad Thomas break, jinked through the Oxford three-quarter line, changing direction three times to outwit the Oxford defenders. Ben Radford followed up with a simple conversion kick.

There was no let-up with the Raiders’ relentless pressure as, on the approach to half-time, Ben Elcock’s solo effort sealed an action-packed 40 minutes of thrills.

As in the first half, they were on the attack in the early stages and, this time were honoured by
a workmanlike, well-grafted try from Nickolls.

The conversion attempt failed but the Cavaliers continued to press forward and were almost rewarded with another score.

Lewis Donnelly leapt on a loose ball to career towards the line setting up a a well-timed, perfect pass for Callum House to touch down on the wing.

Luke Schofield was able to nip through the opposition on a 30-yard, tackle-evading, run and score.
Further pounding of the Oxford defence allowed Ben Elcock in for the Raiders, off an impressive Gavin Egan half-break.

However, the Raiders’ scoring spree was not over yet and, this time, it was debutant Sol Robinson, robustly fed by Brad Thomas, who provided another spectacular effort, in outwitting the Cavaliers’
full-back, to score out wide.

Luke Schofield dug deep and found one last burst of energy to seal the game off, with a 30-yard solo try.

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