Reading 38 Monmouth 29
Scoring: Lucarelli (3 tries, 2 conversions), Brendan Mc Sherry (try), Kevin Kuestelski (try)
Monmouth men travelled to Reading, PA having a much weakened squad this weak with injuries and alumni games reducing the squad to 20 fit players. Conditions were cool and dry on a field that was slightly larger than a postage stamp. Both teams agreed to play with rolling replacements. Congratulations to Joseph Corbo, Ryan Elsbree, Ian DeRanieri, Don Lynch and John Slezak got their first experience of first side rugby. James Barlow stepped up to play prop and despite lacking front row experience put in a hard shift at the coalface.
Monmouth opened brightly with Joe Lucarelli making some punishing runs but were caught on the hop by Reading who scored a breakaway try in the corner. The referee was having difficulty dealing with the breakdown and there were numerous penalties against Reading with Monmouth wanting to play a quick game they were repeatedly called for not being ten but miraculously did not receive a yellow card.
The game was tight until after the break where the referees lack of command at the breakdown allowed a cuter Reading to kill Monmouth’s patterns of play despite this Monmouth scored five tries and had some excellent moments. Unfortunately Monmouth were also a little wasteful of some great possession including an attack where the ball was knocked on over the Reading posts. Michael Delia and Sean Mallon were punishing with their tackles at the side of the breakdown but the mix of players unfamiliar with each other lead to some poor defensive decisions and soft tries.
After the game the referee apologized for the game and expressed a disappointment with the ragged play that he allowed Reading to get away with.
Reading hosted Monmouth in Trooper Thorn’s Irish Beef House after the game with refreshments and a game of Dizzybats which Monmouth used to redeem itself anchored by club President Rob Morello who demonstrated an interesting spinning style that more than overcame his snail like chugging speed.
Monmouth XV v Reading – Mark Hardy, Michael Delia, James Barlow, John Russionello, Nic Ross, Pat Mallon, Joseph Corbo, Sean Mallon, Rob Morello, Colin O’Neil, Kevin Kuestelski, Joe Lucarelli, Brendan McSherry, Dave Chepuskas, Carlos Olivera Replacements – James Linehan, Jon Slezak, Don Lynch, Ryan Elsbree, Pat Moroney