SEB Reynolds was relieved to celebrate a busy few days as Rams came-from-behind to secure a hard-fought 26-14 National One victory at Bishop’s Stortford.
The Director of Rugby became a dad for the second time when baby Tadgh was born on Thursday, and after a stuttering first-half display, his charges secured a victory which keeps them in touch with leaders Chinnor.
Although James McRae scored an early try added to by Fraser Honey, it was Stortford who led 14-7 at the interval after Tom Walker added the extras to a Chris Smith effort and one of his own.
However, a second from McRae and a Jak Rossiter double ensured a fourth straight win for Rams, Honey slotting two more conversions to complete the scoring.
And Seb joked: “It’s been a busier week than usual, but a decent one!
“I thought the performance was actually very good – you could see the areas we weren’t excelling in early on, but I thought the physicality was superb.
“We always looked a threat without being able to manifest that in the right areas of the park, but we got there in the end.
“To have a second half shut-out and finish the game with a five-pointer is very good.”
He continued: “There was a real calm at half-time and you could see where we needed to improve to get success – the players had identified it themselves.
“We spoke about discipline, because in the first half we couldn’t exit well enough and stay in their half.
“But we addressed that and maintained longer periods of play where we wanted to be – they started to lose their discipline a little bit and were marched (10 metres for dissent) a few times – and things swung in our favour.
“The bench also made an impact. I thought Calum Scott again was excellent, and after Ryan Lomas was superb starting at tight-head, Turkey (Sean McDonnell-Roberts) came on and did a very solid job in the set-piece and added a lot to the maul, literally helping us across the line.”
The match-turning moment arguably came with the third try, created following a sensational 70-metre break from Henry Bird which set-up Rossiter to give the visitors the lead.
And Seb admitted: “Henry maybe wasn’t at his high-flying best, but he always looked a threat and he’s so sound mentally with his own game that if it’s not all going right, he just puts it behind him – it’s a lesson for all the younger lads.
“If you drop a ball or something doesn’t go your way, it doesn’t matter, just move on. Henry does that and then ends up having the big moment which swings the game our way.”
Rams went into the contest second in the table with their opponents second-bottom, and despite Stortford slipping to the foot of the ladder following Taunton’s big win against Sedgley Park, the DoR was impressed with their efforts.
He said: “I’ve not seen that level of performance from them this season – they were superb, well in the game and it was an even contest.
“Perhaps in the last 20 minutes with our cohesion, what we could bring off the bench and our conditioning, that maybe came through, but they’ve got to go and produce what I thought was their strongest performance of the season every week now.”
With eight games remaining, the victory leaves Rams four points adrift of a table-topping Chinnor side who have won their past nine matches, but Seb was clear what his side need to focus on for the rest of the campaign.
He ended: “All we can do is keep going as we are, looking for improvements.
“Chinnor are having a fantastic season, playing some superb rugby and are in a fine position, but we’ll keep our heads down and keep working.”
Rams return to Old Bath Road on Saturday, resurgent Leicester Lions – with four victories in five – the visitors (3pm). To book lunch or tickets, click here
*Congratulations to Seb, Michelle and Donnacha on the newest addition to their family from all at Rams!