Salisbury recorded a second win on the bounce when they travelled to Reading on Saturday to win 19-22 after a keenly contested and physical encounter.

Salisbury were sharp from the kick-off. Forwards and backs combined fluently to exploit the momentum generated by forwards Dom Porter and Bobby Brown.

James Kennedy finished an excellent passage of play with an unconverted try within the first minute. Early momentum then slowed as both sides struggled to find any consistency.

The visitors’ scrum was under pressure form the start but despite this, Reading were unable to capitalise until the 18th minute after Salisbury had been reduced to 14 men by a yellow card. A converted try gave them a 7-5 lead. Salisbury responded aggressively to compensate for the numerical imbalance. They countered when Kennedy gathered a clearance and charged into the hosts’ defence. The visitors then efficiently worked through the phases concluding with an unconverted try for scrum half Jacques Kinnison.

Salisbury’s scrummaging worsened after an injury to hooker Luke Newton. They were reduced to 13 men and uncontested scrums were enforced for a short period.

Despite this, the visitors stretched their lead to 7-17 on 33 minutes when a neat cross-field kick from Ollie Bate was caught by Theo Andre-Browning who fed Dan Hammond to scored. Bate added the extras.

Reading fully exploited Salisbury’s weakened scrum, often electing to scrummage rather than kick their penalties.

Theyand were rewarded in the 40th minute when they broke from a collapsed scrum to score their second try and reduce the deficit to 12-17 on half time.

The hosts continued to make the best of their stronger scrummage but failed to convert pressure into points during the second half.

Salisbury looked the sharper with ball in hand and they scored their fourth try on 49 minutes when they won a lineout which was followed by a thrust into midfield from Porter. Flo Ryder cut through at pace for Chris Vuki to score.

Despite a 12-22, lead the visitors were by no means comfortable. Their scrummage continued to be a problem which Reading took full advantage of, scoring a converted try on 63 minutes.

With the score at 19-22, Salisbury were able to see off a desperate and physical challenge from the hosts during a largely scrappy final quarter. There is no doubt that the disruption to the pack affected Salisbury’s rhythm but there is a sense that they are building towards a more complete performance.

They will be looking forward to hosting Wimborne at Castle Road next week.

Elsewhere, Salisbury’s 2nd XV had a 33-15 victory over local rivals Amesbury to extend their winning run to five games. The 3rd XV hosted Puddletown at Castle Road and lost 43-10.