Peter Gavin previews Canterbury v Worthing Raiders


Canterbury RFC v Worthing Raiders

4th November 2017 Kick-off 3pm

Raiders head to The Marine Travel Ground, Merton Lane North (CT4 7AZ) in Canterbury for the 15th National League match between the clubs.

Background stuff

Canterbury RFC (aka ‘The City Club’) was founded in 1929. In those days a high percentage of the playing membership were involved in the Agricultural Industry, so the season didn’t really get under-way until post harvesting in October. The club moved to Merton Lane (now known as Marine Travel ground) in 1937. The Mayor of Canterbury opened the ground, although changing and post-match discussions were still held at a local pub, ‘The Fleur de Lys’.

In the early 1990s the club was wallowing away in Kent 2, but by season 2005/6 promotion to the National League 2 South was achieved. The onset of a strong mini/junior section being at the heart of this transition. Canterbury finished a very creditable 4th in their first season in the National League. Season 2010/11 saw relegation by a whisker, on the last day of the season, but a bounce straight back the following year was achieved, following a virtually unbeaten season.

Canterbury RFC, like ourselves, is a true Community club running 4, sometimes 5, sides on a Saturday. Junior and Mini Rugby for age group 7-U18 takes over on Sundays.

The Ladies XV play in the National Challenge South East South 1, the same league as our Ladies.

Wheel-Chair Rugby has been added to their activities and they are now in their 3rd season.

The official club colours are black and gold.

Worthing v Canterbury…..National League encounters

The clubs have had many league and friendly fixtures over the years, but a resume of the National League fixtures between the clubs and relative league positions at the end of the season is provided below:

2008/9:   C 35 – W 17   W 11 – C 20     C 5th    W 12th

2009/10: W 20 – C 20   C 16 – W 18     W 6th    C 7th

2010/11: C 20 – W 38   W 57 – C 22     W 8th   C14th.    Canterbury Relegated

2012/13: W 55 – C 31   C 17 –  W 38     W 2nd   C 8th      Worthing Promoted

2014/15: W 36 –  C 25   C 12 – W 20     W 5th  C11th

2015/16: C 20 –  W 27   W 41 – C 24     C 10th  W 11th

2016/17: W 30 –  C 12   C 13 – W 7       C 8th    W 12th

8th October 2016 …….Raiders 30 Canterbury 12

This was a good solid home win for Raiders against a Canterbury side that never quite got going, and who were restricted to a nil pointer in the 2nd period. The visitors in fact got off to a bright start with winger for the day Aiden Moss crossing for an unconverted try with just over 10 minutes on the clock. The home side kept the score board ticking with 3 penalties from the boot of Matt McLean, before a flurry of scoring before the break brought the game to life… Prop forward, Sam Kenny crossed for the visitors in the 39th minute with Alex Wilcockson straight away pulling one back for Raiders, both were converted sending the teams for oranges at 16-12. The second period was dominated by the home side, with tries early in the half from Finlay Coxon-Smith and in the 79th minute Alex got his second both converted by McLean.

Raiders: McLean, Coxon-Smith, Wilcockson, Richards, Squire, Leeming, Peach: Gatford, Hadfield, Sargent, Barlow, McGowan, White, Whittall, Perkins.

Bench: Harris, Burns, Lake, Loosmore, Montgomery.

Canterbury: Best O, Hilton, Best T, Farris, Moss, Beaumont, Smart: Green, Rogers T, Kenny, Edwards T, Burns, Rogers S, Huston-McCormick, Micans.

Bench: Jones, Westgarth, Cadman, Sayers, Cooper.

28th January 2017…..Canterbury 13 Raiders 7

A typical January afternoon greeted Raiders who were 15th in the league (27pts), the ‘City Club’ sitting pretty in 7th with 56pts already in the bin. The visitors started well taking the lead in the 23rd minute through winger Kariym Irving, Matt McLean converting. Canterbury replied just before half time with a score from winger Guy Hilton, Raiders went into the break leading 5-7. Tom Best kicked a penalty early in the 2nd half to put the home side into a narrow lead, but proceedings were pretty much even. Canterbury’s other winger, Kieran Thompson eventually broke the deadlock crossing in the corner with just over 10 minutes remaining. Raiders battled to the end, ‘Up the hill and against the wind’, but had to settle for a LBP.

Canterbury: Moss, Hilton, Murray, Farris, Thompson, Best T, Smart, Cooper, Rogers T, Kenny, Burns, Edwards, Rogers S, Huston-McCormick, Stephens.

Bench: Jones, Townley, Cadman, Braithwaite, Green.

Raiders: McLean, Paddenburg, Coxon-Smith, Leeming, Irving, Montgomery, Boyland, Storer, Gearing-Grief, Gatford, Barlow, Lake, Hadfield, Whittall, Lamb-Cona.

Bench: Harris, Finney, Sargent, Short, Nilsen

Canterbury Last Season………middle 8th W15/ L15

Canterbury had a relaxing middle of the table type of season, even their points differential was practically level (PF 722, PA 732). The highlight was probably the win against Chinnor (16-12). Top points scorer was Tom Best with 148. Leading try scorers were Guy Hilton 18, Dan Smart 13 and in the forwards Sam Kenny with 6. Will Farris and Sam Rogers both featured in all 30 fixtures, with prop forward Aaron Cooper on 29. They used 43 different players to fulfil the fixtures, 14 of the squad making 20 or more appearances

This season so far…Won 6 Lost 3

Canterbury are in 7th spot in the league with 29 points.

The ‘City Club’ faced Cinderford in the first fixture, but the ‘Foresters’’ were up for the task and the long journey, returning to the Forest of Dean after a fine win (17-39). After that start Canterbury strung together 6 wins on the bounce: TJs (24-36), Broadstreet (41-7), Old Reds (24-34), Barnstaple (41-31), Wimbledon (7-22) and Redruth (18-16) to take them up to 4th in the table. A visit to Titans brought the run to an end (19-14) although an LBP is none too bad in Taunton. Last Saturday saw a useful half time lead (21-5) squandered to the lively Bury St Edmunds team (21-29).

The Players

As usual a list of most of the players used so far is provided along with a little more detail as to their credentials. Most of the players listed have played against Raiders in previous fixtures. A notable addition to squad this season is experienced lock forward Matt Corker. He has joined, after a season at Richmond, to take on the role of player/Forwards coach. Matt is returning to his roots having started at Thanet Wanderers, he was with London Welsh for the best part of 10 seasons, including a spell as captain.


Another tough fixture awaits in the ‘Garden of England’


…….C’Mon Raiders!!!

Name (Age)    *Played v Raiders Apps 2017/8                    N2 Apps Join Points Honours Position:  Prev Club/s apps                            *Played v Raiders
Aiden Moss* (25) 4/1R 115 2012 3T England Counties U20 Kent Full Back: Blackheath 4.
Keiran Thompson* 6 18 2016 5T Wing: Thanet Wanderers
Harry Sayers* (20) 7 40 2015 6T England Counties U20 Kent Wing: Dover
Guy Hilton* (24) 2/3R 92 2013 Kent Wing: Canterbury Youth
Barney Howard 2 6 2016 1T Wing:
Charlie Kingsman (22) 8 20 2014 2T/ 2C Centre/Full Back: King’s Canterbury, Old Albanian*7, Saracens Academy
Jon ‘JJ’ Murray* 7/1R 31 2016 2T Kent Centre: Ashford, Tonbridge Juddians
Will Farris* 2/4R 53 2015 2T Centre: Malvern, Broadstreet, Winchester.
Ollie Best* 9 68 2014 3T/5P/ 19C Fly Half: Medway
Tom Best*(27) 7 165 2008 2T Kent Centre: Deal & Betteshanger
Dan Smart* 9 79 2014 5T Scrum Half: Glasgow Hawks
Kyle Braithwaite* 0/4R 16 2016 Scrum Half:
Jim Green* 7/2R 134 2010 Kent LH Prop: Westcombe Park 11.
Sam Kenny* (22) 7/1R 71 2014 Kent U 20 TH Prop: Thanet Wanderers
Aaron Cooper*27 4/3R 38 2016 Kent TH Prop: Dover
Tom Rogers* (32) 6/2R 198 2007 Hooker: Canterbury Youth
Jarvis Otto (21) 2/1R 3 2017 Kent U20 Hooker: Dover (c)
Royce Cadman* (30) 7/1R 116 2013 England Counties Glos & Kent Lock: Thanet Wanderers, Hull Ionians 14,  Doncaster Knights 8,  Newport, Bedwas, Hartpury
Matt Corker (34) Coach 9 9 2017 England Students Lock: Thanet Wanderers, Wasps 5, Havant*11, Blackheath16, London Welsh (c) 228, Richmond 22.
Louis Whetton (22) 2/3R 5 2017 N Harbour U20  NZ Lock: Northcote Birkenhead NZ, Bury St Edmunds*18.
Sebastian Clark 4/1R 5 2017 OS Wing Forward: Loughborough University
Sam Rogers*(26) 7 188 2010 Hooker/BS Wing Forward: Canterbury Youth
Jake Rigby (21) 3/2R 5 2017 Back Row: Wynberg HS, Varsity College SA, False Bay RFC Cape Town, SA.
Max Cantwell* 9 77 2009-11 2015 1T Kent Lock/No8: Old Elthamians* 13, Westcombe Park*.
Sebastian Roche 2 2 2017 2T OS Wing Forward/No8:
George Micans* (24) 3 115 2010 Kent No8: Bedford Blues Academy, University of Kent