Peter Gavin previews Canterbury v Worthing Raiders


Canterbury RFC v Worthing Raiders 

6th October 2018 

Kick-off 3pm 

This Saturday Raiders are on the road to The Marine Travel Ground, Merton Lane, to take on Canterbury RFC. This will be our 9th visit to their ground for a National League 2 South fixture.

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 underway until after harvesting in October. In 1937 the club moved to the present ground in Merton Lane, which is now known as MTG (Marine Travel ground). The Mayor of Canterbury opened the playing facility, although changing and post match discussions were still held at a local pub, ‘The Fleur de Lys’.

In the early 1990’s the club was wallowing away in Kent 2, but by season 2006/7 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 senior 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, East 1.

Wheel-Chair Rugby was been added to the club’s activities 4 seasons ago.

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    C35 W17 W11 C20     W12th  C5th

2009/10  C16 W18  W20 C20      W6th    C7th

2010/11  C20 W38  W57  C22     W8th    C14th.    Canterbury Relegated

2012/13  C17 W38   W55 C31      W 2nd   C8th       Worthing Promoted

2014/15  C12 W20   W36 C25      W5th   C11th

2015/16  C20 W27   W41- C24    W 11th  C 10th

2016/17  C13  W7    W30 C12      W 12th  C 8th

2017/18  C 50 W26  W22 C17       W7th   C 10th

4th November 2017….. Canterbury 50  Worthing Raiders 26

Raiders travelled to Kent in 10th spot (19pts) three places and 10 points behind the hosts. Nevertheless, as usual, looking for the win especially after  the close victory against local rivals TJ’s (23-19) the previous week. Raiders got off to a flying start with Jack Maslen crossing twice in the first 10 minutes or so. The home side responded with 2 tries of their own (Sayers & Cooper), the scoreline 10-12 with barely 15 minutes played. Despite end to end stuff that concluded the scoring for the half, Raiders edging it up the slope. The home side opened strongly in the second period and after exerting prolonged pressure a penalty try and a red card (McIlwaine, high tackle) were awarded in the 46th minute. Probably the turning point in the match as the home side added 5 more tries at regular intervals. Raiders showed glimpses of their own and were pleased to grab a bonus point score in the final minute.

Canterbury: Kingsman, Moss, Farris, Best T, Sayers, Best O, Braithwaite, Green, Otto, Cooper, Cadman, Corker, Stephens, Clark, Cantwell. Bench: Howard, Rogers T, Kenny, Smart, Woodbridge.

Raiders: McIlwaine, Maslen, Richards, Leeming, Hampson, McLean, Walsh, Ajayi, Luke, Litterick, Spurgeon, Worrall, Lake, Dawe, Perkins. Bench: Grief, Sargent, Redmayne, Whittall, Boyland.

17th March 2018…..Raiders 22 Canterbury 17

On a blustery, bitterly cold day Raiders opened strongly with David McIlwaine crossing within 5 minutes. The home side extended their lead in 20th minute when Kemp Price scored, McLean converted to give the home side 12-0 lead, which was maintained until the break. An early try from Harry Forrest extended the home advantage, but the visitors pulled the score back to 17-7 in the 57th minute following a score from replacement Frankie Morgan converted by Dan Smart. Within five minutes the home side had the bonus point in the bag when Henry Birch crashed over following a strong run from Kiba Richards (22-7). Raiders continued to press, but the final 10 minutes belonged to the visitors as ‘JJ’ Murray crossed for 2 unconverted tries (76th & 79th minute) to grab a losing bonus point for ‘The City Club’. (205 hardy souls attended!!)

Raiders: McIlwaine, Maslen, Richards, ForrestJ, ForrestH, McLean, Walsh, Ajayi, Luke, Gatford, Dingle, Spurgeon, Price, Harris, Perkins. Bench: Grief, Birch, Lane, Redmayne, Boyland.

Canterbury: Moss, Horner, Murray, Sterling, Sayers, Smart, Braithwaite, Cooper, Rogers, Kenny, Cadman, Corker, Rigby, Clark, Cantwell. Bench: Morgan, Otto, Whetton, Bailey, Green.

Canterbury Last Season………10th ……W13 D1 L16…72 points

Another middling season. Never any real danger of the team being dragged into relegation territory.  Their home form remained solid with 9 wins. The spoils with county rivals Tonbridge Juddians were shared, although the ‘away’ team won each leg (24-36 at The Slade, 19-22 at MTG). Leading points scorer was Ollie Best with 105 points. Leading try scorer was Harry Sayers with 15, closely followed by Aiden Moss on 14. Lock forward, Matt Corker was involved in all 30 matches, scrum half (sometimes fly-half) Dan Smart featured in 29.

This season so far…….P5W3L2….5th ….17points

The season got off to a tough start with the fixture secretary sending them to Reading, to take on many pundits favourites for the title RAMS (formerly Redingensians). From the result (44-15) the pundits may be correct, although since then Canterbury have shown decent form with wins against Tonbridge Juddians (29-20), Old Redcliffians (21-43) and Ding’s Crusaders (40-18). Last week they had a very close encounter with Taunton Titans (23-22) a last gasp conversion drifting wide to deny the win.

The players

A list of the players used so far is provided below along with further information as to their credentials. Top try scorer from last season Harry Sayers has not yet turned out, although there is still try scoring dominance from the backs. Fly- half Harvey Young has been recruited after seasons in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Perth (W.A.), although he does hail from Kent! Sam Goatley who played for Cinderford last season has also signed and has featured in the centre in the last 3 matches. Winger Charlie Grimes, who was on the bench last week, played for Luctonians in N2N, although he has been playing in New Zealand for Marist Albion. (It is interesting to note that erstwhile Worthing (and Canterbury) free scoring No8 Rowan O’Gorman is coaching Marist!) In addition there appear to be a few players now at Canterbury who also have Bury St Edmunds RFC on their CV! Hooker Tristan King and open side Sean Stapleton have joined , although the latter is side-lined with an injury. In the boiler house ever present combination of  Royce Cadman and Matt Corker must get a mention. Dan Smart is back to scrum-half and has been ever present.

Yet another tough encounter faces the boys so it would great and much appreciated by the players if you can add touchline support.

(As an added extra Canterbury are celebrating ‘ Oktoberfest’!!)


C’Mon Raiders

Name (Age) *Played v Raiders Apps 2018/9 N2 Apps Join Pts Honours Position  Prev Club/s apps                            * Played v Raiders
Team v Taunton            
Aiden Moss* (26) 3/1R 132 2012 2T EngCount u20 Kent FB: Blackheath 4.
Ricky Mackintosh* 4/1R 64 2012 2T   W: Dover
Sam Goatley (27) 3 3 2018 2T Glos C:Old Centralians, Bury St Edmunds* 17, Cinderford* 26
Sam Sterling* 5 12 2018 Munster U20 C:Kilkenny Coll, UL Bohemians, Bury St Edmunds* 32, Ampthill 7
Jon ‘JJ’ Murray* 3/1R 52 2016 2T Kent W: Ashford, Tonbridge Juddians
Harvey Young (23) 5 5 2018 2T2P 13C   FH: Westcombe Park Acad, Armagh, Dundee HSFP, Cottesloe (Perth WA)
Dan Smart* 5 103 2014 4T   SH: Glasgow Hawks
Aaron Cooper* (28) 4/1R 60 2016 1T Kent LHP: Dover
Tristan King (23) 5 5 2018 2T Ulster U20 H: Malone, Bury St Edmunds* 19
Sam Kenny* (23) 5 93 2014 Kent U 20 THP: Thanet Wanderers
Royce Cadman* (30) 5 138 2013 Eng Counties Glos & Kent L: Hull Ionians 14, Doncaster Knight 8,  Newport, Bedwas, Hartpury, Thanet W
Matt Corker* (35) Coach 5 34 2017 Eng Students L: Richmond 22,  London Welsh (c) 228,  Thanet W, Wasps 5, Havant*11, B’heath16,
Jamie Stephens* (19) 4/1R 15 2017   BSWF: Canterbury Youth
Sebastian Clark* 3 20 2017   OSWF: Loughborough University
Sebastian Roche 4 6 2017   No8:-
Jim Green* 1/4R 151 2010 1T Kent LHP: Westcombe Pk 11.
Jarvis Otto* (22) 0/5R 29 2017 Kent U20 H: Dover (c)
Louis Whetton* (23) 0/3R 18 2017 N. Harbour U20 (NZ) L: Northcote Birkenhead NZ, Bury St Edmunds* 18
Ollie Best* 2/3R 83 2014 3T1C1P   FB: Medway
Charlie Grimes (22) 3/2R 5 2018 2T N. Midlands U20 W: Luctonians, Marist Albion NZ
Played Recently         Last Played  
Tom Best*(28) 1/1R 182 2008 Kent 1st Sept FH: Deal & Betteshanger
Frank Morgan* 0/1R 24 2015 1st Sept C: Folkestone
Keiran Thompson 0/1R 25 2016 1st Sept W: Thanet Wanderers
Tyler Oliver 2 2 2018 8th Sept No8: Bedlinog RFC, Cardiff Blues
Max Cantwell* (c) (27) 1 93 2009 2015 Kent 8th Sept L/8: Old Elthamians* 13, Westcombe Pk*.
Sean Stapleton (30) 1 1 2018 Connaught Acad 1st Sept OSWF: Buccaneers, Roscrea, Palmyra (Australia), Bury St Edmunds* 76