Peter Gavin previews Canterbury v Worthing Raiders

Canterbury RFC v Worthing Raiders

28th January 2017 Kick-off 3pm

Raiders head to The Marine Travel ground in Canterbury for the 14th National league match between the clubs. Earlier in the season ‘The City Club’ visited Roundstone Lane and returned to Kent defeated 30-12.

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 1 South, the same league as our Ladies. Wheel-Chair Rugby has now been added to their activities and they are National Shield holders.

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 – W18           W 6th    C 7th

2010/11  C 20 – W 38        W 57 –  C 22           W 8th    C 14th.    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   C 11th

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

2016/17  W 30 – C 12

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.

Last Season

Canterbury finished 10th on 70 points with 13 wins one spot above Raiders. Tom Best was top points scorer with 163. Mason Rosvall scored 18 tries with Beaumont 9, Burns and Moss on 8 a-piece.

This season so far…Won 10 Lost 8

Canterbury are sitting pretty in 7th spot in the league, 56 points which includes 16 bonus points. They have only failed to collect a bonus point in two fixtures this season, against Raiders and in their win against ‘Top of the League’ Chinnor, 16-12. A pick of other results shows two narrow losses to local rivals Old Elthamians 15 -17 and 18 -14 and a tight victory against Bishop’s Stortford (38 – 34). The return match against the Hertfordshire side, scheduled for last weekend, was hit by postponement, frozen pitch. Another pleasing win would have been at Redruth (26 – 34).  A couple of weeks ago, on form they would probably expected to beat Clifton especially at Merton Lane, but they came unstuck (25 – 42). As usual Tom Best is leading points scorer with 100, leading try scorer is winger Guy Hilton with 15, scrum half Dan Smart has 11.

The Players

As usual a resume of the players used in the last 3 or 4 fixtures is provided along with a little more detail as to their credentials. Most of the players listed have played against Raiders in previous fixtures although Australian forward Glynn Edwards has arrived from Perth to join his brother Tyler. It would seem that the club have been able to keep up consistency with selection (15 players featuring in 15 or more fixtures). This must undoubtedly point to escaping the ravagement of injuries which have hit a few clubs in the league, none more so than Raiders.


Another tough fixture awaits in the ‘Garden of England’


…….C’Mon Raiders!!!

Name (Age) *Played 8th Oct Apps 2016/7 N2 App Join Pts Honours Position  Prev Club/s apps                      * Played v Raiders
Aiden Moss* 15 102 2012 6T Eng Co U20 Full Back/Wing: Blackheath 4.
Jonathon Jones* 1/7R 8 2016 Full Back: Swansea University, Bonymaen
Barney Howard 2/2R 4 2016 Wing: Canterbury Youth
KieranThompson 3/1R 4 2016 2T Wing: Thanet Wanderers
Guy Hilton* (24) 16 80 2013 15T Kent Wing: Canterbury Youth
Jonathan Murray 15/1R 16 2016 4T Kent Centre: Ashford, Tonbridge Juddians
Will Farris* 17/1R 35 2015 1T Centre: Malvern, Broadstreet.
Ollie Best* 8/3R 59 2014 1T/17C 8P/1DG Utility back: Medway
Martyn Beaumont* (31) 12/4R 126 2012 5T/4C/6P Kent Fly Half/Full Back: Dover
Tom Best* 15/3R 149 2008 3T/23C 12P/1DG Centre/Fly Half: Medway
Dan Smart* 16 59 2014 11T Scrum Half: Glasgow Hawks
Kyle Braithwaite 0/3R 3 2016 Scrum Half:
Jim Green* 11/6R 114 2010 Kent LH Prop: Westcombe Park.
Cam Townley 24 1/10R 45 2010 1T LH Prop: Canterbury Pilgrims
Sam Kenny* (21) 15/1R 51 2014 4T Kent U 20 TH Prop: Thanet Wanderers
Aaron Cooper* 26 17/8R 18 2016 Kent TH Prop: Dover
Tom Rogers* (31) 16 185 2007 2T Hooker: Canterbury Youth
Glynn Edwards 7/4R 11 2016 Lock: Perth Gold (Western Australia)
Logan Woodbridge 2/5R 9 2016 Lock: Canterbury Youth
Tom Burns*( C) 17 62 2012 1T Lock: Barking 56, Richmond 3.
Sam Rogers* 25 17/1R 169 2010 1T BS Wing Forward/Hooker: Canterbury Youth
Hugh Huston-McCormick* 18 18 2016 4T No8/Wing Forward: Old Colfeians
Tyler Edwards* (32) 13/2R 32 2015 3T Western Force & Queensland A Lock/Wing Forward: Perth, Stirling, Ealing.
Jamie Stephens 0/1R 1 2017 Back Row:-
Freddie Edwards 0/5R 5 2016 Back Row/Lock:
Max Cantwell 7 57 2009 2015 1T Lock/No 8: Old Elthamians* 13, Westcombe Park*.