Peter Gavin previews Raiders v Old Redcliffians

Worthing Raiders v Old Redcliffians RFC
7th September 2019 Kick-off 3pm

For the first league fixture of the season Old Reds are our visitors this Saturday making their third visit to Roundstone Lane for a National League 2 South fixture. Indeed, they have already visited this year, in April, as they travelled from their Scotland Lane base in Brislington, Bristol for the 28th match of last season. Raiders posted an important 39-33 win in a tight encounter.

History & Background stuff.
The club was founded in 1918 (a couple of years before ourselves) to cater for the former pupils of Redcliffe Boys School.
The founders were former pupils returning from WW1. From the outset the club had an open-door policy and was not exclusively for old boys. The home fixtures were played at the School ground, Daventry Road, in Knowle until 1968 when the fields were developed into school buildings. At that time the club moved to the present site in Scotland Lane. The original school was founded in 1571, although it merged with Temple Colston’s school in 1969, creating the co-educational St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School.

The rugby club was successful in the pre-professional days with probably their ‘purple patch’ on the playing front occurring during the early 1980s. They won the prestigious Bristol Combination Cup as well as the Somerset Senior Cup a couple of times during this period. The latter trophy gained the club entry into the National ‘John Player’ Cup competition. Once official leagues were introduced the club settled in Somerset Premier (L8), eventually gaining promotions (and the occasional relegation) within the Regional leagues. In 2016-17 they were Champions of the South West Region thereby gaining promotion to National 2 South.

The club won the National Intermediate Cup in 2009-10, the final being held at Twickenham.

ORs turn out 2 or 3 senior sides on Saturdays with Junior and Mini rugby taking over on Sundays.
Old Redcliffians is a proper community club, like ourselves, and rightly takes great pride in the success of their junior section, with many participants graduating through to the senior teams.

British Lions prop forward the great Gareth Chilcott (Bath) and current England prop (& World Cup Squad member) Ellis Genge (Bristol, now at Leicester Tigers) both emerged via their junior section.

Club Colours: Red and Black hooped jerseys, red shorts & stockings.

Links with Worthing
Cup match
‘Old Reds’ first visited Roundstone Lane on 3rd December 1983 for a 2nd round John Player National Cup encounter. This cup competition was the major trophy event for County cup winners in the ‘Amateur days’. It was a stepping-stone to possibly drawing a match against a ‘Giant’ of the game and for a bumper home gate or a share of the gate at a major venue. The ‘top’ sides joined the draw at the 3rd round stage. A ‘Recce’ party visited Bristol a week before the match, but generally not a lot was known about Old Reds amongst the Worthing contingent. The general view was that they were a good side with a very strong set of forwards. Would home advantage give the Sussex team the edge? Recollections of the day are a little scant, but a certain ex-Bristol captain and legend Mike Fry had fine afternoon at tight head and the home side received a scrummaging lesson. Spring heeled lock forward Derek Barry (Bath, 118apps) dominated possession from the line-out. ‘Without the ball and all that’….. saw OR’s run out victorious (6-25…HT 0-15). (nb Try 4pts)

Worthing: Coulson C, Forrest J, O’Connor M, Stappers L(capt), Baker S, Coackley P, Clarke T, Baker P, Grantham-Hill N, Hornby R, Vincent B, Herbert P, Stoner S, Bateman L, Lamprey C. Reps: Matthews D, Purdy S.
Scorers: T: Stappers(70m):C: Coakley.

Old Reds: Gaddes M, Jones G, Lancastle S, Woodward T, Palmer A, King G, Haigh P, Short N, Cotton M, Fry M (capt), Barry D, De’Scossa N, Wheatley J, Excell S, Taylor P. Reps: (from) Yandell R, Bond P, Luker G, Greenway P.
Scorers: T: Lancastle(39m), Palmer(60m), Excell(72m)C: Gaddes(39&60)P: Gaddes(1m&40m).

National League encounters and league position
2017-18: W 40-OR 34 / OR 37- W 31 – Worthing 7th Old Reds 12th
2018-19: W 39-OR 33 / OR 33- W 22 – Worthing 9th Old Reds 12th

8th December 2018 Old Redcliffians 33 Worthing Raiders 22
The match was played in very difficult weather conditions caused by the tail-end of hurricane ‘Deirdre’, with gusty winds, gale force at times, and squally showers. The visitors had the use of the slope in the first half, with pundits correctly thinking that 15-17 at oranges was not enough leeway. Despite the weather both teams played good rugby with the home side making the best of the conditions for a deserved bonus point win.

Old Reds: Owen, Bird, Gervais, Jones, Boxall, Hill, Sprague, McGrath, Ward, Caulfield, Fry D, Pursall, Parsons, Coster, Doyle.
Bench: Harvey, Gompels, Zindi, Wiltshire, Hall.
Scorers: T: Bird, Hill, Parsons, Jones: C: Hill x2 :P: Hill x3.

Raiders: McLean, Maslen, Sims, Richards, Barnes, Forrest J, Walsh, Birch, Luke, Adams, Dingle, Lee, Lake, Whittall, Cuffe.
Bench: Gibson, Sassone, Dawe, Holt, Barlow H.

Scorers: T: Cuffe x2, Barnes: C: McLean x2 :P: McLean.

6th April 2019 Worthing Raiders 39 Old Redcliffians 33
A decent day weather-wise greeted the teams and 500+ spectators, for this important encounter as neither side was clear of relegation. Both teams were on 53 points, although Old Reds were one place ahead in 11th spot by virtue of one more win (9). The visitors were 7 points up with barely a couple of minutes played, but the scoring remained close with oranges taken at 20-19. The home side continued to maintain a slender, lead but it was not until the 73rd minute that a bit of daylight appeared at 39-26. The visitors grabbed a penalty try with a couple of minutes left on the clock, but Raiders hung-on. A pulsating encounter, 5 tries a-piece.

Raiders: Forrest H, Maslen, Forrest J, Miller, Barnes, McLean, Walsh, Birch, Grief, Litterick, Cuffe, Lake, Whittall, Harris, Richards.
Bench: Luke, Gatford, Lee, Holt, Gwyther.Scorers: T: Walsh, Richards, McLean, Forrest H, Forrest J: C: McLean x4 :P: McLean x2.
Old Reds: Bird, Caven, Rice, Jones, Clements, Groves, Wiltshire, McGrath, Ward, Joseph, Talbot, Pursall, Fry D, Parsons, Doyle.
Bench: Harvey, Caulfield, Zindi, Gervais, Fry B.

Scorers: T: Pursall, Joseph, Ward, Clements, Penalty: C: Groves x3.

Old Reds last season….P30 W10….60 points (12th)
Old Reds spent much of the season hovering just above relegation territory but came through in the end, helped by very creditable wins against Taunton (22-17) and Redruth (51-24). They finished ahead of Dings (56pts) and 10 points clear of 14th placed Birmingham & Solihull who were relegated along with Guernsey and LI Wild Geese. They acquired 20 bonus points (8 LBPs).
Stand-off, Kieran Hill led the way on points with 178, Ashley Groves contributing 55. Once again, flying winger Henry Bird was way ahead on try scoring, landing 26 to top the try scoring for the league. Back-row forward Dan Fry, featured in every fixture, with hooker Kieran Ward and centre Jermaine Jones missing only one.

During the season 20 players featured in 18 matches or more, with 36 different players being used to fulfil the fixtures.

This season
Not that much news seems to be available regarding new signings, although they pride themselves in producing talent through the Junior section. It is rumoured that try scoring winger Henry Bird has left to join RAMS in their quest for further success, following promotion last term.

On the coaching front, Saul Nelson has left for Cross Keys RFC after 4 or 5 successful seasons, elevating the club to National League status. The club have appointed two experienced Bath players as coaches: fly-half Alex Davies (33) and hooker Jack Walker (23).

Davies has played in the past at Plymouth Albion where he made 72 appearances and with London Welsh (78). He has also played for Ealing (19), Yorkshire Carnegie (30) and Bath (9) over the last few seasons. Walker (as a contemporary of James Chisholm) has 13 caps for England U20s, along with spells at Yorkshire Carnegie (43), Darlington MP, Bath (43) and Loughborough Students.

As usual a list of players, along with their credentials, is provided although at this stage it is restricted to the team that played in the match at Roundstone Lane last April.

Even though Old Reds have only been in the league for a couple of seasons, the fixture against them always seems to provide plenty of excitement with entertaining and skillful Rugby.

It is a tantalizing fixture to set off the season’s taste buds………try and get along to support the boys and add that all important 16th man!!!

………………………………. C’Mon Raiders!!!

Name (Age) Team v Raiders 6th April 2019 Apps 2018-9 Total N2Apps Joined Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances    *played v Raiders
Henry Bird (29) 27 50 2014 26T Full Back: Cinderford 3, Bristol 7s.
James Clements (25) 17/1R 31 2011 7T Wing: Old Reds Youth, Bristol Comb U20
Jermaine Jones (26) 27/2R 54 2017 6T Centre: Hornets RFC
Aaron Rice (27) 5/7R 14 2016 2T Centre: Clevedon
Ezra Caven (20) 7/2R 23 2016 7T Bristol 7s & U18 Wing: O.R. Youth, SGS Filton
Ashley Groves (26) 12/8R 41 2012 1T/4P/ 19C Somerset Fly Half: Bristol Harlequins, Bristol Comb U20
Kiyan Wiltshire (19) 19/5R 51 2017 1T Scrum Half: Bristol Saracens
Craig McGrath (35) 13/5R 37 2013 LH Prop: Clifton 4, Bristol 15, Bridgwater* 26, Newbury 26, London Scots 18, Barking 5, Rosslyn Park 16.
Keiran Ward* (23) 27/2R 58 2017 5T Somerset Hooker: Hornets, Old Patesians, Keynsham
Ellis Joseph (22) 8/11R 47 2015 1T TH Prop: O.R. Youth,
Chris Pursall (26) 28/2R 33 2014 8T Glos SW U20 Lock: Bristol United
Corey Talbot (23) 27 55 2016 1T Lock: Keynsham
Scott Parsons (21) 16/1R 45 2015 2T Bristol U18 BS Wing Forward: O.R. Youth, Bristol United
Dan Fry (30) 28/2R 54 2011 4T Somerset OS Wing Forward: Cinderford10, Weston-s-Mare 28
Ethan Doyle (29) 22/1R 49 2014 3T No 8: Ebbw Vale, Newbridge, Newport Sar
Ben Fry 1/8R 26 Scrum Half:
Christian Gervais (28) 23/2R 50 2015 2T Glos Centre: Ding’s*56, Taunton*71.
Alex Harvey (22) 20/6R 48 2015 Bristol U18 LH Prop: O.R. Youth, Bristol United
Jake Caulfield* (26) 18/8R 44 2017 Ireland U20 TH Prop: Clifton 22, Ulster 1, Esher*4, Cinderford 15, Coventry, Taunton*44,
Pat Zindi (22) 9/10R 21 2018 Wing Forward: Oldfield RFC
Craig Owen (33) 20/1R 41 2014 2T Full Back:
Dominic Sprague (19) 9/12R 22 2018 1T Scrum Half: O.R. Youth
Kieran Hill (22) 21/3R 37 2018 3T/44C/ 24P Somerset Fly Half: Taunton Titans 3, Clevedon
George Kloska (19) 2/16R 20 2018 Hooker: Bristol Academy
Scott Coster (27) 13 22 2011 2T Somerset OS Wing Forward: