Peter Gavin previews Rams v Worthing Raiders

ROUND 12

RAMS v Worthing Raiders

24th November 2018 2 pm

Raiders are on the road again this Saturday making the relatively short trip to Berkshire to take on table topping Rams at their extensive facility in Sonning, near Reading. This will be our 4th visit to Old Bath Road for a National League fixture. During the summer Redingensians have rebranded themselves as Rams Rugby.

Name change         ‘Rams aim to charge into new era’*

With a modern new name to back up his side’s bold ambitions chief executive Gary Reynolds has outlined his plans to usurp London Irish as Reading’s biggest team.

Formerly known as Redingensians, who finished 3rd in National 2 South last season, a summer rebrand has heralded a new sense of purpose as the Berkshire club target promotion. ‘You have to modernise and kick on’ said Reynolds. ‘The Redingensians name was very close to the club but we have a big junior section now and are very active in the local schools and colleges so the ‘Old Boys’ name just doesn’t fit our ethos anymore. It sounded a bit uppity, but we’re not an uppity club. We’re ambitious, inclusive and when London Irish eventually move on, we aim to take advantage of that. Berkshire deserves more than a club that’s parked itself here temporarily and Rams produce a lot of good players. If Reading can produce a Championship/Premiership Football Club, it should be able to produce its own Championship Rugby Club – and that’s our aim’. *(extract from ‘The Rugby Paper’ 26th August 2018)

History & Background stuff        

The club was founded in 1924 by former pupils of Reading School. Home games were played at Morgan Road and Liebenrood Road in Reading for a couple of seasons until a ground was rented in Caversham. A ground (approx 20 acres) was opened at Emmer Green in 1927.

They moved to the present facility in 1948. By 1968, with a lack old boys joining from the School, it was decided for the club to become ‘open’ with “Old” dropped from the title. The updated clubhouse was opened in 2014.

The League system, introduced in 1987, saw Rams placed in the Southern Counties League. (Whilst Reading seems to be in the South East, Berkshire comes within South West in the RFU structure.)  Rams were promoted in the inaugural season, but the spell in South West 2 was short-lived. A slide down to Berks Dorset & Wilts 1 ensued. By 2001 the club had achieved promotion back to South West 2 East. A further slide in fortunes followed, but with promotions in consecutive seasons, the club reached South West 1 by 2006/07. This status was maintained until promoted, as Champions, to National 2 South in 2015.

Redingensians run 4 or 5 adult teams with the youth section, started in 1973, being amongst the largest in the area. The Ladies team (The Sirens) play in South East (West) league. The Rams Academy has been formed with the University of Reading to recruit/develop promising young players from the local community.

Colours: Dark blue/light blue/white hooped shirts, Dark blue shorts and stockings.

The “Rams” nickname reflected the animal that features on Reading’s coat of arms, but as detailed above the club is now officially known as Rams Rugby.

Redingensians last season P30 – W21/ D1/ L8 – 112 points

In their third season in the league Rams once again put in a very solid performance finishing 3rd, exceeding their own expectations. Cinderford and Chinnor were both promoted finishing on 143 points and 131 points respectively. Four of their defeats coming against the promoted sides. The other defeats were on the road at Redruth (25-19), Taunton (31-21), Bury St Edmunds (27-24) and Henley (28-24), in the first match of the season. (They won the return fixture 51-0). Their solid pack contributed consistently towards their fine performances. Top try scorers were, Tom Vooght (back-row) 14, Conor Corrigan (wing) 10, Ben Henderson (hooker) and Jak Rossiter (wing) both 9. Steve Bryant (centre) started all 30 matches with Vooght, Ollie Taylor (lock) and Henderson featuring in 29.

Fixtures with Worthing

2015/16   Rams 28   Raiders 10  /   Raiders 22   Rams 20

2016/17   Rams 43   Raiders 27  /   Raiders 24   Rams 29

2017/18   Rams 39   Raiders 26  /  Raiders 30   Rams 40

September 16th 2017 Worthing Raiders 30 Redingensians Rams 40

Raiders expected a tough fixture against Rams who historically field a strong set of forwards. This encounter followed the pattern.  Raiders were in contention for 50 minutes at 16-19, but 3 converted tries in the third quarter ensured the win for the visitors. Raiders hit back in the closing stages but failed to wrestle a point.

Raiders: Leeming, Maslen, Richards, Forrest J, Boyland, McLean, Walsh, Gatford, Gearing-Grief, Adams, Spurgeon, Lake, Price, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Harris, Litterick, Redmayne, Miller, Hampson.

Rams: Foxley, Rossiter, Bryant, Souter, Sunley, Humberstone T, Illingworth, Weller, Henderson, Baker, Taylor, Thompson, Morrison, Vooght, Stapley R.

Bench: O’Meara, Berry, Nightingale, Corrigan, Cole.

January 6th 2018 Redingensians Rams 39 Worthing Raiders 26

Once again Raiders expected a tough encounter and that’s exactly what they got! Rams scoring twice inside the first 10 minutes and had the try scoring bonus point in the bag just before half time, 20-7.  Raiders stuck to the task and eventually managed a try scoring bonus point themselves in an entertaining match.

Rams: Foxley, Duffelen, Bryant, Souter, Corrigan, Jarvis, Cole, Kidd, Henderson, Baker, Taylor, Thomson, Stapley C, Vooght, Stapley R.

Bench: Drew, Berry, Collis, Humberstone T, Richardson.

Raiders: McIlwaine, Maslen, Coyle, Forrest J, Tomlinson, McLean, Walsh, Ajayi, Grief, Litterick, Redmayne, Dingle, Price, Whittall, Perkins.

Bench: Luke, Head, Lake, Harris, Hampson.

The season so far…P11 /W10……50 points….  TOP

Despite collecting zero points from a visit to Old Albanian (18-10) on 22nd September they have otherwise put in a 5-point display in the other fixtures. The only other team to manage to get a point being Barnes who secured an LBP (19-26) on 6th October. That was until last Saturday when they so nearly came unstuck in Somerset against Titans. They eventually won (30-35), that was after being 24-7 behind. It seems that Titans lost their discipline in the 2nd half with lock B-J Chapman getting a red card and going down to 13 with a yellow. Eventually Rams got the points with a win that included 2 penalty tries. They head the league from Henley who are 7 points behind. Raiders are 9th on 28 points.

The Players

As usual a list of players used in the last fixture against Titans is provided along with detail on a few other players who have been used in recent matches. Most of the players listed have featured in previous fixtures between the clubs. Alex Seers (Fly half) who played for LIWG last season has joined as has Andrew Humberstone (centre) who played last season at Hull Ionians.

A tough fixture awaits Raiders against a Rams side that top the league and maintain an unbeaten record on home turf since January when they lost to Chinnor (29-31).

Please try and getting along to Sonning to cheer on the boys……

C’MON RAIDERS!!!..

Name/Age    *Played v Raiders Apps 2018-9 N2 App Join Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances  *played v Raiders
Team V Taunton         17th Nov WON 30-35
Joe Duffelen*(29) 9/1R 42 2007 4T Berkshire Full Back: Loughborough Students
Jak Rossiter* (25) 11 60 2016 8T Eng Students & Count U20 Wing: St Mary’s University, Richmond 5.
Steve Bryant* (29) 9/1R 96 2012 1T Gloucestershire Centre: Old Patesians 16
Andrew Humblestone (24) 7 7 2018 1T   Centre: Rotherham Titans 1, Hull Ionians 36
Conor Corrigan* (23) 4 67 2016 1T  Berkshire U20 Wing: Wasps & London Welsh Academies, Henley Hawks 3
Alex Seers (24) 10/1R 11 2018 1T/2P/ 33C England Count U20 Fly Half: Chobham, Cardiff Met, Ealing Academy, LIWG*26
Miles Lloyd * (24) 7/3R 35 2016 2T   Scrum Half: Harrogate
Niall Kidd * 8/1R 16 2017 1T   LH Prop: Windsor
Ben Henderson* (26) 10 94 2013 8T Berkshire U20 Hooker: Worthing 2, Reading Abbey
James Baker* (31) 7/2R 72 2007 2T Berkshire TH Prop: Stalwart
Olllie Taylor*© (28) 10 87 2015 2T Berkshire Lock: Bracknell
Michael Etete 3/1R 4 2018   Lock: Reading, Reading University, Rams Academy
Ross Crame* (26) 4/3R 53 2015 1T   BS Wing Forward:
Tom Vooght* (26) 10 88 2011 2T Berkshire U20 OS Wing Forward: Rams Academy, Birmingham University
Jamie Guttridge* (27) 6/2R 44 2014 4T Berkshire No8: Reading & University, Newbury, Loughborough University (Bucs)
BENCH            
Sean McDonnell-Roberts (25) 4/7R 35 2016 1T Berkshire Prop: Gorseinon, Llanelli, Neath, Swansea University, Ospreys Academy, Scarlets
Greg Drew* (30) 1/5R 26 2017 Berkshire Hooker: Richmond* 16
Louis Wolf (22) 1/1R 5 2017 Berkshire Lock: Clifton* 22, Reading University
Jamar Richardson* (23) 3/4R 30 2015 1T/1C/1P   Full Back: Rams Academy
Greg Illingworth* (25) 2/3R   2016   Scrum Half: Tynedale* 23
Played Recently         Last Played  
Andrew Denham 6 6 2018 4T 13th Oct        Berkshire U20 Wing: Reading University
Ellis Jones (21) 4/2R 14 2017 6th Oct Centre: Dragons, Caerleon
Tom Humberstone *(24) 2 21 2017 1T 29th Sept Centre: Basingstoke, Loughborough,   Oxford University Greyhounds.
Oli Cole* (20) 2/3R 28 2016 6th Oct Scrum Half:
Jack Steadman* (30) 3/1R 59 2014 2T 3rd Nov LH Prop: Bristol, Dings, Clifton 46, Loughborough University 65
Colin Thompson* (25) 4/1R 41 2016 1T 29th Sept       Berkshire Lock: Windsor
Andy Amor* (34) 2/2R 46 2006 3rd Nov BS Wing Forward: Stalwart & Former Captain
James Page 3/1R 4 2018 2T 27th Oct OS Wing Forward:
Robbie Stapley* (Capt, 29) 4 56 2009/-12 2015 1T 22nd Sept No8: Henley Hawks* 98,
Josh Collis* 6/1R 26 2017 1T 20th Oct No8: Henley Bulls, Southampton University