Peter Gavin previews Readingensians Rams v Worthing Raiders


Redingensian Rams v Worthing Raiders

6th January 2018 k/o 2 pm

Raiders start the New Year with a relatively short trip to Berkshire to take on Redingensian Rams at their extensive facility in Sonning near Reading. This will be our 3rd visit to Old Bath Road for a National League fixture.

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 reflects, the animal that features on Reading’s coat of arms.

Redingensians last season P30/ W16/ D1

In their second season in the league Rams once again put in a solid performance finishing 6th (8th first season) with 87 points. (9 of the defeats, 7 points or less).

The away win against promoted Old Elthamians (5-22) stands out. Jak Rossiter was top try scorer with 15. Ben Henderson and Robbie Stapley were top try scorers in the forwards with 9 & 8 respectively. Ex Raider, Ben Henderson (Hooker) and back-row Tom Vooght were both involved in all 30 fixtures. Centre three-quarter Steve Bryant and lock forward Ollie Taylor featured 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

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, Illingworth, Weller, Henderson, Baker, Taylor, Thompson, Morrison, Vooght, Stapley R.                                                                                                                                      Bench: O’Meara, Berry, Nightingale, Corrigan, Cole.

The season so far…P16/ W12……67 points…. 3rd

Rams have had a good season so far, with the defeat at Henley in the first match (28-24) probably the only real blot. The other defeats were at Chinnor (36-14), Titans (31-21) and by a whisker  at home to Cinderford (36-37).  They have scored 82 tries so far, including  11 ‘penalty’ tries. They have generally acquired the 4 try bonus point although the victories against Redruth (21-12) and Wimbledon (13-24) were closely fought.

The Players

As usual a list of players used in the last few matches is provided along with a little further detail as to their credentials. They have been able to field a consistent team with Steve Bryant (centre) starting every match. Ben Henderson (hooker) and Open-side Tom Vooght have been involved in all 16 encounters.  Props Andy Berry and Matt Weller have only missed one and two matches respectively. They have recently added experienced stand-off half Adrian Jarvis to their ranks as player/coach.

Jarvis, 34, retired from the professional game at the end of last season following a playing career that encompassed Harlequins as well as a couple of stints with Bristol.

This has all the makings of another fascinating clash, with Rams eager to keep in touch with the leaders, whilst Raiders will be hunting for points against a team unbeaten at home since September.


Please try and make the relatively short trip up to Reading to add your touchline support.



Name/Age   *Played v Raiders 16th Sept   Apps 2017-8 N2 App Join Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances  *played v Raiders
Joe Duffelen (28) 4/3R 17 2007 2T Berkshire Full Back: Loughborough Students
Ollie Foxley*(30) 12 51 2013 2T   Full Back: Reading
Jamar Richardson (23) 2/2T   2015 1T   Full Back: Rams Academy
Jak Rossiter* (24) 9 36 2016 4T England Students & Count. U20 Wing: St Mary’s University, Richmond 5.
Josh Sunley* (24) 7 7 2017 1T England Youth RL Wing: Leeds Rhinos RL
Conor Corrigan* (22) 13/1R 48 2016 5T Berkshire U20 Wing: Wasps & London Welsh Academy, Henley Hawks 3
Steve Bryant* (28) 16 72 2012 4T Glos Centre: Old Patesians 16
Jordan Souter* 21 14 23 2016 6T/2C Berkshire Centre: Reading University
Ellis Jones (20) 1/1R 2 2017 1T   Centre: Dragons, Caerleon
Adrian Jarvis (34) Coach 1/1R 2 2017 7C England Saxons Fly Half: Harlequins 87, Bristol 170, Yorks Carnegie 11, London Irish 24
Tom Humberstone *(24) 14/1R 15 2017 43C/4P   FH: Basingstoke, Loughborough,   Oxford University Greyhounds.
Greg Illingworth* (24) 12/2R 33 2016 7T   Scrum Half: Tynedale* 23
Oli Cole* (19) 4/5R 14 2016 2T   Scrum Half:
Andy Berry* (25) 12/3R 15 2017 4T   TH Prop: Chinnor 61, Old Albanian*26
Matt Weller* (28) 14 53 2012 1T   LH Prop: Reading, Hartpury, Coventry 25
James Baker* (30) 4/5R 45 2007 1T Berkshire TH Prop: Stalwart
Sean McDonnell-Roberts (24) 0/1R 21 2016   Prop: Gorseinon, Llanelli, Neath, Swansea University, Ospreys Academy
Ben Henderson* (25) 14/2R 71 2013 5T Berkshire U20 Hooker: Worthing 2, Reading Abbey
Gavin O’Meara* (31) 2/7R 9 2017   Hooker: Barking 3, London Welsh 33, Blackheath 121, Plymouth 28, Old Elthamians 43
Greg Drew (29) 0/4R 11 2017 Berkshire Hooker: Richmond* 16
Olllie Taylor* (28) 15 63 2015 1T Berkshire Lock: Bracknell
Colin Thompson* (24) 9/4R 24 2016 Berkshire Lock: Windsor
Will Morrison* (23) 11/5R 28 2014 2T Berkshire U20 Lock: Henley AASE, Wasps U20, Loughborough Students 7.
Conor Stapley 25 8 8 2017 1T   BS Wing Forward: Henley Hawks 11.
Tom Vooght* (25) 15/1R 64 2011 7T Berkshire U20 OS Wing Forward: Rams Academy, Birmingham University
Robbie Stapley* (Capt, 28) 14/1R 51 2009-12 2015 7T   No 8: Henley Hawks* 98.
Joshua Collis 2/3R 5 2017 1T   No 8: Henley Bulls, Southampton University