Peter Gavin previews Tonbridge Juddians v Worthing Raiders

Tonbridge Juddians RFC v Worthing Raiders
25th January 2020
Kick off 2.30pm

Raiders are on the road again this Saturday making the relatively short trip to Kent to take on high flying Tonbridge Juddians. TJs visited Roundstone Lane for the 6th match of the season back in October, returning to Kent victorious 10-45.

History & Background stuff
Tonbridge RFC
The club was founded in 1904, with the first fixture being played at the Neville ground in Tunbridge Wells (as TWRFC). The club moved to Tonbridge in 1907 as most of the players came from that direction and railway connections were more efficient! The Bull Hotel was used for post match discussions and the ‘Boating club’ for changing. The club purchased the Avebury facility in 1923.
Old Juddians RFC
The club was founded in 1928, with a fixture between the clubs taking place that season. The OJs changed at Judd School and used various park or school pitches for playing and a variety of local hostelries for post match activities. They settled at ‘The Slade’ in 1974, just over the hedge from Tonbridge RFC.
Tonbridge Juddians RFC
The merged club was formed in 1999, utilizing the facilities at ‘The Slade’ with the Avebury ground being sold for development.

The club is flourishing with 3 senior teams playing most weekends with youth, mini and girls rugby taking over on Sundays. The ladies team TJ Pinks play in South East East1.
Club colours: Red, white & blue shirts and stockings, blue shorts

League history
The introduction of the National Leagues in 1987/88 saw OJs placed in London Two (South), – a position the merged Tonbridge Juddians club occupied when the new entity started rugby in season 1999/2000. After some testing years TJs slipped into London 4 South East (level8). Season 2008/09 saw a renaissance with promotion in three consecutive seasons. It would have been four had they not lost to Chinnor 19-8 in the 2012 play-off. They had another chance in 2016 to get into level 4 but lost the play-off, with home advantage, to Barnstaple 30-31. Promotion as ‘Champs’ was achieved in 2017 when they went virtually unbeaten.

Last season… P30 W25 D1…3rd ….120 points… (Raiders….9th 68 points)
TJs put in a stellar performance signing off the season with 10 consecutive 5 pointers in a vain effort to overtake Canterbury and grab the play-off spot. In the end Canterbury just held on with 121 points. TJs suffered just 4 defeats, Canterbury early in the season (29-20) and RAMS (33-18). The other 2 reversals probably caught result predictors by surprise, the post-Christmas match at LIWG (44-31) and their only defeat on home turf, Barnes (20-21).

Truman Sullivan, Will Robinson and Ryan Jackson started in all 30 fixtures with Dave Irvine, Duncan Tout and Mike O’Sullivan making 28 appearances. In all 19 players made 20+ appearances. Will Robinson was leading points scorer with 327 (8T 82C & 41P). Murray Galbraith-Lowe and Hugo Watson were leading try scorers with 15 apiece.

History against Worthing
Both Tonbridge and Old Juddians played against us in days of yore at Castle Road, but neither of the clubs really featured on our ‘regulars’ fixture list. Season 2001-2 found the clubs in the same league at level 7. Worthing had a successful season that year gaining promotion, losing only 2 matches, one of these reversals (on 20/10/01) was to TJs at Roundstone Lane (14-20). The return fixture was postponed until the end of April, but in the event did not happen as Worthing had wrapped up the league by then.

National League results and league placings:
2017-18: Raiders 23 TJs 19 / TJs 25 Raiders 21 / TJs 6th Raiders 7th
2018-19: Raiders 18 TJs 18 / TJs 31 Raiders 28 / TJs 3rd Raiders 9th
2019-20: Raiders 10 TJs 45

12th October 2019 Raiders 10 TJs 45
Unfortunately, the weather forecast was spot on for this fixture…steady heavy rain for the afternoon!
Nevertheless, both teams put on an entertaining display for the decent crowd of nearly 400 hardy souls! TJs had the edge with the conditions probably favouring their big pack, a score just before half-time brought up their 4tpb (3-24). Raiders kept going, but a penalty try to the visitors early in the second half put paid to any serious thoughts of a come-back.

Raiders: Gwyther, Forrest H, Forrest J, Dawe, McLean, Anscombe, Waters: Gatford, Gibson, Litterick, Barlow, Lake, Whittall, Grief, Richards:
Bench: Luke, Cook, Perkins, Holmes, Langley.
Scorers:T: Waters, P: McLean, C: McLean.

TJs: May, Watson, Tout, Coxon-Smith, Chapman, Robinson, Edwards: Whitmarsh, Jackson, Conlon, Nay, Irvine, Ashmore, Sullivan, Colderick:
Bench: Green, Hayes, McHugh, Ferdinand, WhiteR.
Scorers : T: Watson x2, Jackson, Coxon-Smith, Penalty, Edwards, Ferdinand. :C: Robinson x2, White x2.

The season so far…. P19 L3…. 2nd …76 points…… (Raiders 9th 48 points)
TJs have topped the table most weeks, but after their defeat last Saturday at Taunton they have slipped to 2nd spot, 4 points behind Henley Hawks. (Taunton are 3rd on 72 with Redruth 4th on 68.)

TJs other defeats were at home to Henley (15-27) and away to Clifton (23-22). Most of their wins have been relatively comfortable affairs apart from: Bury St Edmunds (13-17), Old Albanian (9-12), Esher (17-11) and Redruth (13-7).
The race for the title and play-off spot has opened up nicely, with 11 fixtures still to play, it looks as if it could go to the wire!
(Hawks v TJs on 1st Feb looks interesting, but a long way to go for all 16 clubs…what a great league this is!!)

The squad
A list of players used in last week’s fixture against Titans is provided, along with more detail on a few players who have played in other recent fixtures. Most of the players are known to us from previous encounters or from the home leg. Duncan Tout (centre), Will Robinson (fly-half) and Truman Sullivan (open-side), Ryan Jackson (hooker) and Charlie Edwards (scrum-half) have been involved in every fixture. As usual Will Robinson is top points scorer with 158. Hugo Watson is top try scorer with 16.

Another tough fixture awaits the Raiders who will need your touchline encouragement. Please try to get along to support the boys!!!

(Be aware that the surrounds of the pitch at ’The Slade’ can be on the soggy side, so take suitable footwear!)

……..C’Mon Raiders

Name/Age    *played v Raiders  12th Oct 2019      Apps 2019-20 N2 Apps Join Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances *played v Raiders
Team v Taunton Titans 18th Jan,  LOST 20-5
Toby May* (30) 15 39 2018 4T Eng Students (Dev) FB: Pirates 64, Westcombe Park*14 Bath & Cambridge University (Blue 2014 &15)
Hugo Watson* (27) 18 68 2014 16T   Wing: Mill Hill
Duncan Tout* (26) 19 74 2017 10T1C Cornwall Centre: Bude, Rossendale, La Vila (Spain)
Finlay Coxon-Smith* (29) 13/2R 55 2017 7T   Centre: Havant 16, Newbury 22, Worthing Raiders 116
Tom Chapman* (26) 6/2R 36 2018 3T England U18 Wing: Blackheath 18, Nottingham, London Welsh, Saracens, Bath, Worcester
Will Robinson* (27) 19 50 2018 3T/7P/ 61C (158pts)   Fly Half: Wasps, Hull 47, Rosslyn Park 22, Henley Hawks*12, London Welsh 39, Rotherham 14, Old Elthamians 12
Matt Walsh (27) 11/7R 18 2019 4T   Scrum Half: Chester 27, DMP 27, Rotherham 15, Worthing Raiders 46
James Green* (33) 9/7R 16 2019 2T Kent LH Prop: Westcombe Park 11, Canterbury*165
Ryan Jackson* (30) 17/2R 73 2017 8T   Hooker: Manchester 4, Sedgley Park1, Stockport 11, Macclesfield 20.
Mike O’Sullivan  (30) 10/3R 67 2013 1C   TH Prop: University College Dublin
Mark Davey (29) 9/1R 18 2017 3T Malta Lock: Blackheath 2. Westcombe Park 2
Dave Irvine* (32) 16/1R 71 2016 1T   Lock: Gravesend, TJ Juniors
Jack Nay* (22) 12 12 2019 3T Eng U20 6 caps BS Wing Forward: Old Albanian 10, Saracens7, Bedford Blues 11, Ampthill, TJ Juniors
Truman Sullivan* (29) 19 50 2018 1T   OS Wing Forward: Bath University, Blackheath 38, Old Elthamians*82
Will Colderick* (25) 7/1R 53 2016 1T   No 8: Loughborough University
Reece Conlon*(26) 8/9R 44 2017 2019 3T Kent Prop: Westcombe Park 15, Blackheath 6, Old Elthamians 1
Max Hayes* (23) 3/10R 39 2018 1T   Prop: Durham University
Rory McHugh*(21) 9/5R 45 2017 6T   Lock: TJ Academy
Rob White*(28) 4/9R 36 2018 5C Kent Utility Back: Old Elthamians*18
Charlie Edwards* (29) 9/10R 73 2017 5T Kent Scrum Half: Newbury, Westcombe Park*33, Old Elthamians*56
Played Recently Last Played  
Ben Ashmore* (26) 12/1R 57 2016 1T 11th Jan BS Wing Forward: Wasps Academy, East Grinstead, Henley*21
Josh Groocock 1/5R 6 2019 2T 11th Jan Wing Forward: Crowborough
Jack Whitmarsh*(32) 9/5R 67 2016 1T 4th Jan LH Prop: East Grinstead, Uckfield
Noah Ferdinand* (20) 4/4R 8 2019 5T 4th Jan England Count U20 Wing: Whitgift, Old Rutlishians, Quins Academy
Ryan Ward (24) 6/4R 16 2018 21st Dec OS Wing Forward: Canterbury* 40, Blackheath 38
Murray        Galbraith-Lowe (26) 11 48 2015 10T


14th Dec Scot U18    England Students Wing: Durham University
David Priest 3/2R 5 2019 1T 7th Dec Centre: Nottingham, Nottingham University, Warlingham
Tom Petty (20) 1/2R 4 2019 9th Nov England Count U20 Hooker : Old Elthamians Academy