Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Canterbury

Worthing Raiders v Canterbury RFC

3rd March 2018 Kick-off 3pm

Canterbury RFC travel down from Kent to pay their 8th visit to Roundstone Lane to take on ‘The Raiders’ in a National League (2S) fixture. Raiders, who visited Merton Lane last November, will be looking to redress the balance after losing 50-26.

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 after harvesting in October. In 1937 the club moved to the present ground in Merton Lane, which is now known as MTG (Marine Travel Ground). The Mayor of Canterbury opened the playing facility, 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 2006/7 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 four, sometimes five, 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 South 1, the same league as our Ladies. (The plan is for the Ladies match to also take place at Roundstone Lane on 3rd March.)

Wheel-Chair Rugby has been added to the club’s activities, now in their 3rd season.

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 / league position C 5th / W 12th

2009/10: C 16 – W 18 / W 20 – C 20 / league position W 6th / C 7th

2010/11: C 20 – W 38 / W 57 – C 22 / W 8th / C14th. Canterbury Relegated

2012/13: C 17 – W 38 / W 55 – C 31 / W 2nd / C 8th   Worthing Promoted

2014/15: C 12 – W 20 / W 36 – C 25 / league position W 5th / C 11th

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

2016/17: C 13 – W 7 / W 30 – C 12 / league position C 8th / W 12th

2017/18: C 50 – W 26

4th November 2017….. Canterbury 50 Worthing Raiders 26

Raiders travelled to Kent in 10th spot (19 points) three places and 10 points behind the hosts. Nevertheless, as usual, looking for the win especially after the close victory against local rivals TJs (23-19) the previous week. Raiders got off to a flying start with Jack Maslen crossing twice in the first 10 minutes or so. The home side responded with 2 tries of their own (Sayers & Cooper), the score line 10-12 with barely 15 minutes played. Despite end to end stuff that concluded the scoring for the half, Raiders edging it up the slope. The home side opened strongly in the second period and after exerting prolonged pressure a penalty try and a red card (McIlwaine, high tackle) were awarded in the 46th minute. Probably the turning point in the match as the home side added 5 more tries at regular intervals. Raiders showed glimpses of their own and were pleased to grab a bonus point score in the final minute.

Canterbury: Kingsman, Moss, Farris, Best T, Sayers, Best O, Braithwaite, Green, Otto, Cooper, Cadman, Corker, Stephens, Clark, Cantwell.

Bench: Howard, Rogers T, Kenny, Smart, Woodbridge.

Raiders: McIlwaine, Maslen, Richards, Leeming, Hampson, McLean, Walsh, Ajayi, Luke, Litterick, Spurgeon, Worrall, Lake, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Grief, Sargent, Redmayne, Whittall, Boyland.

Canterbury Last Season………middle 8th W15 / L15

Canterbury had a relaxing middle of the table type of season, even their points differential was practically level (PF 722, PA 732). The highlight was probably the win against Chinnor (16-12). Top points scorer was Tom Best with 148 points. Leading try scorers were Guy Hilton 18, Dan Smart 13 and in the forwards Sam Kenny with 6. Will Farris and Sam Rogers both featured in all 30 fixtures, with prop forward Aaron Cooper on 29. They used 43 different players to fulfil the fixtures, 14 of the squad making 20 or more appearances.

The season so far…Won 11 /L12…. 10th spot 56 points (2 points behind Raiders in 9th)

In early December Canterbury had the look of a top 6 team with only 4 defeats (one at Clifton 25-15) on the register. Since then they have had rather a poor run with only 2 wins (Old Reds 48-29, & Wimbledon 17-7) recorded, of the 8 defeats losing at Broadstreet (12-7) and last time out at Bury St Edmunds (46-26) perhaps stand out. Like Raiders they have probably done enough to avoid getting involved further down the league, but they have a tough last 3 fixtures against Redingensians, Chinnor and Cinderford.

The Players

As usual a list of the players used in the last few fixtures is provided along with a little more detail as to their credentials. The team that represented the club in the last fixture against Bury St Edmunds is listed. Most of the players have played against Raiders in previous fixtures, although centre Sam Sterling has recently joined from Ampthill. Prop forward, Alex Wake-Smith has been missing from the side for over a season following injury but he has now made a come-back to the ranks. A notable addition to squad this season is experienced lock forward Matt Corker who has featured in every fixture. He has joined, after a season at Richmond, to take on the role of player/Forwards coach. Matt is returning to his roots having started at Thanet Wanderers, he was with London Welsh for the best part of 10 seasons, including a spell as captain.


Another tough fixture awaits……….


…….C’Mon Raiders!!!

Name (Age) *Played 4th Nov Apps 2017/8                    N2 Apps Join Points Honours Position  Prev Club/s apps                            * Played v Raiders
Team v Bury St E            
Aiden Moss* (25) 12/1R 123 2012 8T England Counties U20 Kent Full Back: Blackheath 4.
Guy Hilton (24) 4/4R 95 2013 2T Kent Wing: Canterbury Youth
Sam Sterling 2 2 2018   Centre: Kilkenny College, UL Bohemians, Bury St Edmunds* 32, Ampthill 7
Tom Best*(27) 15/2R 175 2008 3T/3C Kent Centre: Deal & Betteshanger
Harry Sayers* (20) 18/1R 52 2015 12T England Counties U20 Kent Wing: Dover
Ollie Best* 19/1R 79 2014 4T/7P/32C   Fly Half: Medway
Kyan Braithwaite* 9/7R 29 2016 2T/2C   Scrum Half-
Aaron Cooper*27 12/6R 49 2016 3T Kent LH Prop: Dover
Tom Rogers* (32) 14/6R 210 2007 1T   Hooker: Canterbury Youth
Sam Kenny* (22) 19/4R 85 2014 2T Kent U20 TH Prop: Thanet Wanderers
Royce Cadman* (30) 17/2R 127 2013 England Counties, Glos & Kent Lock: Thanet Wanderers, Hull I 14,  Doncaster Knights 8,  Newport, Bedwas, Hartpury
Matt Corker* (35) Coach 22/1R 23 2017 England Students Lock: Thanet Wanderers, Wasps 5, Havant*11, Blackheath16, London Welsh (c) 228, Richmond 22.
Aidan Woodward 2/5R 7 2017   BS Wing Forward: Watsonians, Upper Hutt NZ
David Bailey 3/1R 4 2017   OS Wing Forward: Nedlands Perth WA
Max Cantwell* 21 89 2009 2015 1T Kent L/8: Old Elthamians* 13, Westcombe Park*.
Frank Morgan 1/6R 17 2015 1T   Centre: Folkestone
Jarvis Otto* (21) 8/7R 15 2017 Kent U20 Hooker: Dover (c)
Alex Wake-Smith 0/3R 82 2013   Prop: Canterbury University
Dan Smart* 19/3R 92 2014 9T/1C   Scrum Half: Glasgow Hawks
Vaughn Meredith 0/2R 4 2016   Back Row/Lock:
Played Recently         Last Played  
Ricky Mackintosh 5/1R 55 2012 1T 10th Feb Wing: Dover
Keiran Thompson 9/1R 22 2016 5T 3rd Feb Wing: Thanet Wanderers
Barney Howard* 10/2R 16 2016 3T 27th Jan Wing:
Charlie Kingsman* (22) 15/1R 28 2014 3T/2C 27th Jan Centre/Full Back: King’s Canterbury, Old Albanian*7, Saracens Academy
Jon ‘JJ’ Murray 16/2R 41 2016 3T Kent(10th Feb) Centre: Ashford, Tonbridge Juddians
Jim Green* 13/5R 143 2010 Kent(27th Jan) LH Prop: Westcombe Park 11.
Sebastian Clark* 14/2R 16 2017 2T 10th Feb OS Wing Forward: Loughborough University
Jake Rigby (21) 10/4R 14 2017 2T 10th Feb Back Row: Wynberg HS, Varsity College SA, False Bay RFC Cape Town, SA.