Worthing Raiders v Leicester Lions
7th December 2019
Kick off 2pm
This week our visitors are Leicester Lions RFC who make their first ever visit to Roundstone Lane. LL were ‘level transferred’ south for this season as there was, once again, a numerical imbalance between north/south in level 2 of the National League. This procedure has been invoked for the last 3 seasons which has meant we have also recently greeted Broadstreet RFC and Birmingham & Solihull RFC from ‘The Midlands’ to the Rugby Park.
History & Background stuff
The club was formed in 1999 through the merger of existing clubs, Westleigh RFC (originally founded in 1904) and Wigston RFC (originally founded in 1946). Their ground is known as TMDP Park located in Lutterworth Road, Blaby, Leicester LE8 4DY. The new clubhouse was opened last September by legend Martin Johnson CBE. He is, of course very much a local celebrity and hero, but it was most appropriate for him to perform this task as he started his career at Wigston.
The club presently turns out 3 or 4 senior sides on Saturdays, with Youth and mini rugby played on Sundays. The Ladies team is known as the Lionesses. Leicester Lions, like Worthing, is a Community Rugby Club.
There are links with Leicester Tigers through the ‘Tigers’ Development (‘A’) team.
Club Colours: Purple with white stripes and black detailing. Change: White & lavender stripes.
The Club were ‘Champions’ of what is now known as Midlands Premier in season 2004/5 and duly took their place in National 2 North (level 4) the following season. Impressively they have maintained that level ever since. In that 14 season period they have finished 3rd three times, the last occasion being in 2016/7. They have also flirted with the ‘R’ zone, 13th in 2011/12, but avoided the drop by 1 point as Harrogate RFC departed on 59 points.
They will return ‘North’ next season, unless they gain Promotion to National 1, they are very much in the mix. (see further for this season’s record.)
Last season P30 / W13 / D1…75 points… 12th…
After a difficult start, losing their first 5 matches, they then strung 3 wins together, so after 8 fixtures they had 17 points in the bag and lay 13th. Still precarious, but week by week they slowly improved matters. The win in the Christmas fixture at South Leicester (28-34) and the great win the previous week against future champions Hull Ionians (17-0) put a little further day-light (10 points) between themselves and the bottom 3. The win at Sedgley Park (19-20) at the end of January was probably the turning point in the remain campaign.
Wing three-quarter Devon Constant was top try scorer with 21, but ex-Raider, full-back, Alex Wilcockson was hot on his heels with 18 from 24 appearances. Lock forward Ollie Tapscott, back-rower Ethan Godefroy and winger Constant all made 29 appearances. They used 37 different players to fulfil the fixtures.
Level Transferred South
Historically, teams from the Midlands that have been ‘level transferred’ have not particularly prospered results-wise from their trip south. The exceptions were Ampthill who finished 2nd in 2013/4 and Rugby Lions who finished 8th in 2008/9. It was rather a sorry tale for Hinckley (15th in 2010/11), Broadstreet (16th in 2017/8) and Birmingham & Solihull (14th in 2018/9) who all returned and were relegated to level 5 in the Midlands.
This could be the reason why most of the pundits were predicting a difficult season for Lions …how wrong they have been …read-on.
The season so far…. P 13 / W10 / L3…5th 45 points Raiders 9th 33 points
The fixtures secretary set Lions a tough assignment way back, for the first outing, with a trip to ‘title contenders’ TJs (41-12). More or less in line with predictors! A solid home win (38-7) against Old Albanian followed and that win seems to have created a home fortress! Clifton (39-20), Barnes (21-9), BSE (17-0), Old Reds (27-7) and last Saturday table-topping Titans (12-6), leaves the stage set for Henley Hawks who visit on 14th December to try and break the mould. On the road they have also won at Westcliff (12-19), Dings (27-29), Sutton & Epsom (7-23) and Bournemouth (16-17) They have lost to Esher (16-12) and Redruth (20-7). All in all a very good start.
(TJs 53 points…Hawks 52 points…Titans 51 points…Clifton 47 points)
As usual a list of the players used in last week’s fixture against Taunton Titans (won 12-6) is provided along with detail on some of the other players used in other recent fixtures together with a little more information as to their credentials. There are a number of players who have achieved the land mark 100 appearances, but special mention has to be made of tight head Shaun Murray, who has put in an amazing 321 shifts…the story moves to the incredible when the stats show he moved to South Leicester for 3 seasons and put in 80 shifts there!!
From time to time they use a player or two from the ‘Tigers’ development squad. Ed Sumpter (lock) recently played for Tigers ‘A’ v Gloucester.
It will be good to see Roundstone Lane favourite, Alex Wilcockson back at ‘The Rugby Park’ let’s reserve a special cheer for him! (You tube 5th November 2011 Worthing RFC- ‘On My Head Son’ v Lydney: 14,259 views…go on google it again!!!)
Another important fixture with the additional attraction of welcoming a side to the Rugby Park who have not visited ‘Sunny Worthing’ before. Try and get along to cheer the boys along for what hopefully will be another great display of Rugby skills and excitement.
Let’s get behind the team from the touchline, stand or balcony your encouragement really does spur the boys along.……
…… C’Mon Raiders!!!!
|Name/Age||Apps 2019/20||Total N2 Apps||Joined||Points||Honours||Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances *played v Raiders|
|Team v Taunton Titans 30th November (Home) WON 12-6|
|Alex Wilcockson © (27)||1||39||2017||–||England Students||Full Back: Worthing Raiders 44, Taunton T* 21|
|Kaz Henderson (26)||12||12||2019||5T||East Midlands||Wing: Peterborough 13|
|Luke Veebel (27)||11/1R||141||2012/18 2019||2T||Estonia (15 caps)||Centre: Market Bosworth, Tigers Academy, Coventry 4, Stourbridge 27|
|Jamel Hamilton (23)||12||58||2016/7 2018||1T||Centre: Saints Academy, Chinnor*15|
|Devon Constant||13||148||2014||6T||Leicestershire||Wing: Hinckley|
|Max Johnson (20)||4/1R||5||2019||4T/1C||UAE U19||Centre: Dubai Exiles, University of Leicester|
|Alex Smit (25)||7/4R||65||2017||–||Scrum Half: Coventry*12, Nottingham 29|
|Rhod McNaughton (41)||4/5R||35||2006/11 2019||–||Leicestershire||LH Prop: South Leicester 110, Glasgow University, Jordan Hill, Loughborough Students|
|Sam McNulty (23)||1||1||2019||–||Warwickshire||Hooker: Broadstreet 14, South Leicester 20, Coventry Development|
|Shaun Murray (41)||11||321||2002/16 2019||–||Leicestershire||TH Prop: South Leicester 80|
|Ollie Tapscott (25)||9||83||2016||1T||Northumberland U20||Lock: University of Leicester, Morpeth|
|Will Ward||9/2R||11||2019||–||Leicestershire Midlands U20||Lock: Nuneaton 24, South Leicester 107, Melton Mowbray, University of Birmingham|
|Ed Sumpter (29)||9||34||2018||8T||Leicestershire||BS Wing Forward: Market Harborough, Tigers ‘A’|
|Johnny Murdoch (25)||11||163||2013||–||OSWF: Melton Mowbray, University of Queensland|
|Nick Cairns (25)||12||12||2019||3T||Leicestershire Northumberland Eng Co U20||No 8: Stourbridge 29, Tynedale*81, South Leicester 22, Falcons Academy|
|Charlie Loveday||0/7R||7||2019||–||Leicestershire||TH Prop: Kesteven, Melton Mowbray, South Leicester 11|
|Will Roberts (20)||5/3R||59||2017||–||Midlands U20 Eng Co U18||LH Prop: Lutterworth, Tigers & Nottingham Academies|
|Ethan Godefroy (24)||8/5R||42||2018||2T||Leicestershire||BS Wing Forward: Market Harborough|
|Simon Johnson (28)||3/8R||67||2017||–||Leicestershire Midlands U20||OS Wing Forward: Cambridge*36, South Leicester|
|James Stubbs (22)||4/4R||8||2019||–||Leicestershire||Scrum Half: Hartpury Bucs, Market Harborough, Hereford|
|Played Recently||Last Played|
|Tom Benjamin (22)||3/1R||4||2019||–||23rd Nov N,L&D U20||Full Back: Nottingham Academy, Burton RFC, Cardiff Met, Nottingham|
|Ben Young||8||8||2019||10P/13C||23rd Nov||Fly Half: Peterborough 20|
|Sam Eveleigh (18)||1/3R||4||2019||–||23rd Nov||Scrum Half: Market Harborough, Tigers Dev,|
|Drew Rudkin (33)||6/6R||272||2007||1T||23rd Nov||Hooker: Stalwart, Aylestone St James|
|George Turner (24)||1/3R||4||2019||–||23rd Nov||BS Wing Forward: Lutterworth RFC|
|Laurence Warren-West (27)||0/3R||34||2018||–||23rd Nov Hampshire||Wing: Hinckley, Havant, Loughborough Town, Broncos R/L|
|James Whitcombe (19)||8||8||2019||1T||16th Nov||Prop: Woodhouse Grove, Skipton, Bradford & Bingley, Tigers Dev|
|George Taylor-Walker (25)||2/3R||18||2018||–||!6th Nov||Hooker: Battersea Ironsides|
|George Martin (18)||2/1R||3||2019||–||9th Nov England U18 ©||Lock: Loughborough GS, Merton Brooksby College, Nottingham Academy, Tigers Dev|
|Harry Glynn (18)||1||1||2019||–||2nd Nov UAE U19||Fly Half: Market Harborough, Leicester GS, Tigers Dev|