Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v London Irish Wild Geese


Worthing Raiders v London Irish Wild Geese

13th October 2018

Kick off 3pm

Our visitors this Saturday are London Irish Wild Geese who make the relatively short trip from their extensive facility, ‘Hazelwood’ in Sunbury. This will be their third visit to Roundstone Lane for a National League 2 South fixture.

History & Background stuff

London Irish RFC was founded in 1898 as a ‘home’ for sporting Irishmen in London. Their foundation coincided with the arrival in London of veterinary surgeon Louis Magee who represented Ireland 27 times at outside-half. He was a vital presence and attracted many of his countrymen to the club. The first fixture was against Hammersmith RFC, but before long fixtures were being staged against leading clubs in the Capital. Irish (‘The Exiles’) were nomadic until 1931 when around 12 acres of land was purchased in Sunbury for £1280. The first match was a draw, 8-8 against London Welsh. The Sunbury ground was requisitioned in 1939 and Irish were nomads again, although eventually sharing facilities with Blackheath. By 1959 a return to Sunbury was achieved, the opening match being a select XV chosen from London Irish/Welsh/Scottish v Harlequins Select. In 1996 the arrival of the professional game affected LI more than most. After many meetings it was decided to form an Amateur club to run alongside the professional outfit and what better name for the 1st XV than Wild Geese, a name already synonymous with the club. Amateur non-league matches were staged against other clubs with a fully Professional side (Richmond, London Scottish etc).

Official admittance to the league structure saw Wild Geese placed into Surrey 1 for season 2000-1. Fairly regular promotions were achieved and by season 2013-4 they made it into National 2 (S). Despite a reasonably successful season with 11 wins and 63 points (60 is generally regarded as the survival number), they ended up in the 3rd relegation spot, just 2 points below Chinnor.  Wild Geese were promoted again after season 2015/6.

On 28th November 2014 the official opening of the much awaited new facility took place, whilst departing ‘The Avenue’ their home for over 70 years caused many a tear to be shed. The spacious, state of the art, former 9 hole golf course, ‘Hazelwood’, comprises of 60+ acres, many pitches, gymnasium, conference and dining facilities has set fair all aspects of the club, professional and amateur….from a farmer’s field etc etc.

 Raiders v LIWG

2016-17:   WR 26 – LIWG 22 / LIWG 34 – WR 39

2017-18:   WR 27 –  LIWG 22  / LIWG 19 –  WR 26

2nd September 2017 Raiders 27 LIWG 22

A good sized crowd (472) gathered for the opening match of the season, with spectators from both camps eager to see how their team would gel after the closed season signings. It was Wild Geese on the score-board first, with only a couple of minutes on the clock, hooker Jack Cohen finished off a blistering break by George Owen. Peter Hodgkinson added the extras (0-7). Raiders spent time in the visitors half but were not rewarded for their efforts until skipper Liam Perkins burst through after a good drive by the home pack. Matt McLean converted, (7-7) after 15 minutes. Flying winger Reon Joseph showed his pace a few minutes later, scoring out wide to put the visitors back into the lead (7-12). The visitors dominated possession, but Raiders defence held firm and eventually Dan Sargent made a trademark burst for the line to put in Perkins for his second try after 35 minutes (12-12). Raiders were quickly back onto the attack and with an outstanding cross field kick, Kieran Leeming found Sam Hampson in space to sprint in unopposed. Matt McLean added the extras (19-12) at oranges. Wild Geese were straight onto the attack after the break and levelled the scores with a converted try in the 50th minute (19-19). From this point the game ebbed and flowed with neither side being able to capitalise on attractive play. The game entered the final 5 minutes when McLean was able to convert a penalty to nudge Raiders into a narrow lead (22-19). With barely a minute left on the clock Sam Boyland raced away to score the bonus point try in the corner, after some enterprising handling skills from the home side (27-19). From the restart LIWG were awarded a penalty which Hodgkinson slotted to gain a valuable losing bonus point (27-22).

A pulsating encounter to set the season off on the right foot for Raiders with a 5 pointer!

Raiders: Leeming, Maslen, Richards, Forrest J, Hampson, McLean, Walsh, Head, Grief, Sargent, Spurgeon, Lake, Price, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Harris, Gatford, Adams, Worrall, Boyland.

LIWG: Owen, Meeson, Kitching, Cunningham, Joseph, Hodgkinson, Barker, O’Sullivan, Cohen, Montout, White, Moore, Rowland, Bush, Touma.

Bench: Clements, Dean, Chamnaoui, Hobbins, Bunting.

28th April 2018 LIWG 19 Raiders 26

On the last day of the season this was another exciting encounter between the sides, with once again the Raiders emerging victorious. Wild Geese on the other hand needed at least one point, (if other results in the relegation tussle went against them), to ensure survival. Wild Geese went into an early lead with young Scots hooker Bradley Clements crossing twice inside 20 minutes. Seers adding a conversion for the home side to take a lead of 12-0 towards the 30 minute mark before Harrison Sims crashed over. The home side created a number of chances before the break, but stern defence kept the score to 12-5. After absorbing that pressure Raiders opened strongly with Joe Spurgeon breaking through in the first couple of minutes of the half. Matt McLean’s conversion tied the scores (12-12). The play was quite even during the third quarter before David McIlwaine grabbed a brace of tries in the 67th and 72nd minute, both converted by McLean, to more or less close out the game, until Jack Cooke’s late try converted by Alex Seers to grab the point.

LIWG: Hodgkinson, Meeson, Cunningham, Price, Owen, Seers, Parsons, Dean, Clements, Chamnaoui, Drye, Haggett, Cooke, Moore, Starling.

Bench: Hay, Connor, Hobbins, Raymond, Bunting.

Raiders: McIlwaine, Sanderson, Richards, Sims, Tomlinson, McLean, Boyland, Cook, Grief, Ajayi, Spurgeon, Lee, Price, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Luke, Head, Redmayne, Walsh, Forrest J.

Last season P30 /W9/ L21…. 57 points… 13th

More or less the same story as the previous season with their survival fate going down to the wire. In the end they finished one spot and two points above relegation. A season of fluctuating fortunes with the high point undoubtedly the defeat of high flying Chinnor (20-35). This victory not only floored practically all the pundits, but it also took away Chinnor’s unbeaten home record that had been running for almost 2 seasons!! Their other wins, on home turf were against Wimbledon (60-6), Old Redcliffians (53-22), Barnstaple (37-22), Redruth (39-32) and another fine scalp Taunton Titans (45-38). On the road they were victorious at TJs (26-37), Clifton (31-33) and importantly in the penultimate match, at Henley Hawks (19-36).

Leading try scorer was winger George Owen with 27 from his 28 appearances. Influential Captain, back row forward Scott Moore put in 27 shifts. Leading points’ scorer was Alex Seers (from Ealing Academy and now with Rams) with 166.

This Season so far….P6/ L6…1 point

A tough start, going down in the first fixture at Barnes (33-14) and then having to face up to most pundits pre-season favourites Rams (10-41). Next was a visit to Tonbridge to take on another tough assignment, TJs, (47-19). The next couple of fixtures were possibly winnable, but alas not, Old Redcliffians (15-35) and Dings on their all-weather pitch (52-8). Last week they put on a great show at Hazelwood against Taunton Titans before going down (36-46). Wingers, George Owen and Joshua Amadi both scored 2 tries as did Tight Head Prop Brandon Baker.

The Players

A list of the players used in the last match against Taunton Titans and a few more used in recent fixtures is provided, along with a little more detail as to their credentials. It is  evident that the strong link with London Irish Academy and the Ealing Academy prevails as a high proportion of the squad naturally come from that source. Experienced hooker Richard Townsend and former Old Wesley prop David Henshaw have joined this season to add experience in the front row. It is noteworthy that there are high number of ‘newcomers’ in the squad that played Titans, with more than half making their debut for LIWG this season. George Owen and Joshua Amadi are leading try scorer with 4 apiece. Calum Haggett has started all 6 matches in the boiler house.

The fixture with LIWG always seems to provide an exciting close encounter, please try to get along in plenty of time for the 3pm kick-off, to add your touch line support. An afternoon of ‘open’ Rugby is on the cards!!




……… C’Mon Raiders

Name, Age       *played v Raiders Apps 2018/9 Tot N2 App Join Points Honours Position Previous Club/s & Apps                   * played v Raiders

6th October 18

          v TAUNTON TITANS (home)
Ollie Turner* (22) 3 18 2016     Full Back: LI U18, Chobham
Joshua Amadi (21) 5 5 2018 4T   Wing: Ealing Academy, Birmingham University
Joe Henry (18) 6 6 2018 1T Ireland U18 Centre: LI Youth
Sean Cunningham* (28) 6 60 2012 1T Surrey Centre: Oxford Brookes University
George Owen* (26) 6 80 2010 4T S East U20 Wing: Bracknell, Counties Manukau
Reuben Knight (18) 5 5 2018 7C/ 3P   Fly Half: Havant, St Mary’s University, LI Academy
Chico U’Chong (23) 2/4R 16 2017     Scrum Half: RAMS 12
David Henshaw (28) 5 5 2018   Connacht U20 LH Prop: Old Wesley, Buccaneers, UCD
Richard Townsend (28) 3/1R 4 2018     Hooker: Dings 5, Hartpury *21, Ealing 47, Richmond 10
Brandon Baker (19) 2 4 2018 3T   TH Prop: LI Academy
Samuel Collingridge (19) 2 2 2018     Lock: LI Academy
Calum Haggett *(22) 6 35 2016   Wales U18 Lock: Cardiff Blues
Christopher Browne (30) 1/1R 8 2013     BS Wing Forward: Chobham
Arby Keheli (19) 2/2R 4 2018     OS Wing Forward: Blackheath, Ealing Academy
Ben Kirby (22) 5 5 2018     No8:
Austin Hay (20) 0/1R 3 2018     Prop: London Irish 2
George Frampton (23) 4/2R 6 2018     Hooker: University of Bath, LI Academy, Reeds Weybridge
Sam Hobbins* (27) 4/2R 31 2017     Lock: Chiswick
William Day (22) 0/1R 1 2018     LH Prop:
Jordan Gomez (27) 2/3R 5 2018   Barbados 7s Wing: Reading
Archie Mackay (22) 5 23 2017   29th Sep No8: LI Academy
Caolan Englefield (18) 5 5 2018   29th Sep Scrum Half: LI Academy, Harlequins
Ben Atkins (20) 1/1R 2 2018   29th Sep BS Wing Forward: LI Academy
Lee Starling * (Coach)  (38) 0/1R 10 2017   29th Sep B/Row: Bracknell, London Welsh 31, Titans, Esher 110, Ealing* 80, Rosslyn Park*14.
Oghenetejiri Ajuehi (21) 1/1R 2 2018   29th Sep Prop: Ealing Academy
George Montgomery 2 2 2018   8th Sep Full Back: Raiders 37
Scott Moore* (C) (27) 2 82     8th Sep No 8: LI Academy