Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Old Redcliffians


Worthing Raiders v Old Redcliffians RFC

2nd December 2017 Kick-off 2pm

Our visitors this Saturday are Old Redcliffians who journey from their base in Brislington,   Bristol. ‘Old Reds’ were promoted last season as Champions of what is now known as South West Premier (level 5). The club are no strangers to Roundstone Lane having last visited us in 1983 for a 2nd round ‘John Player’ Cup match.

History & Background stuff.

The club was founded in 1918 (a couple of years before ourselves) to cater for the former pupils of Redcliffe Boys School. The founders were FPs returning from WW1. From the outset the club had an open door policy and was not exclusively for old boys. The home fixtures were played at the School ground, Daventry Road, in Knowle until 1968 when the fields were developed into school buildings. At that time the club moved to the present site in Scotland Lane, Brislington. The original school was founded in 1571, although it merged with Temple Colston’s school in 1969, creating the co-educational St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School as a comprehensive voluntary aided school.

The rugby club was successful in the pre-professional days with probably their ‘purple patch’ on the playing front occurring during the early 1980s. They won the prestigious Bristol Combination Cup as well as the Somerset Senior Cup a couple of times during this period. The latter trophy gained the club entry into the National ‘John Player’ Cup competition. Once official leagues were introduced the club settled in Somerset Premier (L8), eventually gaining promotions (and the occasional relegation) within the Regional leagues. Last season they were Champions of the South West Region thereby gaining promotion to National 2 South.

The club won the National Intermediate Cup in 2009-10, the final being held at Twickenham.

ORs turn out 3 senior sides on Saturdays with Junior and Mini rugby taking over on Sundays. It is a proper community club, like ourselves, and rightly takes great pride in the success of their junior section, with many participants graduating through to the senior teams. British Lion prop forward the great Gareth Chilcott (Bath) and up and coming young prop Ellis Genge (now with Leicester Lions) both emerged via their junior section.

Club Colours: Red and Black hooped jerseys, red shorts & stockings.

Links with Worthing

As mentioned ‘Old Reds’ last visited Roundstone Lane on 3rd December 1983 for a 2nd round John Player National Cup encounter. This cup competition was the major trophy event for County cup winners in the ‘Amateur days’. It was a stepping stone to possibly drawing a match against a ‘Giant’ of the game and for a bumper home gate or a share of the gate at a major venue. The ‘top’ sides joined the draw at the 3rd round stage. A ‘Recce’ party visited Bristol a week before the match, but generally not a lot was known about Old Reds amongst the Worthing contingent, although club stalwart, Ian ‘Log’ Blackwood, played for them for a few seasons whilst he was in Bristol. The general view was that ORs were a good side with a very strong set of forwards. Would home advantage give the Sussex team the edge? Oh dear….recollections of the day are a little scant, but a certain ex Bristol captain and legend Mike Fry had fine afternoon at tight head and the West country forwards probably gave the home side a scrumaging lesson. Spring heeled lock forward Derek Barry (118 apps for Bath) also dominated possession from the line-out. ‘Without the ball and all that’….. saw ORs run out victorious (6-25…HT 0-15). (Nb Try 4pts)


Worthing: Coulson C, Forrest J, O’Connor M, Stappers L(capt), Baker S, Coackley P, Clarke T, Baker P, Grantham-Hill N, Hornby R, Vincent B, Herbert P, Stoner S, Bateman L, Lamprey C.  Reps: Matthews D, Purdy S.

Scorers: Try: Stappers (70m), Con: Coakley.

Reds Old: Gaddes M, Jones G, Lancastle S, Woodward T, Palmer A, King G, Haigh P, Short N, Cotton M, Fry M (capt), Barry D, De’Scossa N, Wheatley J, Excell S, Taylor P. Reps: (from) Yandell R, Bond P, Luker G, Greenway P.

Scorers: Tries: Lancastle (39 m), Palmer (60 m), Excell (72 m),

Con: Gaddes (39 m & 60m)

Pen: Gaddes (1m & 40 m)

Last season…. South West Champions…P26/W22/D1/L3

A successful season saw Old Reds sew up the league with 3 games to go and with a side that contained 12 ex colts. Henry Bird and Ezra Caven were joint top try scorers and Ashley Groves lead the way on points. In a league where quite a few of the matches were decided by the odd point or two Reds finished on 106 points well clear of 2nd placed Ding’s Crusaders on 87points. Their defeats, all on the road, Hornets (25-16), Bournemouth (29-23) and Lydney (9-8). The draw was at Launceston (18-18).

This season so far……P12/W1/D1…14th (11 points)   (Raiders 9th 30 points)

Not the start that they would have wanted but they put their first win on the board last week against Broadstreet (22-19). A close encounter with Broadstreet down to 14 men shortly into the second half. Old Reds defended well with Broadstreet scoring a converted try with the last play. The drawn match was on 7th October at Scotland Lane against Henley Hawks (25-25). A tense final 11 minutes played out with the scores level…3T/2P/2C a-piece! ORs have had 4 try bonus points against Canterbury (24-34), Redingensians (33-26), Chinnor (42-27) and Cinderford (33-43). (In the fixtures against the 2 top clubs they scored 5 tries.) They also picked up their LBP against Redingensians. Leading try scorer is winger Henry Bird with 9, but hot on his heels is ex Raider Sam Hewick with 8. Kicking responsibilities have been shared around, as regular kicker Ashley Groves was injured in the 4th match against Canterbury, he returned to the fray last week for the Broadstreet encounter.

The players

As usual a list of players used over the last few matches is provided. Henry Bird (wing) and Christian Gervais (centre) have started all 12 fixtures along with lock Forward Corey Talbot, wing Forward Sam Hewick and blind side/No8 Dan Fry. Danny Hodge at lock along with the young front row of Alex Harvey, hooker Scott Parsons and tight head Ellis Joseph have only missed a couple of matches between them.

Finally let’s see a rousing welcome back to Sussex from the Roundstone Lane faithful for ‘STALWART’ Raider Sam Hewick as he spends the season with ORs whilst completing his studies at Bristol University.

This fixture has all the makings for an exciting high scoring encounter…try and get along  to support the boys and hopefully watch a great game played in the right spirit!!!


C’Mon Raiders!!!

Name  &  Age Apps 2017-8 Joined Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances  *played v Raiders
Craig Owen 9 2014 Fly Half/Full Back:
Henry Bird (21) 12 2014 9T/3C/1P Wing: Cinderford 3, Bristol 7s.  Bristol local player of the year 2016-7
James Clements 4/3R 2012 2T Full Back/Wing: Old Reds Youth, Bristol Combined U20
Ezra Caven 1/1R 2016 Bristol 7s & U18 Wing: Old Reds Youth,  SGS Filton
Tom Hargan (19) 4/2R 2017 1T Wing/Full Back: Bristol Academy, Clifton College.
Jermaine Jones 11 2017 2T/5C Centre: Hornets RFC
Christian Gervais 12 2016 Gloucestershire Centre: Ding’s*56, Taunton*71.
Ollie Conybeare 4/1R 2016 5C/3P Centre: Old Reds Youth, Cardiff Met.
Robbie Smith 4/1R 2017 Centre: Bristol United, Cardiff Met, Hartpury.
Ashley Groves 5 2013 7C/5P Fly Half: Bristol Harlequins, Bristol Comb U20
Oli Rayner (26) 2/1R 2016 4C North Midlands Fly Half: Launceston, Hartpury.
Ben Fry 3/5R 2017 1T Scrum Half: Hornets RFC
Kiyan Wiltshire 8/2R 2017 1T Scrum Half/Wing: Bristol Saracens
Alex Harvey (20) 10 2016 1T Bristol U18 LH Prop: Old Reds Youth, Bristol United
Ellis Joseph (20) 8/4R 2016 TH Prop: Old Reds Youth,
Jake Caulfield (24) 3/2R 2017 1T Ireland  U20 Prop: Clifton 22, Ulster 1, Esher*4, Cinderford 15, Coventry, Taunton*44,
Craig McGrath (34) 2/3R 2016 Prop: Clifton 4, Bristol 15, Bridgwater* 26, Newbury 26, London Scots 18, Barking 5, Rosslyn Park 16.
Scott Parsons (20) 6/5R 2016 3T Bristol U18 Hooker: Old Reds Youth, Bristol United
Kieran Ward 6/5R 2017 1T Somerset Hooker: Hornets, Old Patesians, Keynsham
Danny Hodge (33) 10/2R 2017 Gloucestershire Lock: Stourbridge 6, Bridgwater*52, Coventry 26, Newbury 25, Beddau, Pontypridd, Cross Keys, Dragons
Corey Talbot 12 2016 Lock: Keynsham
James Foss 4/4R 2016 Lock/Wing Forward: UWIC, Avonmouth OB
Scott Coster 0/2R 2011 Wing Forward:
Sam Hewick (27) 12 2017 8T Wing Forward: Worthing Raiders 185.
Jacob Spence 1/1R 2017 Wing Forward:
Dan Fry 12 2011 2T Somerset Wing Forward/No8: Cinderford10,Weston-s-Mare 28
Ethan Doyle (27) 9/1R 2014 2016 3T No8: Ebbw Vale, Newbridge, Newport Saracens.