Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Tonbridge Juddians


Worthing Raiders v Tonbridge Juddians RFC

1st December 2018 k/o 2pm

Tonbridge Juddians make the relatively short trip from Kent to pay their second visit to Roundstone Lane for a National 2(S) fixture. Last season TJs visited in October, Raiders edged the win 23-19.

History & Background stuff

Tonbridge RFC

The club was founded in 1904, with the first fixture being played at the Neville ground, 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 TRFC.

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. Youth, mini and girls rugby taking over on Sundays.

The ladies team TJ Pinks play in South East 2. (Worthing Ladies visited TJs last Sunday for a league match and returned victorious 37-42.)

In 2017 their U17s won the National trophy, a feat achieved by Worthing in 2016.

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 (level 8). 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 unbeaten (apart from a blip v Westcombe Park in the 2nd fixture, 7-17).

Last season… P30/ W17/ D1…6th….86 points….(Raiders….7th 81 points)  

Finishing 6th in their first season in this tough league is good going as promoted sides often struggle. They started with a great result at Bury St Edmunds (17-50) but lost the next fixture to local rivals Canterbury (24-36). Winless for six fixtures through ‘October-time’ maybe got warning bells ringing, but a better run and then a strong finish to the season saw them climb up the league. They did the double over Taunton Titans winning at The Slade, (26-20), but the 10 try win in Taunton (26-66) confounded all predictors! Impressively, 16 members of the squad featured in 20 or more of the fixtures, with hooker Mike O’Sullivan, prop Jack Whitmarsh, scrum half Charlie Edwards and centre Duncan Tout making 28 appearances a-piece. Top-try scorer was winger Hugo Watson with 17.

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.

The results so far in the National league fixtures are:

28th October 2017 Worthing Raiders 23 Tonbridge Juddians 19

Raiders: McIlwaine, Boyland, Richards, Forrest, Hampson, McLean, Walsh, Ajayi, Grief, Sargent, Spurgeon, Lake, Price, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Luke, Litterick, Redmayne, Whittall, Leeming.

Tries: Boyland 9m, Walsh 21m Cons: McLean x2 Pens: McLean 38, 77, 80.

TJs: Galbraith-Lowe, Coxon-Smith, Tout, McMahon, Watson, Holmes, Edwards, Whitmarsh, O’Sullivan, Conlon, Bellinger, Irvine, Langridge, Grasby, Colderick.

Bench: Redman, Nicoll, Varney, Jackson, Bailey.

Tries: Bellinger 3m, Watson 43m, Colderick 57m Cons: Holmes 3 & 57

17th February 2018 Tonbridge Juddians 25 Worthing Raiders 21

TJs: Coxon-Smith, Atiola, Tout, Nicoll, Watson, Holmes, Edwards, Whitmarsh, Jackson, O’Sullivan, McHugh, Irvine, Nangle, Bent, Ashmore.

Bench: Redman, Mutch, Hinton, Bratton, Bradnam.

Tries: Watson 21m, 41m, 57m. Cons: Holmes 41m Pens: Holmes 32m & 57m.

Raiders: Leeming, Coyle, Richards, McIlwaine, Boyland, McLean, Walsh, Head, Luke, Ajayi, Lake, Dingle, Price, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Birch, Gatford, Redmayne, Whittall, Tomlinson.

Tries: Perkins 3m, Coyle 11m, Price 34m. Conv: McLean x3

This season so far….P12/ W9…4th…41 points…(Raiders 10th 28 points)

A good start with only 3 reversals at Canterbury (29-20), Rams (33-18) and somewhat surprisingly on home turf against Barnes (20-21). The wins for the most part have been close run affairs although last Saturday they produced a scintillating display sending Titans back to Somerset defeated (46-17), scoring 7 tries. Following the Raiders fixture they entertain Redruth and then travel to Clifton to complete the first round of fixtures.

The squad

A list of players used in the recent fixture against Titans is provided, along with a little more detail as to their credentials. Also listed is detail on a few more players who have been used in recent fixtures. Most of the players who represented OJ’s last season are still in the squad. New in the backs is experienced fly half Will Robinson who has joined from Old Elthamians. Regulars will recall him from that memorable match on 4th May 2013 when he helped guide Henley Hawks to automatic promotion after their win against Raiders. In the forwards Truman Sullivan has also moved from Old Elthamians. He turned out in all 6 meetings we had with OEs. Robinson and Sullivan along with winger Hugo Watson and hooker Ryan Jackson have started in all 12 fixtures.


Earlier this season Mike O’Sullivan, Hugo Watson and Jon McMahon were presented with their caps having played 100 or more times for TJs.


Once again this has the makings of a cracking match so please try to get along to support the boys your encouragement from the touch line is much appreciated.



……..C’Mon Raiders

Name/Age         *played v Raiders    Apps 2018-9 N2 Apps Join Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances                     *played v Raiders
Team v Titans 17/11           WON 46-17
Toby May (29) 7 7 2018 2T   Full Back: Pirates 64, Westcombe Park*14
Hugo Watson* (26) 12 37 2016 6T   Wing: Mill Hill
Duncan Tout* (25) 11 39 2017 2T Cornwall Centre: Bude, Rossendale, La Vila (Spain)
Jon McMahon * (29) 8/1R 23 2016 1T Kent Centre: Tunbridge Wells, Rotherham 10
Murray        Galbraith-Lowe* (25) 8 19 2016 4T Scotland U18    England Students Full Back: Durham University
Will Robinson (25) 12 12 2018 5T/30C /22P   Fly Half: Hull 47, Rosslyn Park 22, Henley Hawks*12, London Welsh 39, Rotherham 14, Old Elthamians 12
Charlie Edwards* (28) 9/1R 38 2016 1T Kent Scrum Half: Newbury, Westcombe Park*33, Old Elthamians*56
Jack Whitmarsh*(31) 2/6R 38 2016     LH Prop: East Grinstead, Uckfield
Ryan Jackson* (29) 12 37 2017 1T   Hooker: Manchester 4, Sedgley Park1, Stockport 11, Macclesfield 20.
Mike O’Sullivan* © (29) 11 40 2016 1T   TH Prop: University College Dublin
Mark Davey (28) 3/1R 5 2016   Malta Lock: Westcombe Park 2, Blackheath 2
Dave Irvine* (31) 11 38 2016     Lock: Gravesend
Ben Ashmore* (25) 9/1R 29 2016     BS Wing Forward: Wasps Academy, East Grinstead, Henley*21
Truman Sullivan (28) 12 12 2018 1T   OS Wing Forward: Bath University, Blackheath 38, Old Elthamians*82
Will Colderick* (24) 11 32 2016 5T   No8: Loughborough University
Ryan Ward (23) 0/1R 1 2018     Wing Forward: Canterbury*40, Blackheath 3
Jake Buckingham (22) 0/6R 6 2018     Prop: Blackheath 1
Max Hayes 4/4R 8 2018     Prop: Durham University
Finlay Coxon-Smith* (28) 5/3R 32 2017 4T   Wing: Havant 16, Newbury 22, Worthing Raiders 116
Tom Nicoll* (24) 0/7R 28 2016 1T   Centre: Crowborough
Played Recently         Last Played  
Rob White (26) 5/3R 8 2018   17th Nov Kent Wing: Old Elthamians*18
Rory McHugh* (21) 9/1R 32 2017 1T 17th Nov Wing Forward: TJ Academy
Jim Stanford (32) 6/1R 9 2018   17th Nov Prop: Bishop’s Stortford* 16, Canterbury* 49, Blackheath 13
Thomas Chapman (24) 5/5R 10 2018 1T 3rd Nov Centre: Blackheath 18, Nottingham 3, London Welsh 2
Richie Bent*(28) 0/2R 25 2016   15th Sept OS Wing Forward: University College Dublin
Ed Varney* (22) 3/3R 23 2016   27th Oct Lock: Durham University
Matus Jurevicius (18) 2/2R 4 2018   3rd Nov           England Counties U18 Lock: Saracens Academy, London Scottish Academy