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N3LSE Prem - An emerging picture.

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FEZ ANT PLUCKER View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FEZ ANT PLUCKER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: N3LSE Prem - An emerging picture.
    Posted: 23 Sep 2017 at 20:59
After 4 weeks a picture emerges. It seems that 2 of the 4 promoted sides have nailed their colours to the wall and are the teams to beat. All could change I know but Sidcup and Tring have arrived fully prepared. Not so for Twells and Towcestrians but early days yet. From last year Guernsey are flying the flag and have started well, but in seasons past they stuttered mid season for whatever reason. Will they be pressing come April 2018. Many forecast Westcombe Park to be title challengers, but something is amiss and to a lesser extent the same could be said for Hertford who have lost their last 2 games albeit narrowly. Barnes have been the Yoyo team and if they can keep their 'City lads' I feel sure they will be up there at the end of the season, but they can be unpredictable IMO. 

The writing is on the wall for Towcestrians and my heart goes out to them being level transferred into what could be said is a stronger division. They seem to be the Amersham & Chiltern from last season. I wish them well. Saxons it seems are on a re-building project and after 4 games with Nil points the future looks very uphill.

I would be interested to hear from Sidcup and Tring posters as to what has been the recipe for their good starts, and will they sustain the momentum. This leaves a clutch of teams in mid table, probably too good to fall into the relegation 3, but not good enough to be challenging for the top 2. A fascinating season ahead where on initial sighting I would not rule out Westcliff pushing the leaders from off the pace. My early season outside bet

Are there any posters out there who would like to contribute to this friendly discussion and to re-visit for an update around Christmas. 
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Maskedchicken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maskedchicken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2017 at 22:25
I'm still not sure 4 games is enough to really tell. The fixtures for Tring and Sidcup appear (on early results) to have been kind thus far.

Guernsey, Barnes and Hertford for me. Hertford have been narrowly beaten by my other early season favourites.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honestinjun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2017 at 10:26

At the bottom I think that it is already far too obvious that unless Southend and Towcestrians have an influx of new players and the odd miracle that their die is cast for relegation, who joins them is less obvious. I join others by being baffled at WP's poor start, can anyone shed a light on that? The problem is that losing becomes as much of a habit as winning, players enjoy playing for a winning team. Too early to see who else could get sucked into the mire. At the top whilst Sidcup, Tring and Guernsey are setting the early pace I think that Hertford and Barnes will get stronger as the season progresses, it is all about squad depth and injuries come Jan and Feb that will determine the outcome and both these clubs have strength in depth.

Edited by honestinjun - 24 Sep 2017 at 16:24
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chinese dave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chinese dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2017 at 10:43
For me Barnes are clear favourites to win the league, who without wedding-gate would probably be four from four, with Guernsey and Hertford fighting it out for second place, beyond these three everyone appears capable of beating each other with the exception of Towcestrians and Southend who both look doomed after only four games !
The other oddity is Westcombe Parks poor start, their posters remain very quiet as to their change in fortune, but this part of S.E London / Kent has a plethora of good teams, have some players left for pastures new ?
Tring and Sidcup have both started strongly, but having seen Tring i don't expect them to be involved in the promotion chase at the end of the season, they are undoubtedly a well coached side that plays to an effective game plan managed by their experienced fly half, but they are very beatable. Not seen Sidcup yet, so not sure if their results reflect a strong team ethic  using the same squad that got them promoted or if they have recruited ?
Westcliff continue to improve while Sutton, Dorking, Shelford and Guildford look mid table sides which just leaves Tunbridge Wells  who have been competitive despite a difficult start to their fixture list.
All conjecture at this point and best revisited at christmas when all of the teams strength in depth will have been tested by injuries and unavailabilities.
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FEZ ANT PLUCKER View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FEZ ANT PLUCKER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2017 at 16:14
In the absence of confirmation, I cannot help thinking of the proximity of Sidcup, to Westcombe Park and a little further away Tonbridge Juddians and Tunbridge Wells. It seems that Judds are going quite well in N2S so far and might well finish mid-table. There is no doubt that when injury comes (and it will at L4) that teams need to have strength in depth to fill the gaps. Throw into the mix the position of Old Elthamians who rumour has it have a playing budget of £500K to throw around, so it would not surprise me if good players have left WP for pastures new not too far away. The scenario is conjecture I admit, and without confirmation, we are all left to our imaginations. The lure of money is so tempting to young players to supplement their income, so I can understand if this has happened. According to an early poster Rochford Hundreds L7 lured away a big number of Southend players and their respective results are proof of the pudding. !!!!
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Thames Estuary Man View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thames Estuary Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2017 at 20:22
I've watched Westcliff's league fixtures to date. We have beaten Dorking, Southend and Westcombe Park and lost to Sidcup, I felt Dorking were a stronger team than Sidcup (who we played with a few key personnel missing) and expect them to finish higher in the table. I will say that Sidcup played like a team with great spirit in the second half, fighting for everything (which counts for an awful lot) and in the end deserved their comeback and victory over us on the day. Westcombe Park ran hard and straight but were lacking an offload game and are obviously not the force they have been in the last couple of seasons. Southend can't really compete at this level with the squad they currently have so their players that pulled out some great victories towards the end of last season to avoid relegation and then nearly all left the club haven't really done them any favours. At this level a couple of key injuries / unavailables and that can make the difference between wins and defeats so some luck and strength in depth will be key. Barnes look like the class act this year from their results so far, but several other clubs are playing well and can't be ruled out. Westcliff's target is to better last seasons seventh and we have made a good start. By Christmas all clubs will have played each other once and the picture should be a lot clearer. I hope Southend and Towcestrians do become more competitive because there is no fun getting well beaten nearly every week, so I feel for their players and supporters.

Edited by Thames Estuary Man - 27 Sep 2017 at 08:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldnine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2017 at 23:09
Point may have already been made re Westcombe park but they lost at our place ( Chichester ) on the final day last season despite the gap in league positions at that time.  Too little too late for us, but I remember much being made of it being the last game for the WP head coach and talisman Steve Wagstaff ?  

Easy for a side to lose its mojo in those circumstances almost regardless of how many players stay or go ?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chiefwiggum1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2017 at 00:25
very surprised by Westcombe Park, having done so well over the last couple of seasons. Didn't someone on here speak about them having a loan agreement with Old E's? guessing that hasn't happened yet?








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Sir_Q View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sir_Q Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2017 at 09:18
Nothing drastically wrong at WP, a tweak here and there plus a bit more luck with the bounce of the ball and we'll be ok.






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Insignificant Tick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2017 at 10:17
Originally posted by oldnine oldnine wrote:

Point may have already been made re Westcombe park but they lost at our place ( Chichester ) on the final day last season despite the gap in league positions at that time.  Too little too late for us, but I remember much being made of it being the last game for the WP head coach and talisman Steve Wagstaff ?  

Easy for a side to lose its mojo in those circumstances almost regardless of how many players stay or go ?  

What happened to the old head coach and who is the new one ? He's not having a great time ! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sir_Q Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2017 at 11:48
Steve Wagstaff has stepped away from his Saturday rugby commitments as he wanted to watch his son play on Saturdays before he heads off to uni next year. 

Danny Vaughan is new head coach, excellent coach and top bloke.

Rome wasn't built in a day!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Insignificant Tick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2017 at 08:46
Originally posted by Sir_Q Sir_Q wrote:

Steve Wagstaff has stepped away from his Saturday rugby commitments as he wanted to watch his son play on Saturdays before he heads off to uni next year. 

Danny Vaughan is new head coach, excellent coach and top bloke.

Rome wasn't built in a day!!

"Top Bloke" is a gimme and not a requirement in my book but am always interested in why a coach is an "excellent coach". Its been asked before on other threads and never had any answers. Is it what the players think ? Is it on results  ? Is it by doing whatever the committee's brief is, which might be playing only home grown players or bringing in whoever it takes to win a match ? Is it by having a large spread of contacts to be able to bring players in ? 
What do clubs look for ?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Surreyben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2017 at 16:56
I saw Tunbridge Wells early in the season, and their supporters were exceptionally confident about pushing for promotion this year. Having come up several divisions in recent years, one can understand that confidence to an extent, but Level Five is always a completely different beast to the division(s) below.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maskedchicken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2017 at 19:04
Ben from Surrey, any idea why there was confidence at TWs? Money been poured in there?

I can't think of a team that has come up and performed well without there being money poured in for a while. A&C struggled. Colchester found their feet but then faltered in year 2. Eton Manor, Basingstoke. Westcliff were up and down and only seemed to get a grip last season. East Grinstead and Wimbledon both did well...but with an influx of players and that was certainly down to money at at least one of those clubs!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2017 at 19:44
More than likely that after seeing 2 consecutive years of success, confidence would be high naturally. Not sure which game Ben saw of it, but if it was either at the Shelford game or prior to the Barnes game then that feeling would likely be prevalent.

Edited by Robb - 29 Sep 2017 at 19:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rugbytows Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2017 at 20:44
As a towcester player things are tough at the moment for us but tables will turn and never know could be tomorrow at tunbridge wells where we get our win- we was unlucky to have our game abandoned agains west but means we get to have another crack at them on the 14th.

we start games well and take the lead but unfortunately have a few brain farts and go off the boil and with a few tweaks we will be contesting to not only stay in this league but to be safe before the last games.

all about enjoying our rugby and meeting new friends on the way-NO ONE gets paid at our place and we all pay subs or have sponsor to play-so work commitments and other social gatherings play apart like many teams but as long as we have 18 for match days and cold beer we will be ok.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carlos fandango Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2017 at 20:14
On todays evidence Tring will comfortably survive and will be top 5. Looks like they ran out of steam in the last 20 mins allowing a 24-14 lead become a 24-26 loss with the last play of the match. Scrummage a real weakness that cost them dear.

Hertford still bedding in after a slew of retirements.

Congrats to both teams on an utterly compelling match. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Surreyben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2017 at 09:51
Originally posted by Robb Robb wrote:

More than likely that after seeing 2 consecutive years of success, confidence would be high naturally. Not sure which game Ben saw of it, but if it was either at the Shelford game or prior to the Barnes game then that feeling would likely be prevalent.
Yes, before the Barnes game a group of four of TW supporters said they believed that Barnes would be their main challengers for promotion this season.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FEZ ANT PLUCKER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2017 at 10:17
A lot of teams winning or losing in the last play of the game. Was the same at Dorking in another thrilling match with Guernsey. Great game to watch. Supports my theory of how tight this league will be next April.
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