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Nat2S status 2019-2020

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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: 23 Sep 2019 at 17:05
Darth, to say the opening three games has been a steep learning curve for the promoted teams is an under statement, for us at Sutton the fixture list has been unkind, I didn't see the Henley game where we were well beaten but the home game against Juddians was a humbling experience as they demonstrated a master class in punishing our mistakes, the only real positive for us in both matches has been that our set scrum held its own.
The coaching team introduced four new players for this weeks fixture away to Albanians and by all accounts we were far more competitive, but then conceded 14 points in the last five minutes.
It would appear that all of the promoted teams are in the same boat and will look to take points off of each other and look to pick up some home wins against some of the mid table teams to be able to survive.
We were well aware that the step up would be massive, but the professionalism and physicality of Henley and Juddians was definitely a shock and an enormous wake up call.
What we do have at Sutton is a fantastic pair of coaches, both with international experience, and i'm confident they will address our short term issues and get the best out of the squad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tigerburnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 19:33
Leicester Lions seem to be enjoying the league so far, an away win this early is a nice bonus, but this weekend we meet another unbeaten side, so another big test. The club is confident in it's ability to compete and will no doubt fancy their chances at home against anyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 20:11
Thanks for that Dave.......appreciate your candour.  you seem to have it exactly right.

for those of us privileged to have watched the rugby in this hugely competitive league for a number of years, it is no surprise that the promoted sides struggle. it is a big step up.
the fact that yoir set piece is holding up is a big positive.  should this fail, cricket scores can be the outcome.  as it is, you have a foundation to build upon.  the additional bad news however, is that the physicality can have a dramatic impact in terms of injury over 30 games, so you may need some luck in that area too, as do we all.

best of luck for the rest of the season......a huge game at home to Westcliff coming up ?   

Nick.......it will indeed be a cracking game against Titans, though I expect home advantage to decide it. also, it is possible that your lads may dominate the scrum, which might help.
i am not sure if I will make it to Dry Leas this year but I will do my best....i hate to miss an away win Big smile


 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 20:23
Pete/Clueless.........I guess Taunton might fail to get promoted again this year, but if that is the case, i think it will be due to the excellence of the opposition.  their historic failings have been a comparative lack of points on the road.  it was just one game but Titans came to impose themselves and IMO, made a pretty good fist of it.

As to achilles heels.....defence has certainly been a Raiders issue (IMO) for a good while now, though we seem to be improving in small increments.  Neither set of coaches can be impressed by the number of tries conceded, though both sides had outstanding attacking threat and there was some remarkable precision mixed in with a few errors.
also to keep it in context......Titans shipped over 60pts here last year, as did Redruth....so an improvement Wink
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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: 23 Sep 2019 at 23:06
I’m a Westcliff supporter, and I was never in any doubt about how hard this season was going to be for us. Our club was very split towards the end of last season about whether we should get promoted and make club history. We then lost a couple of last seasons best performers to Bishop Stortford, and another couple are in Australia and for an amateur club it’s almost impossible to attract players who will fill those gaps. One of two have come back from Uni, but some colts have had to be promoted into a level which is obviously a stretch for them at this time. Saying that the lads who have stepped up have performed well, Week one we probably should have beaten Dings at home, and this week we were greatly depleted when three other important players were at a wedding, and we went down at home to Leic Lions by just one score. I understand we didn’t play so well at BSE and got punished for mistakes made but I wasn’t there to see it.
We have a great coaching set up now, which I’m sure will keep working on improving the team and although I’m sure we will have tough days, I also think some wins will come.
Interesting game for us this week at Sutton who just beat us twice last season in Nat3. I expect another close game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2019 at 16:30
Originally posted by Clueless like most Clueless like most wrote:

Taunton shipped a lot of points against Worthing. Were both teams just fantastic with ball in hand or is this to be an achilles heel? Worthing are good with ball in hand and hard to beat at home.


Both sides were good in attack, however defence was optional at times for both.

Bad time for Raiders to play Taunton - they usually start with a number of wins then go off the boil, not sure if this is as weather/pitches deteriorate or if they know they are safe for the season and take their foot off the gas a bit.
RAID ON
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RedPete Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2019 at 21:36
Originally posted by chinese dave chinese dave wrote:

...
We were well aware that the step up would be massive, but the professionalism and physicality of Henley and Juddians was definitely a shock and an enormous wake up call.
...
 
Dave,
If it is any consolation, Taunton's record against Tonbridge Juddians is P4 W0 D0 L4 F73 A160. I think we have 1 losing & 1 try bonus point, Tonbridge have 4 try bonus points.
Pete
Schadenfreude - such a big word for something so small-minded
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tigerburnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2019 at 18:05
Another fine win for Leicester Lions at home, another big test next week away from home at Esher, who have had a tough start with 3 games away from home perhaps distorting the picture of how they can play.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweatysock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2019 at 19:26
error strewn performance by Worthing today - fought back a bit after a very poor first half. Line-out in particular was a bit of a shambles.

Redruth were worthy winners but the win rather presented to them
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redted Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 16:22
Thanks sweatysock, all gifts gratefully received.
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Darth Raider View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2019 at 14:07
I too was at the Redruth game and concur with Sweaty, in that our lineout malfunctioning to a quite alarming level, was the main cause of the defeat.

Nothing too surprising from Choppers on the day.  they were compact and well organised defensively.  they tackled well from 1-15 and used the strong wind well in the first half.  I think that considering the complete domination of possession and territory in the first half hour (Raiders did not get into their 22), that they may have wondered if their 0-16 lead was enough. 
We fought back well and closed the gap to 2pts, but further errors brought about our downfall.  0-5 seems a bit harsh but it was the right result unfortunately.

Leicester seem to be establishing themselves as a solid mid-table sort of side ?  Maybe better ? so well done to them. it appears a hard place to visit. 

Some touted ESher and OA's as potential promotion candidates.  still very early days but I'm not sure either can match the current top 3.   i will be very surprised if those three are not filling those positions in some order come the finishing line.   that will be a good battle to watch.
Likewise.......our promoted contingent, currently filling the bottom three places.  they have a serious uphill battle to get clear of those bottom positions.  it can be done, but is very difficult.   I suspect OR's will pick up enough points at home to survive again.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 19:57
Another interesting day as our league continues to evolve.
i expect that Titans will be quite pleased with their point at The Slade, while realising that their defence will need to improve a lot if they are to get ahead of either Hawks or TJ's over the whole season. 
TJ's i will see  next week but they look pretty frightening at the mo.   funny that their big issue used to be that they won all their  4-1........well they have fixed that though they still don't seem to score any forwards tries ?
I would be far from surprised to see the top 3 finish as is.....though all probably have the financial wherewithal to recruit further as we go on.  

by contrast......i am less convinced as regards my initial thoughts about the relegation contenders.
Bournemouth have had a tough start as regards fixtures and have an opportunity next week to kickstart their season.  that said....as the SW league reps, history dictates that they will have the hardest job. 

Sutton picked up two useful points at Station Rd and scored 5 tries in the process.  very well s 
done though there may be some doubt now about the general provenance of Clifton after shipping 7 in Leicester last week.
westcliff remain without a win, but have recorded 4 LBPs.   so not a great deal would need to change for them to start winning some games too.
it could, as it usually does, still get very interesting near the bottom of our league.  still, i still find it hard to find a team that might finish lower ?   
injuries play a big part though and often, we see a team go into freefall because of it. 

there are probably at least 3 or 4 teams who could yet be in trouble.  we will see.

more credit to leicester, this is a huge challenge that they have been forced to undertake and so far, they are making an exceptional fist of it,,,,,,the best since Ampthill ?

Best of luck to all and an injury free few weeks ?  my lot are already having problems i think .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote The Hawks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 21:06
Darth,
Were you at Henley today? Didn’t expect that big score!! A bug test for us in two weeks time when we go to TJ’s a team we haven’t beaten yet, so fingers crossed.
For me the team so far is Leicester Lions, what a good start they have had, keep it up👍
Top two finish for us is still on, but plenty of twists and turns to come yet!!, one game at a time first!!
'Go The Hawks!'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2019 at 19:31
Hi Nick.......no I missed my annual trip to Dry Leas for once......I knew the team we were sending and chickened out.....taking the easy option of a full english and the england game down our local pub....I found it comparatively boring compared to our level 4 fare.
I see you have acquired the much traveled mercenary Reuben Norville.  i have watched him many times for a lot of different teams.  He will certainly add to Hawks attacking impact but is not (in my limited opinion) a great defender.

I see elsewhere that many are surprised by Titans shipping so many points at The Slade ?  While I still think that this is the nest Titans side that I personally have seen, it seems at least possible that they have lucked out with both Hawks and TJ's having better sides this year ?
I think Titans shipped 62pts at our place at the back end of last season and 42pts a short while back.  Why would anybody be surprised that (potentially) the best team in the league could score a few more ?

As to what has changed ?   WEll TJ's have been steadily growing and improving as a club these last three years.  Their pack, although lacking in bulk (IMO) is very well drilled and excellent in defence. The typical TJ's modus operandi the last couple of years, was not to lose.  they won a lot of games 4-1.  mostly, they kicked their pens and edged past most teams.  
I think that about two thirds of the way through last season, they realised that their promotion campaign was about to founder, they started chasing TBP's at last.  I think they recorded only 10 TBP's two years ago.......17 last season.  expect 25 or more this year and perhaps, the title to go with it. 
They have a lot of good backs, but the addition of Walsh to use their quick ball is (as they correctly estimated) going to be a big factor in putting a lot of points on anybody if they can get good possession. 
One last point and a repeat of one i made in both of the last two seasons.  I think that next year in Nat1, they need to finally weaponise their pack......a la Rams......the pack is excellent but they don't score tries.  you can get away with that in this league......but better balance may be required ahead.
Oh......and by the way......very well done Rams.....great start to your campaign this year.....can you get second place ?  i hope you enjoyed your outing to The Athletic Ground.....it is an imposing place and in many ways, a nice reflection of your clubs progress Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jester10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2019 at 19:41
Originally posted by Darth Raider Darth Raider wrote:

Oh......and by the way......very well done Rams.....great start to your campaign this year.....can you get second place ?  i hope you enjoyed your outing to The Athletic Ground.....it is an imposing place and in many ways, a nice reflection of your clubs progress Clap

I was at the Athletic Ground yesterday, first time there. Impressed by the pitch, but infrastructure is looking dated. £18.00 entry is also a bit OTT for Nat 1 I think. 

Richmond are a good, big and quick side. I thought Rams probably deserved a losing BP.


Enjoying life!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2019 at 20:54
hi jester........good to hear from you.  i strongly suspect that the Mond will win your league this year and return to level 2......hence perhaps the lagging admittance charge.  last time we were there in nat1 we recorded a great win with quite extraordinary away support........big positive memory for me Big smile

i continue to follow our nat2s  reps with interest as i do each year.  i suspect we will see the city side back in our ranks next year (and maybe Camquins boys too ?).  
do rams have championship aspirations ??  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jester10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2019 at 07:28
Darth, a club that doesn't have ambition will only go one way Wink 
Enjoying life!
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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: 07 Oct 2019 at 16:56
Hopefully Saturday was a turning point for Sutton who fought back after a dismal first quarter to snatch two losing bonus points, Clifton were a well organised unit but no where near the level of Tonbridge who I can see putting lots of points on everyone.
We've strengthened in a couple of areas and have benefitted from academy loanees from Quins and London Irish, but the real positive has been how well our scrum has held up against some big packs.
Still some enormous tests ahead including this Saturday when we entertain Esher, but i'm confident we're moving in the right direction.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweatysock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 21:46
impressed by Tonbridge today - I am sure they will be there or thereabouts in the promotion stakes - ball retention is their thing and were rewarded for their patience.

not particularly pleasant viewing conditions, mind you
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wigwam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 2019 at 09:38
Yes Sweaty I suspect TJ’s will end up gaining promotion this year.
Not a particular inspiring display at Worthing but they were very efficient in the conditions and took their chances well whereas Worthing spilt a few.

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