Match Preview – Maidenhead v Trowbridge (Home)

Match Preview – Maidenhead v Trowbridge (Home)

In our final league match of 2015, we host Wiltshire-based Trowbridge RFC to the Braywick Bowl. Maids followed up an excellent bonus-point victory over Newbury, with a disappointing loss away at Swindon 7 days ago, with unavailability and injuries in the backline no doubt, a large factor. Credit must go to Swindon however, who punished our inexperience.

Trowbridge suffered a heavy defeat away at Towcestrians, but for 60 mins, the game was close, and Maids know they have a stern test, against a side that did the double over them last year. Trowbridge’s Lloyd Davies at 10, is an experienced game manager, and his kicking skills will surely be a threat for the visitors.

This week, we welcome back Bart, Finnie, Jansen and Heron, with Will Cadden replacing the injured Ross Muil at openside flanker. We caught up with the young Maids heart-throb, Muil, this week for a chat;

-You’ve had some excellent performances this season, it seems like you’re really enjoying your rugby at the moment?

Yes I’ve really felt part of the team from the beginning this season. The team has had some excellent performances helping me to learn a lot and improve my individual game on a number of levels. I’ve really enjoyed the experiences with the rest of the team not just on the pitch but everything that comes with it.

-Do you feel as though the club is moving in the right direction?

In terms of the club moving forward I’ve seen a lot of growth this year. The pre-season was excellent and this was highlighted in the first few friendlies of the season and carried forward through the season being unbeaten in our first seven games. The club has definitely moved forward with new players taking interest and outstanding results from all the teams which we haven’t seen for a number of years. Our new coach has also given us a new way of thinking, bringing in new techniques and ways of learning which I feel has benefited the club.

-What do we need to do, to beat Trowbride tomorrow?

Regarding the teams’ game tomorrow against Trowbridge, we have a strong side out with players returning from injury, bans etc. I would expect this unit to work well together to reflect the strong run at the beginning of the season. In terms of the steps we need to take to ensure we win, we need to find that unity we had at the start of the season, where we were winning, because we worked together, we were confident in each other to try new things and not miss tackles and that improved everyone’s performance. In order to have this success, a solid base needs to be rekindled between every teammate and this will give us patience in defence as well as that spark in attack and hopefully reflect in the upcoming result.

On the bench, Paul Savage replaces Lee Rawlings, while Levi Meek, back from University, keeps his place on the bench. Tom Simpson has his cat’s nativity play, so misses out, and forwards coach Mark Bates is expected to be late, after his annual Xmas tear-up on Friday night.

Maids team –

1/Parrott (c), 2/Jones, 3/Britton, 4/Churchyard, 5/Emmanuel, 6/White, 7/Cadden, 8/Holden, 9/Childerhouse, 10/Jansen, 11/Davies, 12/Skelton, 13/Bart, 14/O’Keeffe, 15/Finnie, 16/Savage, 17/Meek, 18/Heron

Come on you Maids!

 

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Match Preview – Maidenhead v Swindon (Away)

Match Preview – Maidenhead v Swindon (Away)

Maids produced arguably their most professional, 80 minute performance last week, against a Newbury side that had overcome title favourites Towcestrians a week previously. This Saturday, they travel to unpredictable Swindon, who have comprehensively put Maids to the sword at their Greenbridge Road ground the last 2 seasons.

 

Swindon have had a topsy-turvy season so far, starting very strongly, but finding consistency difficult in the previous few fixtures. At fly-half, Adam Westall steers the ship, and his intelligent kicking game will be something for Maids to be wary of, along with a large, aggressive pack, who carry well.

 

For Maids, we garnered the thoughts of back-row forward Chris Holden, who said he enjoyed being back in the 8 shirt last week; “I found it great to be honest, but was made a lot easier from the fantastic work done by the front five to give us a strong platform.

Having not played at 8 since the last time Maids were in National 3, Tony Brooks gave me some invaulabe advice and pointers at our Thursday training session. I took that into the game and proved to be great advice. Keeping it simple and running hard to get over the gain line.”

 

Holden feels the key to success last week, was the dogged defence, commenting; “Our defence really did completely nullify the Newbury attack and set the tone for the match.  I watched from the sidelines against Windsor and we weren’t stopping them at source and they were breaking tackles. However some of the hits against Newbury felt like everyone had a point to prove. We take pride in our defence, and I think everyone across the team wanted to show that. This week, the conditions will ultimately dictate how we need to play to beat Swindon. A lot of the forwards have played there multiple times over the years and have a good idea of what they’re about. I think it will be won upfront, and will be a very tight game. However if we bring the same intensity as we did against Newbury, I’m quietly confident we can come away with a W.”

 

This week, Maids retain the same starting pack, but have wholesale changes in the backline due to injuries, unavailabilities and the suspension of Chris Bart. Bart was shown a straight red card last week, for punching a Newbury player, in retaliation to a  comment made about his foam roller. Tom Simpson is unavailable, due to his cat’s debut dance show.

 

We welcome back former 1st team captain and new father, Simon Cripps, who steps onto the bench, while Chris King makes his debut at centre.

 

Maids team to play Swindon:

 

1/ Parrott (c), 2/ Jones, 3/ Britton, 4/ Churchyard, 5/ Emmanuel, 6/ White, 7/ Muil, 8/ Holden, 9/ Childerhouse, 10/ Davies, 11/ Evans, 12/ King, 13/ Skelton, 14/ O’Keeffe, 15/ Abiven, 16/ Rawlings, 17/ Meek, 18/ Cripps

 

Come on you Maids!

Match Preview – Maidenhead v Newbury (Home)

Match Preview – Maidenhead v Newbury (Home)

This Saturday (December 5th), Maidenhead look to reverse a disappointing run of 3 consecutive defeats, when they host Newbury Blues, brimming with confidence after their impressive 13-5 victory against Towcestrians a week ago.

This week, we catch up with new recruit, Christoph Bart, who has caught the eye, with some impressive performances already this term;

-having previously played at a higher level, in Nat 1, what made you want to come back and play at Maids?

“Maidenhead is where rugby started for me so I have a lot of old friends in the club. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Henley but with injuries affecting my performance I wanted to take a step away from such a serious level of rugby and focus on enjoying the game. There was only one place I was going.”

-are you enjoying yourself so far?

“Absolutely, we’ve had a great start to the season and everyone seems to be buying into the new coach Russ. It’s been great to be back at the club and I appreciate how welcoming everyone has been! Although we have had some results go against us in the last few weeks I have no doubt that we will be finishing in the top half of the table this year and enjoying doing it!”

-what do we need to do against Newbury this week, to return to winning ways?

“I feel like we have to really test ourselves and take ourselves out of our comfort zone. We have had some bad results recently and it’s easy to fall into the routine of getting knocked back. On Saturday we need to come out of the changing room with some urgency about us and play with pace and flair for 80minutes.  We started this season with a winning streak and put hard work in to do so, now it’s time to put the work in to get back to those ways. We should be crawling off the pitch on Saturday with a W in the bag!”

In the Newbury line up, Maids will have to keep a keen eye on their pacy back division, led by skipper and 13, Dan Thorne. In the pack, the ever-present Graeme Stewart starts at tighthead, with Ben Hicks in the loose head shirt.

There are returns to the Maidenhead starting XV this week for Chris Holden and Paul Britton upfront, while the backs are bolstered by the return of Mathieu Abiven, who missed the Windsor game when his bike got a puncture on the way.

Maids team:

1/ Parrott (c), 2/ Jones, 3/ Britton, 4/ Emmanuel, 5/ Churchyard, 6/ White, 7/ Muil, 8/ Holden,           9/ Childerhouse, 10/ Virgay, 11/ Davies, 12/Heron, 13/Bart, 14/ O’Keeffe, 15/ Abiven, 16/ Kingsley, 17/ Burke, 18/ Evans

Newbury team:

1/ Hicks, 2/ Drysdale, 3/ Stewart, 4/ O’Shea, 5/ Doel, 6/ Stewart, 7/ Love, 8/ Winfield, 9/ Piggott,   10/ Trevaskis, 11/ Denner, 12/ Herriot, 13/ Thorne, 14/ Futcher, 15/ Bartlett, 16/ Sanders, 17/ Davis, 18/ Thorne

Come on you Maids!