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!