Buoyed by a superb derby result over Reading at Braywick last week, 55-14, Maidenhead visit Oxford Harlequins to face the only side that have left the Bowl this season with a victory, coming away 8-3 up in October.
After a slow start to the season, that result kick started Quins, which has seen them on a superb run, losing only 3 of their last 13, which includes an impressive unbeaten tag at their new home, Marston Ferry Road. However, one of those defeats did come last week, where they were beaten by league-leaders Towcestrians, 34-3 away. Led by the imposing figure of second row, Allan Purchase, Quins will be looking to keep their home record intact against a Maids team that has struggled on the road recently.
One man, keen to help transfer the away fortunes of Maids, starting tomorrow, is Perry Jansen, who pulled his hamstring in the return fixture v Quins, earlier in the season. We caught up with him this week, to gather his thoughts;
-another superb performance from you last week- you look like you’re really enjoying your rugby at the moment?
“Loving the rugby at Maidenhead this season, I feel that we really are getting the right to play the expansive game of rugby that suits our player base, whilst still having structure. It would be nice to get the nod to take over the kicking responsibilities when Finnie is away once in a while, but letting Jaryd making a fool out of himself is priceless, even when he does leave 15points on the pitch. However, it is not just the on-pitch enjoyment that I am loving at Maids – all the squads meet in the club house, have a few beers and stay on into the night. It is a true team environment and this is shown throughout, everyone is playing, training and doing their best to up each other’s games (pretty sure I even saw Batsey helping Cadden with his alphabet the other day).”
-how do you think we transfer home form, into victories away from home?
“I think we need to get our forwards into the game earlier than what we have been doing away from home. Keep everything tight for the first 20 minutes then asses where the areas to attack are. One key thing, is believing that we can take our home game form to these away games and finish the chances that we create.”
-what are you expecting from the team at Oxford tomorrow?
“Keeping the game a lot tighter than what we have done in the previous away games. Playing a hard running, clinical game through both the forward and the backs. We have spoken about upping the communications throughout the team, and I think this will mainly be coming from Chilli and myself directing the right areas of where to play. I think overall we need to go into the game with the right mind-set that it is a must win game for us and we need to back ourselves in everything that we do.”
This week, Maids welcome back Tom Finnie to the starting line-up, and also Phil White, who proposed to his girlfriend in Rome last weekend, but was embarrassingly turned down. Chris Holden return to the bench, after completing his community service and behavioural lessons for ADHD, whilst Jaryd Robinson is away Ten-Pin Bowling.
1/Parrott (c), 2/N. Jones, 3/Britton, 4/Emmanuel, 5/Greenergrass, 6/White, 7/Cadden, 8/Long, 9/Childerhouse, 10/Jansen, 11/Day, 12/Heron, 13/Bart, 14/Skelton, 15/Finnie, 16/L. Jones, 17/Holden, 18/Gallina
1/Sharpe, 2/Edney, 3/Boulton, 4/Purchase, 5/Neal, 6/Latu, 7/Battson, 8/Alston, 9/O’Brian, 10/Watkinson, 11/Etheridge, 12/Fisilau, 13/Dimond, 14/Yeats, 15/Robinson
Come on you Maids!