Maidenhead welcome league leaders Towcestrians to the Braywick Bowl this week, in what will surely be the sternest of home tests so far this campaign. Zac Osbourne’s Northamptonshire men lead 2nd placed Salisbury by 14 points, and boast the highest points scored record, by a huge margin of 150.
Tows will be marshalled by fly-half Scott Browne, who will be charged with releasing a pacy back 3, complimented by Roe and Nanci, two hard-hitting centres. Towcestrians, beat Maids’ next opponents, Windsor, 39-0 in their last game, and are in confident mood, following 12 consecutive victories.
Despite their patchy away form, Maids are much more comfortable at Braywick, and have amassed 50 points in each of their last 4 home outings, but this Tows side are a completely different challenge, to those which have visited Berkshire in 2016 so far.
Before the big game, we caught up with Maidenhead stalwart Paul Britton, who will be donning the number 3 shirt tomorrow;
-what has been your highlight of the season so far?
‘My favourite moment this year, has to be beating Newbury at home, in December. We put in the most impressive defensive performance we’d had in a long time.’
-what do we need to do better next season?
‘Next year, I think we need to have more faith in our ability when we are away from home. We have some experienced players, who have played a good standard, so we know we can control games, it’s just being able to do it on the pitch.’
-how do we need to play, to beat Towcestrians on Saturday?
‘On Saturday, I think we need to play with confidence! Trust our defence and make sure we are loud with our communication. In attack, we need to be patient, play our patterns and listen to Perry (which can be hard at times!)’
In their re-arranged backline, Mike Skelton shifts to 13, from the wing, and Mattieu Abiven returns to the side to replace him on the wing. Christoph Bart misses out, after cracking a rib on his cheap foam roller, while Ross Muil is away on a birdbath tour. The newly engaged Sam Churchyard, has passed a late fitness test, after doctors decreed the proposal was not as a result of a head injury.
1/ Parrott (c), 2/ N.Jones, 3/ Britton, 4/ Churchyard, 5/ Emmanuel, 6/ White, 7/ Cadden, 8/ Long, 9/ Childerhouse, 10/ Jansen, 11/ Abiven, 12/ Heron, 13/ Skelton, 14/ O’Keeffe, 15/ Finnie, 16/ L.Jones, 17/ Gallina, 18/ Day
1/ Osbourne, 2/ Tustian, 3/ Gowler, 4/ Kirby, 5/ Banks, 6/ Baxter, 7/ Wilkinson, 8/ Holton, 9/ Aitcheson, 10/ Brown, 11/ Yuil, 12/ Roe, 13/ Nanci, 14/ Chalcraft, 15/ Falvey, 16/ Causebrook, 17/ Barrie, 18/ Neal
Come on you Maids!