Following last week’s lacklustre display, which saw Maidenhead eventually limp over the line, and beat Swindon 34-31, the boys have trained well, and look forward to visiting Trowbridge, for their final away fixture of 2015/2016.
Earlier in the season, Maidenhead produced a fluid display, to dispatch the Wiltshire side, 42-7. Much has changed since that day, and Bolton’s men know that they will need to dig deep, to prevail against a home team fighting for their lives, to stay in the division. Number 10, Lloyd Davis will be key to their survival hopes, and Trowbridge will be hoping his kicking game is on form, in order to keep Maids pinned back.
We asked some questions to Frenchman Matthieu Abiven, who didn’t understand the concept of a ‘quick chat’, and has instead penned an essay in his replies. Sadly he will be departing England soon, to return to France, owing to work commitments. Here are his thoughts for the game:
Have you enjoyed your season with Maidenhead?
“So far it was a great season for me. It was my first rugby senior year and didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. Eventually I enjoyed very much this year, especially the pre-season/beginning of the season with a fantastic dynamic. But also the second part of the season with really good performances at home such as Towcestrians or Reading and some frustrating performances away which made us go back to the training, try to figure out what went wrong and make it up at home then.
I must say that the energy and the motivation went a bit down around November/December when we ended our amazing series of wins, I guess I didn’t get use to the British weather and mud. After that, “new” comers like Longy, Jaryd or Will Greenwood brought this challenge and competition during training by their experience, quality and commitment and levelled up our performances on the Saturdays which is always enjoyable.
I’ve also discovered a superb club at Maids with really good players from each senior team, younger teams, and a big family of fans, sometimes demanding and always here to support us during and after the match.
The bus journeys have also been fantastic, and when I return to Toulouse, I will surely show them all the birdbath, and hope it catches on.
So yes it was a great season and I am sure next year you will have the results you deserve and get promoted.
What do we need to do better to secure promotion?
“First of all, I think you have the players and the talent you need to get promoted. You found a really strong backbone this season and this has to carry on next year. You will not lose many players next season and you will be able to build from there and do a strong pre-season.
This pre-season was key this year and if everyone of this team gets committed early you will have an even better start than this season. Plus, you will need everyone fully committed along the season, and I think the backline was a bit lazy sometimes, sure you have to deal with injuries but you don’t want to rework or change players every week.
Finally, I think we found a good stability in the team and in the playing patterns that you have to keep up. You might need to improve them a bit, especially for the away games, because you will not be able to afford losing like we did away.”
Will you return to Maids in the future?
“I will first enjoy the end of the season playing touch and 7 at Maids. Then I will go back to France for professional reasons and bring to the French rugby all I learned here. So far my job will not bring me back to Maidenhead in a near future but who knows. I will for sure come back here to see the big family I leave behind me and why not organise a friendly with my future team to kick your English arses.
There is but one thing I am sure about; I will never forget the season I lived here, especially when I was dressed as Luigi in Winkers, got thrown out after 10 minutes, was sick on myself, slept in the snow at the rugby club, and then wet myself. Thank you all!!”
We wish Matthieu all the best in his future endeavours, and thank him for his efforts this season- he is truly one of the Maids family, and will be sorely missed.
This week, Maids welcome back prop Ben Willetts, who didn’t understand Andy Goode’s retirement strategy- instead choosing to fully complete pre-season, then retiring, and not playing at all. We look forward to having some glamour back in the front row. He replaces the promiscuous Paul Britton, who has been named in Scotland, as part of the ‘Celebrity 3 Way’, and is now hiding from the press.
1/ Parrott (c)(HOA), 2/ Jones, 3/ Willetts, 4/ Churchyard, 5/ Emmanuel, 6/ White, 7/ Cadden, 8/ Long, 9/ Childerhouse, 10/ Jansen, 11/ Day, 12/ Heron, 13/ Bart, 14/ Abiven, 15/ Finnie, 16/ Rawlings, 17/ Gill, 18/ O’Keeffe
On behalf of everyone at Maidenhead RFC, may we wish all the best to young Trowbridge 2nd row Gareth Davis, who suffered a horrific leg injury v Towcestrians last week, and had to have an Air Ambulance. We wish you all the best in your recovery.