Maidenhead v Oxford Harlequins (home)
Following a bruising encounter at the aptly-name Everest Road, home of Old Patesians, last week, Maids will be eager to regain top spot with a 5-point victory over Oxford Harlequins. Old Pats have a tricky trip to 3rd-placed Newbury to contend with, so Maids will be hoping to put a little space between them, and at least one of their other rivals for the title, depending on results.
Maids will feel they deserved to win last week, and despite the fact they didn’t, 2 points, and the knowledge that Old Pats must travel to Braywick after Xmas, gives hope for their title challenge to come.
However, next up, is the challenge of Oxford Harlequins, which on paper, may look routine, but the players think very differently. Last year, Quins were the only team to complete the double over Maids, which included their solitary reversal at Braywick, losing 8-3 in late October. Quins had a similarly slow start last season, but quickly picked up, and the fact they’re now unbeaten in 4, makes them very dangerous. It’s no coincidence, that the upsurge in form has happened at the same time as the reappearance of skipper, Allan Purchase, back in the side after a recent shoulder injury. His usual second row partner however, Adam Neal, will not feature for Quins, after being red-carded in their derby last week against Gove, which was abandoned after 55 minutes. Jack Robinson, in the 13 shirt, is always a tricky opponent, and scored the winning try when the two teams met in February, at Marston Ferry Road.
This week, we spoke with mercurial fly-half Perry Jansen, who returns to his favoured number 10 shirt, after playing at full back the last 2 Saturdays.
*Nickname(s)? Pez, Pel, P-dowg, White Chocolate
*Occupation? Insurance Broker
*Former clubs? N/A
*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Winning Bournemouth 7s international competition with Apache 7s, and getting runner up for top try scorer at Maids last season.
*Favourite food? Fry up at the Birch household.
*Dream woman/man? Catherine Carrington-Birch
*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Ryan Long- everything would turn into a competition, which I’d win.
*What do you want to achieve this season? Keep my 100% kicking record, promotion would be ideal, however, if that’s not achieved, I hope we learn from it, and Russ makes me captain.
Despite having Ed Keohane, Christoph Bart and Ryan Long all down injured at the same point last week, all 3 make the team, and there are fortunately, no new injury concerns to report. One man who will be absent, is Dominic Birch, who is in hot water for setting light to the lost property at the club, causing the fire crew to arrive last night. In his defence, the stuff had been there for 2 days…
Although not playing, Frankie O’Keeffe is likely to be present at the match, with a moose from Tinder for the 3rd week running, and Mark Childerhouse is shopping in L.A. with hero and mentor, Gok Wan. After several death threats from Andy Emmanuel, Bolton has elected to return his son, James to the starting line-up, along with presenting Scott Prince with his first start on the wing, who is still recovering from his initiation, which saw him tied to his obnoxious father for an hour.
- Parrott (c)
- T Jones
- L Jones
Oxford Quins team:
- Purchase (c)
- Van Dijk
Come on you Maids!