Since November 19th last year, when Maids returned from Gloucestershire on the wrong end of a 29-27 result to Old Pats, surrendering the lead atop SW1, the boys have patiently waited, for their opportunity, to correct a few wrongs from that day, and that time has finally arrived…
Old Pats enter this game, on the back of a thumping 56-19 victory over Grove 7 days ago, so come into the match full of confidence, especially after mercurial scrum half Takuya Osaki made his long-awaited return from injury, off the bench. Fans often get their money’s worth at Braywick, and with Pats averaging 43 points a game in their last 3 outings, supporters from both teams will be excitedly anticipating an expansive, hard-fought, entertaining spectacle.
Upfront, both teams will be keen to assert dominance at scrum time, and each come with genuine credentials for best scrum in the division. The “lumpy” front 5 of Patesians, versus the smaller, but technically-proficient counterparts in Maids’ shirts will be a fascinating contest to behold, and will go some way to determining which exciting backline will prevail on Saturday.
The 2 back rows of Cadden, Long and Macauley versus Langton, Alldritt and Angell provide another scintillating head-to-head battle, and it’s arguable, that if the outstanding player on the pitch back that day in November, Ryan Long, hadn’t had to retire early, the result could have been very different.
Outside of Osaki at 9, the two fliers in the Patesians’ side, Spurrier and Gahan score bagfuls of tries from either wing, and the fact they keep Verden out of the XV, who scored a scorching hat-trick in the reverse fixture, is an indication of their proficiency, and they will surely relish the playing surface that the AGP gives.
Maids head into the game after a frustrating postponement of their away match at Old Cents last week, which means it’s 3 weeks since they last played, following a superb performance in the 34-17 victory over title rivals Newbury Blues. This week, we focus on Paul Britton, who made a quite thunderous impact coming off the bench in that game;
*Nickname(s)? Pauly B, Brits, Silver Fox, Hefner, Carol Smillie.
*Occupation? Karma-sutra instructor.
*Position? Benchwarmer, ex-prop
*Former clubs? Salisbury, Walsall, Wolves Uni, RC Bassetts.
*Biggest rugby achievement to date? Winning the league.
*Favourite food? Lasagne
*Dream woman/man? Scott Prince’s Mum/Perry Jansen
*Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? Lunch Money Lewis Jones- he has the body of a dinner lady and bad taste in music.
*What do you want to achieve this season? Finish the season without injury!
Maidenhead were all set to name the same side, which so impressively dispatched of Newbury 3 weeks ago, but in a cruel twist of fate, teenage winger, Scott Prince, in sparkling form this season, got injured on Tuesday night, ruling him out of the fixture. The whole squad really feels for a young lad, who has worked hard this year to get a starting spot, keep it, and score lots of tries, but ultimately has to miss the biggest game of the season. Scott, there will no doubt be many more big games for you in a Maidenhead shirt, for years to come.
To replace Prince, we welcome back Jaryd Robinson, who makes his first appearance of the season following shoulder surgery, after Kevin Young’s knee injury diagnosis. To be fair to Kevin, his prescribed treatment of the injury was more medically accurate than that of Ellie Birch and Sharlene Bertie, who suggested he needed a sleepover with them…
Will Cadden has spent 3 weeks trying to get himself a transfer to a new club, but after things were going so well at Marlow RFC for him last week, true to form, he had a beer and upset the whole town, meaning he remains in the 6 shirt. Russ Bolton will hope that Christoph Bart leaves ‘Pinks’ in time to warm up for the match, and Ellie’s friend Tamsin will be eagerly awaiting news of his arrival, for sure. After last weeks’ washout, Parrott, Keohane and Churchyard got a glimpse of life after rugby, being stuck at home with the WAGS, and have all committed to the club for another 10 years. In the hope of securing additional RFU funding for next season, Frankie Khakhumlan, post-op transgender Thai national, with various religious beliefs, Tinder fetishes and general special needs, has been picked, in order to put a big tick in the ‘diversity box’. Club sponsor Paul Childerhouse has paid a large donation to the club, to ensure Mark Childerhouse gets 80 minutes at 9 this week, and he has promised to repay the supporters with a post-match windmill in front of his mother.
No doubt, this is a huge game for players and supporters from both sides, but regardless of the result, let’s all hope that rugby is the real winner. Let’s ensure the game is played in the right way, and when that final whistle goes, we win or lose with humility and respect, shake hands, have a beer and wish each other well.
- Dean (c)
- Parrott (c)
- N Jones
- L Jones
Come on you Maids!