An outstanding defensive display on the opening game of the season ensured Maids returned from Drybrook with a hard-fought 5 points, which their fantastic rear guard action surely deserved. With only 37% possession and faced with a young, determined Drybrook side, who threw everything at them, for the whole 80 minutes, Maids returned home, having worked very hard for their points.

Drybrook are a top side, and part of a great club- they will bloody many noses this year, especially at home, and will quite comfortably improve upon their 11th placed finish last term.

Onto this week, and Maids return to the Braywick Bowl facing a very different challenge in the form of Exeter University. ‘The Students’ won 54-12 against newly-promoted Launceston last week, and no doubt will relish the fast track that the AGP at Maids offers. Last season was a roller coaster game with Maids eventually edging the contest, 41-35 in a highly-entertaining contest.

Openside flanker, Albert Slade is the younger brother of England and Exeter Chiefs star, Henry Slade, so is one to watch, whilst they have retained the services of the talented fly-half Harry Bazalgette, who featured twice against Maids last season.

Luke Mehson, who scored a hat trick for the Students last week, is unavailable, as he is representing the Chiefs in the Premiership 7s on Friday night, whilst Lasha Jaini, former Georgia under 20s lock, is also absent, after featuring a week ago.

There are minimal changes to the Maids side this week- Will Macaulay has a date at Duck and Waffle, causing Andy Darlington huge headaches, as he wonders who else he can possibly award Puss of the Week to, while Rob Muil switches to number 7 to replace him. Making his first start in nearly a year for Maids after injury, is the shoplifting hippie, Sam Hallett, who kindly lent us some of his time, to feature in this weeks’ match preview…

Name- Sam Hallett

Nicknames- Big Sam, Sally, Schem, Helmet, Sally Helmet, Ham Salad, Karol Poborsky

Position- I’m very versatile, as I can play both 4 and 5- a Coach’s dream!

Former clubs- Abbey RFC, Rams (when they were crap), Terrigle Trojans.

Biggest rugby achievement to date- has to be playing alongside my brother in over 100 senior matches. Can’t beat playing with family! Laurence Leonard taught me that.

Favourite food- without any doubt, sandwiches has to be my favourite food. You can put pretty much anything in them, but they have to be quartered, into triangles or I’m not interested.

Favourite woman/man- Laurence Leonard’s sister Aileen ticks pretty much every box for me, though saying that, Laurence himself is a bit of a dreamboat. Wouldn’t mind being the meat in a Leonard sandwich.

Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? After the tirade of verbal abuse I received from Will Runciman for forgetting to bring a water bottle on with his kicking tee last weekend, I certainly don’t think I’ll be sharing any elevators with him in the immediate future!

What do you want to achieve this season? Parrott said we weren’t allowed to say it, but PROMOTION would be nice. Also, I’d like to start up a little outreach project for the beloved sandpit, try and get them out into the community doing bits.

Tom King has somehow managed to find himself a nice girlfriend, so he is enjoying the final few weeks of being in a relationship, before she learns more about him and ends things, whilst fellow back row, Laurence Leonard is also unavailable for the foreseeable future, after his Dad found him trying to spy on his sister Aileen, in the shower. Luckily, the family are yet to find the pictures he has circulated in the player’s Whatsapp group.

Hooker, Mark Darlington remains on the sidelines, still struggling to cope with the mental anguish of his brother leaving for a new job, meaning he has to now tie his own shoelaces and button his own shirt, whilst Ed Keohane this week has spent time with a Shrink, as after 30 years, the angry traits of Big Ted have finally started to shine through, with the front row very much the victims of his vicious, angry outbursts at training. Fortunately, such is the mumbling nature of his headless rants, props Sam Curran and Myke Parrott couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, meaning the damage was minimal. Sam Hallett has offered has kindly stepped up with a remedy to help chill Ed out, post-training…

Big John ‘Tio’, the only 18 year old in Berkshire with a gold tooth continues in the 1st XV squad, whilst fellow Ealing Academy player, Will Cowan-Dickie makes his debut, after impressing for the 2nd XV last week.

Maids team (caps in brackets):

  1. Myke Parrott (c) (200)
  2. Dan Hostetler (2)
  3. Sam Rawsthorne (18)
  4. Chris Campbell (debut)
  5. Sam Hallett (29)
  6. Andy Berry (24)
  7. Rob Muil (36)
  8. Dave Cole (43)
  9. Joe Parkin (2)
  10. Will Runciman (41)
  11. Scott Prince (53)
  12. Ed Keohane (116)
  13. Niall Crossley (24)
  14. George Blewitt (19)
  15. Olly Foxley (15)
  16. Elio Mandozzi (13)
  17. Ed Atkins (6)
  18. Will Cowan-Dickie (debut)

Exeter University team:

  1. Will Cutbill
  2. Jake O’Neil
  3. Matt Johnson
  4. Jamie Yates
  5. Ioan Davies
  6. Paul Schroter
  7. Albert Slade
  8. Tom Addison
  9. Pietro Di Chio
  10. Harry Bazalgette
  11. Tommy Foot
  12. Joe Elderkin
  13. Harry Tarling
  14. Charlie Davies
  15. Toby Williams
  16. Chris Moore
  17. Finlay Richardson
  18. Lewis Bret

Come on you Maids!