We welcome this weekend to Vallis Way, our close rivals Rosslyn Park from across the river, to this table topping clash as 2nd place plays 3rd. Games don’t come any bigger than this, but both sides will be aware that there will still be plenty of games to play, and other teams will have a say in what happens at the top of National 2 South.
Rosslyn Park come into this fixture on the back of some great form. They have won their previous six games sor far this year, averaging 41 points per game including the closest of wins against table toppers Barking , 11-10, at the Rock. Last weekend they won against Dings and have also beaten Combe by over 70 points as well.
Ealing Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore is only too aware of Parks form "Rosslyn Park a good side who have some very experienced players and that is why they are at the top of the table. We are approaching this game like every other one we have played this season. We have trained hard and the players know what is required of them. It is now down to the team that delivers on the day and wants it the most."
We are often asked “why Rosslyn Park?” “Where is Rosslyn Park?” and so on. These notes are an attempt to tell you a little bit of our origins and past history.
The club was founded in 1879 when a group of young cricketers decided to form a football club in order to stay together during the winter months. They had originally played their scratch games of cricket in the grounds of Rosslyn House, part of the Rosslyn Park Estate and had therefore taken the name “Rosslyn Park” for their cricket club. When they formed their rugby club they took the same name. Some histories have tried to link the club with the Earls of Rosslyn. Whilst Baron Loughborough, the first Earl of Rosslyn once lived at Rosslyn House, its name was only changed from ‘Shelford Lodge ‘ to ‘Rosslyn House’ after his death. And in any case he died more than 60 years before the club was formed! Neither the football club, nor the cricket club once formed, ever played at Rosslyn Park.
So who are the danger men for Park? It’s difficult to put it down to one person, Park are clearly a team on form, and they have plenty of game winners in their line-up.
Fly half Ross Laidlaw has won quite a few tight games for them, he has amassed 223 points so far this season. Wing James Strong has crossed the line for 14 tries so far, followed by centre Marc Sweeny who has 7 tries to his name. Their team is strong across the park, with plenty of experience within their park, including Mark Lock our number 8 from last season.
Comparing the two teams, Ealing have scored 98 tries compared to Park’s 79 in their 19 outings. Park have scored 233 points away from Priory Lane, whilst we have managed 360 at Vallis Way. We have scored 44 tries in the first half against Park’s 35 and 54 v 44 in the second half!
Park have seen yellow on 12 occasions against our angelic 6 – Flankers Johnny Barrett and Morgan Jones have 2 yellow cards each.
Ealing’s own player maker Ben Ward said before training on Thursday, "Obviously its a big game that will have an effect on the outcome at the end of the season. Both teams know how each other play and its who delivers on the day that will come out on top. I expect it to be a tight game."
Recent games between Ealing Trailfinders & Rosslyn Park
31/10/09 Park 31 Ealing Trailfinders 24
18/04/09 Park 26 Ealing Trailfinders 21
06/09/08 Ealing Trailfinders 18 Park 8
09/02/08 Ealing Trailfinders 26 Park 20
06/10/07 Park 21 Ealing Trailfinders 10