First Team

PREVIEW: Lydney RFC 1st XV v Ealing Trailfinders RFC 1st XV – 1st May

Following their penultimate game at Vallis Way two weeks ago, Ealing Trailfinders once again are on the road, this time to Gloucestershire and Lydney for the rearranged N2S fixture.

Last weekend’s games did not go Ealing’s way as Rosslyn Park visit to Clifton saw them come away with a clinical 36-0 victory. The result means that if Park win their final game, away to 7th place Canterbury by 4 tries, they will be assured of a play off spot with the second placed team in National 2 North and the right to play their rugby in National 1 next season.

This result will have no bearing on Ealing’s preparation for this weekend’s trip to Lydney, and as head coach Kieran Power said before training this week, "Lydney is a big game for us for a few reasons, last season we went there at the end of April and were well beaten and it was the last game of our season and left us a long time to ponder over such a bad defeat. This year we are going there with a chance (slim one though) of sneaking into a playoff position, all the boy’s are completely focused on the task at hand as Lydney is not a place to go for the faint hearted, and all will be reminded of last season’s result to make sure we right some wrongs."

Lydney are currently in 11th place, having won 8 and lost 18 of their 26 games played to date. Last week saw them go down to a narrow last minute  27-28 defeat to Canterbury.

A brief history of Lydney RFC

Lydney RFC was founded in 1888, when there were already 8 teams playing in the town.

The club drew its strength and many of its players from the local tinplate works, and for many years Lydney RFC were known as the ‘Tinplaters’. The first President, Charles Bathurst, later the first Lord Bledisloe, held the position for 70 years. Lord Bledisloe became Governor General of New Zealand in the 1930s and gave his name to the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby Union trophy competed for by Australia and New Zealand.

There is still a strong connection between Lydney and New Zealand, especially the Waikato Province, and there is a regular exchange of players between Lydney and Waikato clubs.

For a town with a population which has only recently exceeded 10,000, Lydney has more than held its own against clubs from bigger towns, and has a great record in the national knock out cup, playing Saracens, Sale and Exeter Chiefs in recent years. They have not been out of the National Leagues since the league system started.

In the last 40 years or so Lydney has produced internationals such as Chris Williams, Gordon Sargent, Bev Dovey, Trevor Wintle and Peter Kingston.

Lydney in 2010

Lydney started the 2009-10 season with high hopes. The visited Vallis Way in September and were very disappointed to come away on the back of a 50-18 defeat. No doubt they will be looking for a reversal this weekend. Their form coming into the game has seen them with only two wins out of their last six games . They were on the back of a Barking steam roller when they won the league, but their other losses have been by slender margins, three defeats by a total of five points shows they will be no pushover.

Daniel Freeman is their top try scorer with 9 tries, whilst fly half Mark Davies tops the points list 92 points, followed by Anthony Wicks on 72.

The stats:

Both teams have played 26 games. Lydney have 70 tries compared to Ealing’s 125. Of those 70, 40 have been scored at Regentsholm, whilst we have scored 55 away from Vallis Way. Lydney score over half of them in the second half of games, whilst we look at a more 50:50 ratio. 26 of their tries are scored by the backs and 43 by the grunt merchants. Our split is 31 v 90!

Previous results between Ealing Trailfinders & Lydney

19/09/09 Ealing Trailfinders 50 Lydney 18

25/04/09 Lydney 17 Ealing Trailfinders 7

11/10/08 Ealing Trailfinders 53 Lydney 16

15/03/08 Ealing Trailfinders 45 Lydney 13

24/11/07 Lydney 10 Ealing Trailfinders 31

Ealing return to Vallis Way on Saturday 8th May, for their final league game of the season against Westcombe Park. Kick off is 3pm