Newbury’s Director of Rugby Andy Widdop said to the Ealing website this week that the team were looking forward to the challenge of the weekends game. He said "What I can say is that Newbury RFC is very much looking forward to hosting Ealing Trailfinders this weekend. We are looking forward because it brings Ealing to Monks Lane for the first time, I believe, certainly in league action. Obviously with Ealing placed at the top of National Div 2 South we realise that it is yet another huge challenge on the pitch in a season of huge challenges. "
Ealing’s impressive number 8 Anders Nilsson who joined the club this season following 3 seasons at Loughborough University and Bedford Blues, said the side were in good spirits following the recent run of results : " The game against Taunton was a real boost for the boys this weekend. It put to work our belief of being the top side in the league. With a 100 percent lineout stat and good scrums the forwards are pleased with ironing out the creases we may have had against Taunton away in the earlier season. "
Looking ahead to the game against Newbury , Anders Nilsson added that training this week will be as intensive as ever, " Our week will consist of making sure as a team we are able to stick to our pattern and keep control for a whole 80 minutes against Newbury. The forwards are looking to continue the good lineout stats ."
Indeed Ealing’s run shows that the team are being ruthless. Scoring over 100 tries at and with an average of 46 points for per game, the side are looking pretty at the summit of National 2 South. What will please the coaches is the fact they have one of the meanest defences in the league, conceding only 29 tries! Always room for improvement then ……………
A history of The Blues
The club was founded in 1928 due to the efforts of Len Whittaker who left St. Barts Grammar School in 1924. The first game played by the newly formed club took place on 15th September 1928 against Midlands team, Stoke. This was the first of 23 games that season during which the Club won 13 matches and lost 10 Even throughout the early years of the Club, the standard of play encouraged such major sides as Northampton, Gloucester, Harlequins and Wasps to come and play against Newbury. In 1932 the Club found a permanent home where we stayed until 1952 at which time the Club moved to Pinchington Lane to the south of the town. It was not until 1958 that a Clubhouse could be built on the site which was less than a mile from our present headquarters at Monks Lane where we have 5 pitches, of which three are fully floodlit. The 1938/39 season saw Newbury unofficially crowned by the local press as “Champions of Berkshire”. The first game to be played after the War was on 13th April 1946. Despite the inauspicious date, the Club won 37 – 0 against Windsor.
Since that time, the Club has gone from strength to strength, winning honours both regionally and at County level. A continuing policy of youth development has meant that many of our players have progressed from Junior to Senior level with the club. More recently, Newbury players have gone on to greater heights with clubs such as Leicester (Tom Croft) and London Irish (Jonathan Joseph)
Today Newbury Rugby Club fields 18 teams from First XV to Under 7′s, including a Women’s team.
Newbury in 2011
Their season has been tough so far, and its a credit to DoR Andy Widdop that they approach each game with such a positive attitude. The start of the season was made more difficult for them in loosing the services of many prominent 1st XV players
When they visited Vallis Way in October spectators and players alike were very positive of the way their young side played despite the score line.
Since then they have recruited well, and in their new number 8 Josefa Kava, they have a huge presence in both defence and attack. His pedigree speaks for itself, having played for the British Army & Combined Services. They have also recruited centres Dave Ferguson and back row Paul Archer.
They also had a change of club Captain, in Martin Freeman, taking over the reins in December following the departure of Jack Avery.
No doubt they will be looking to make Ealing work hard, so who should we be looking out for?
Well I’m sure that Josefa Kava will be an obvious target, Centre and captain Martin freeman tops their try scoring list with 8, whilst stand off Will Clarke has 39 points to his name. Open side Oliver Spanswick was also prominent for The Blues when they visited Vallis Way
So how do you approach a top v bottom clash? Is it hard to motivate players? No doubt Mr Widdop will have no problems for his home side, and speaking to Ealing’s Mike Cudmore, we asked him the question……. " Motivating a team for a top v bottom clash – are there any problems in that?"
"We have treated this game like all others. We have studied them and will be giving them the respect any team in our league deserves. We never take anything for granted or get complacent and when you play a team away from home you know you have to raise your game. For us to be successful this season we need to be consistent in our performances, and to this end we will be putting out our strongest team possible this weekend. "
Results from previous games between Ealing Trailfinders & Newbury RFC
02/10/10 Ealing Trailfinders 94 Newbury Blues 0
Other games in National 2 South this weekend
Clifton v Richmond
Hinckley v Canterbury
Jersey v Henley Hawks
Old Albanians v Dings Crusaders
Shelford v Worthing
Taunton v Southend
Westcombe Park v Lydney