Mini Festival Huge Success!

As Typhoon Hagibis caused disruption in Japan, rugby continued at the Tunbridge Wells RFC mini’s festival. 

81 teams from clubs across Kent, Sussex and South London, met to play fantastic rugby.

Despite the rivalry, the competitive spirit, the gut and determination showed by the players, they all shook hands afterwards and parted as friends in rugby

Over 850 players enjoyed their experience, playing to the best of their ability, striving to deliver the best they could.

There were teams in attendance with insufficient numbers to make a complete squad, but they still got to play games.  Teams were created from multiple clubs to create a barbarian squad, where the players demonstrate the ultimate level of sportsmanship and put aside their club allegiances to ensure everyone can play.

Across the age groups rugby was played, children had fun and parents cheered. 

The Festival, sponsored by NFU Mutual, was the first mass run out for the new team kit and some of our sponsors from Countryside, Bethany and HR Revolution were able to come alone and watch some great rugby.

Huge thank you to Alex and his team of coaches and volunteers for arranging a great day of rugby


Life After TWRFC Ladies

TWRFC Ladies are excited & proud to see the latest two girls playing rugby as adults.

Last weekend saw ex-U18 Amelia Marshall & her sister Emily ran out for Exeter Athletic Ladies in their 25-24 win against Bude Ladies.

Amelia was praised for her work rate, technique & style of play in training by coach Amy Garnett, England Women’s ex-captain & most capped hooker…a compliment too for Tammy & Milo who coached the U18s during her time with us.

With others ex-players now playing for Harlequins & Richmond Premiership sides and more having played or are still playing for Cambridge, Oxford Brooks, Warwick, Nottingham & Southampton Universities, our legacy is looking very good. Not bad for a section that’s only in its 6th season!!
(Okay, Emily never played for the club but trained & worked hard with us over the last 2 summers, caught the rugger-bug and is now hooked)

Next weekend (25th-27th Oct) see 34 of our girls (with 17 coaches & parents) go on Tour to Bath & Bristol. In a packed weekend they will get some coaching from ex-England player & Exeter’s Womens Team Head Coach, Susie Appleby, as well as being the Guard of Honour for Bath v Exeter in the Rugby Premiership at the Rec on Friday and Bristol Bears v Richmond Women in their Tyrrells Premiership match on Saturday….hopefully seeing ex-TWRFC Ladies Rosie Dobson representing Richmond that day. 

More exciting things coming for TWRFC Ladies that will need your help & support so stay tuned!!


Simon Parsons (DoR TWRFC Ladies)

This Saturday 19th October

This Saturday 19th October we have: 

1st XV – Home to London Irish Wild Geese

2nd XV – No game

3rd XV – Home to Cliffe 2s


All 3pm Kickoffs 


Last weekend’s results:

Rochford Hundred 24 Tunbridge Wells 9

Tunbridge Wells 2s 10 Old Elthamian Dev Squad 5


Read Graham’s match reports here


Lunch this week is almost  a sell out but Kathy Skinner has a couple of spaces. If you would like to go to lunch please let her know.  First come, first served.

We had a fantastically successful mini festival at the club on Sunday so thank you to all those involved and especially to our sponsors NFU Mutual

The clubhouse will be open early Saturday for the England v Australia RWC Quarter Final.  More details to follow….


Rochford Hundred 24 Tunbridge Wells 9 & Tunbridge Wells II 10 Old Elthamians Development Squad 5

Tunbridge Wells travelled to Essex to face Rochford Hundred for the first time. Having won their first three league games they were hoping to get their league campaign back on track after defeats to Hertford and Guernsey but the portents were ominous given that the home side had not lost since April 2017. Indeed, they had enjoyed a remarkable 53 successive bonus point wins since then encompassing two promotions and five straight wins this season.

The Wells team featured just one change from the side that had battled so manfully in Guernsey with Charley Smith coming into the second row after some excellent performances in the Second XV. This saw Ben Whale move to flanker and Chris Brown on the bench (but, as it was, for not too long). They also came face-to-face with a familiar face with the club’s popular former lock Jake Mills making his debut for Rochford.

The game was played in continual drizzle throughout which very much dictated the style of the game, and was to suit the powerful, forward-orientated, approach adopted by the home side. Having first use of the significant slope it took Rochford just 4 minutes to open the scoring as a series of phases led to prop (and skipper) Aston Bevans-Royston scoring a try that was converted by outside half Cameron Greenhall. 7-0.

What was pleasing was how the team from St Marks responded to this disappointing opening. From the re-start they forced the home side into touch 5 metres out. However, whilst the ball was secured at the attacking line-out the forwards could not force their way over and were penalised for holding on. The respite was temporary, though, as a good catch and mark by Ollie Allman then saw his long kick dropped by a defender leading to a scrum 30 metres out. When Rochford were penalised, Frank Reynolds put Wells on the board with a penalty goal to make it 7-3 after 9 minutes.

Brown entered the fray on 15 minutes to replace the influential Mike Hathaway after he succumbed to an injury. The flanker was to do a good job in the back row, and although Whale now moved forward into the boiler room the Kiwi was as prominent as ever in producing another robust performance. 

Rochford returned to their persistent “pick and go” game down the hill, recycling well and despite Wells’ best efforts home flanker Harry Hudson crossed for their second try on 18 minutes, again converted by Greenhall. 14-3.

George Montgomery now made the first of two appearances as an interim scrum half whist Eddie Croft received treatment for a blood injury. The Wells scrummage has been the subject of much scrutiny in the past few weeks but was noticeably more solid in the first half and it needed to be. The home side have an effective and efficient pack of forwards and their back row ranks as the best the Kent team have encountered thus far this season.

However, Wells were very much in the game. Max Hobbs made a break that was halted by good defence. Aided by a string of penalties awarded against the home side, the visitors spent a sustained period of possession around the Rochford 22 metre line. Playing up the hill Wells were deploying a sensible kicking game to pin the hosts back and build pressure. The key when coming up against the league’s strongest teams (and make no mistake this Rochford side will certainly be one of these) is to turn such pressure into points. Although Reynolds missed one shot at goal that will have disappointed him, he slotted a second kick on 36 minutes and half-time was reached with the score 14-6.

The first period had witnessed a good performance from Wells and with the potential tactical advantage of the slope for the second 40 minutes there were understandable grounds for optimism, despite the quality of the opposition. However, it was Rochford who started the half on the front foot and the visitors were forced to soak up lots of pressure, and soak it up they did. Allman was having a particularly sound game with his defensive positioning and kicking and eventually Wells were able to clear their lines and get back on the front foot. Luke Hawkins replaced Stuart Nicholls at hooker. On 59 minutes another penalty was earned which Reynolds slotted to really put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons. 14-9.

However, this simply spurred the home side back into action and after a flowing attack a fine cross-field kick was gathered by wing Danny Cleare to score a try out wide on the left. The conversion was missed but it was now 19-9 on 63 minutes.

Wells bounced back though. Nick Doherty and Whale combined to almost release Richard Webster, but this was not the only line break in the game that was thwarted by good home tackling where in other games a try might well have been scored. As time ticked down Rochford seemingly took a leaf out the Wells play-book. They kept the visitors pinned back in their 22 metre area as they went in search for a fourth ‘bonus-point’ try to maintain their remarkable winning run, and they looked to have secured this only for the ball to be spilt over the line. However, the men in black then pushed Wells off the ball, and when they fed the ensuing re-set scrum number 8 Mac Duaibe touched down with five minutes to go.

This was a very resolute Tunbridge Wells performance and the final score was perhaps a shade flattering to Rochford. However, full credit is due to the quality of the tight game of Rochford and for being more clinical in taking their chances. They gradually exerted the upper hand at the set piece and their good, clean line-out allowed them to put pressure on Wells. Even when Wells had the territorial advantage the Essex team did not panic and went through their phases impressively. However, the visitors should be far from disillusioned. This was another highly-competitive effort against a top side and now the focus must be on regaining the winning thread back at St Marks this Saturday (19th October) when we host London Irish Wild Geese with a 3pm kick off.

Squad: Ollie Allman; Richard Webster,Ryan Taylor-Dennehy (Capt), Mike Doherty, Max Hobbs; Frank Reynolds, Eddie Croft (George Montgomery);  Kamil Wiecaszek, Stuart Nicholls (Luke Hawkins), Carl Straeche , Josh Hawkins, Charley Smith, Ben Whale, Mike Hathaway (Chris Brown), Nick Doherty.

Elsewhere in the League

Rochford and Wimbledon remain joint top on a maximum 30 points after the latter’s away win at Sidcup (23-34). Guernsey are third on 24 points after a 3-20 win at our next opponents London Irish Wild Geese. These three are already stretching clear (where I predict that they will stay!) ahead of Dorking (who impressed in a 14-38 win at Tring) and Hertford (who surprisingly lost 8-7 at CS Stags 1863) on 17 points. Sidcup are 6th on 16 points and we slip to seventh on 14 points where we are joined by our friends up the A21 Sevenoaks after they had a hard-fought 14-7 home win over Brighton. Tring and CS Stags come next on 11 points, then it is Wild Geese on 10 ahead of Bedford Athletic who move ahead of Guildford after beating them 29-21. Brighton continue to prop up the table after 6 games.

Tunbridge Wells II 10 Old Elthamians Development Squad (III) 5

At St Marks,Tunbridge Wells 2s hosted the Old Elthamians Development Squad. On a dour wet day the home side started much the quicker of the two sides putting the visitor’s defence under immediate pressure. but they held firm and the big OEs side were able to clear their lines.

There were plenty of mistakes in a highly competitive (if scrappy) first 15 minutes which saw Tiggy Bartley replace El Cureton, who had suffered a frustrating hamstring injury. Despite Wells’ early pressure though it was the visitors who were first on the scoreboard. After an earlier penalty miss they went over for a try on 20 minutes to take a 0-5 lead.

Strong Wells defence from the new centre pairing of Lucas Scully and Harvey Colangelo was needed to keep OEs out and some fine clearance kicking from Tom Burgess saw it remain 0-5 at half time.

There is a great spirit forming in this squad and the young Wells side took the game to OEs in the second half, dominating possession. They went close on 50 minutes after some fine forward play from James Webb, Connor Davis and James Pancaldi (on his debut). A try was ruled out for being held up over the line but Wells were not to be denied and they soon got their reward when Davis powered over for an unconverted try with 25 minutes to play.

The game was very much up for grabs with OEs throwing everything at Wells. However, on 70 minutes it was the home team that countered and took the lead when Webb powered over, Burgess just missing the conversion. The visitors tried everything as the hits got bigger and the penalties more frequent but Wells hung on for a fine victory.
This young team are coming together well and the future looks bright.

Graham Withers

Brains Over Brawn

On Friday night, the Ladies section hosted a quiz at the Cross Keys pub to raise funds for their tour to Bath.

Around 60 people pitted their brains against quiz master Ioana Platts-Mills with Team Pinky and the Brains coming tops. 

The quiz night raised a total of £898! A fantastic result. This will be added to almost £600 from cake sales at the club and £1700 raised by girls U13 coach Tammy Samuel running a marathon earlier this year.

Thanks also to Stephenson Harwood LLP and Zuber Design Architects for sponsoring the tour hoodies.

Girls from age 11 to 18 will benefit from these funds on the tour which takes place from 25-27 October. 

Special thanks to all of those who baked cakes, bought cakes, donated wine and chocolate, bought raffle tickets and otherwise donated their time and money.

This Saturday 12th October

This Saturday 12th October we have:

1st XV – away to Rochford Hundred 
2nd XV – home to Old Elthamians Dev

There is a coach going to Rochford but places are limited. If anyone wants a seat this will need to be booked in advance. Please contact Michelle.

If you would like to travel independently to Rochford the address is:
The Rugby Park
Magnolia Road
Essex SS4 3AD


Last weekend’s results

Guernsey 31 Tunbridge Wells 7
Old Colfeians 20 Tunbridge Wells 2s 34
Tunbridge Wells Vets 36 Maidstone Vets 5

Read the match reports here


Clean Sweep for U11s at Hastings Festival

The Under 11s took a squad of thirteen players down to their first festival of the season at Hastings.  

There were new rules to implement, especially kicking, which meant players and coaches were a little apprehensive before the start. But, the players took it in their stride and won 4 out of 4 matches.

The number of different try scorers reflected how well they played as a team and importantly they had great fun playing. 

Attention now turns to the TWRFC Minis Festival this coming Sunday where U11s will field three teams.


Half Term Rugby Camp

This October half term Saracens return to TWRFC with a three day skills camp running Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd.

The Saracens camp is aimed at age groups U7 to U14 and are great sessions for existing players or kids looking to try rugby for the first time.

Costs for the three day camp are £90  – a 10% discount is available for group bookings of four or more.

More details on:


Tel: 02036757202 (Group booking by phone only)

Guernsey Raiders 31 Tunbridge Wells 7 (plus the Second XV & Veterans)

Tunbridge Wells undertook the early-season “tour” that is the league game away to Guernsey with a much-changed team to the one that had lost at home to Hertford. Stuart Nicholls returned at hooker with Luke Hawkins also back as front row cover on the bench. Arek Janeczko moved to the bench too to accommodate the return of mainstay Josh Hawkins in the second row, whist influential players Mike Hathaway and Nick Doherty came into the back row. In the backs, Frank Reynolds returned from injury at outside half which saw George Montgomery amongst the substitutes as Simon Whatling chose to put his faith in the three-quarter line that finished the last game.

This was always going to be one of the toughest games of the season as Guernsey are an ambitious club who only succumbed to relegation late on last season despite a strong finish to their league campaign. They were looking to bounce back from a defeat to league favourites Rochford Hundred and a large crowd was present to see the unveiling of the ground’s new brightly-coloured running track. 

The weather was overcast but warm and the dry pitch was in excellent condition, ideal for Wells’ brand of running rugby if they could secure sufficient set-piece ball – one of the clearly apparent issues in the opening four games.

Wells started brightly and were able to exert some early pressure with good continuity, which saw the industrious Ben Whale very much to the fore. He made ground deep into the Guernsey 22 metre area before a knock-on in the backs halted the attack. The opening scrum ominously saw a penalty awarded to the home team and this facet of the game was, sadly, to prove something of an achilles heel for the Kent team throughout the afternoon. The crowd would have been pleased to see that both teams had open rugby in mind. It needed a typical Hathaway turnover to thwart initial home momentum, before an outstanding Max Hobbs tap tackle thwarted what looked like a certain try. However, a sustained period of Guernsey pressure saw a penalty conceded. Electing for the scrum option, the home team’s number 8 Doug Horrocks picked up the ball and surged over for the opening try, converted by Owen Thomas to make it 7-0 on 21 minutes.

Whilst the scrummage was to be under intense pressure throughout, the Tunbridge Wells line-out was much improved this week with Nicholls consistently hitting both Hawkins and Hathaway. It was disappointing, though, that they were not able to take advantage of having a man advantage for 10 minutes when home hooker Tom Ceillam received a yellow card for a stamp. In fact, it was Wells’ discipline that was poor for this period as they conceded some frustrating penalties. This put the hosts back in an  attacking position and after several phases of play a phenomenal long pass from Thomas to winger Matt Armstrong saw him cross for a fine try. With the conversion going wide it was 12-0 on 31 minutes.

Wells were performing with great credit though and came charging back at Guernsey with Hathaway, Reynolds, Ryan Taylor-Dennehy and Mike Doherty combining well. Whale also carried strongly throughout the half. Eventually they earned a penalty in the opposition’s 22 and as last week they opted to kick for the corner and an attacking line-out. Sadly, it was a case of deja-vu as the ball could not be secured. Half Time 12-0. 

The boys from St Marks had certainly fronted up in the first 40 minutes and were a shade unlucky not to be on the scoreboard. The backs again looked dangerous with ball in hand with Hobbs popping up all over the field. The spirit and determination of the Wells’ players could not be faulted throughout against the best side they had encountered thus far. Guernsey were able to combine a superb tactical kicking game with a strong set of forwards and a dynamic back-line. 

Despite strong defensive work from the likes of Nick Doherty, on 59 minutes Guernsey scored wide in the corner when full-back Anthony Armstrong combined with his brother Matt and the wing bagged his brace of tries and a third team try. Thomas struck a fine conversion from the touchline to make it 19-0.

Janeczko was now on for Josh Hawkins, but the lock’s respite was temporary as he quickly returned for the injured Chris Brown. This saw the impressive Whale move to flanker where he continued his strong carrying and defensive work in a man of the match performance. A penalty against the scrum saw Wells again on the back foot but just as it looked like the rolling maul would cross it was disrupted and it was Hawkins who came up with the ball. However, there was to be no escape as the defensive scrum succumbed to another penalty and from the ensuing attacking line-out this time the maul did power its way over. It was home captain Lewis Hillier who dotted down and although the conversion was missed, the try bonus point was safely secured. 24-0 on 64 minutes. 

Luke Hawkins replaced Carl Straeche, and shortly afterwards Montgomery joined the fray for Ollie Allman. Wells now enjoyed a good passage of play and when Reynolds put Mike Doherty into a gap his hard-running line took him clear from 30 metres for another try to add to his impressive collection. Reynolds slotted the extra points to make it 24-7 with 5 minutes to play.
There was, though, still time for one last Guernsey try to seal a thoroughly deserved win. The outstanding Thomas kicked through for left wing Amanaki Veamatahau to gather and score. With the Welshman’s conversion the full time score was 31-7

This was a resounding win by Guernsey but full credit should be paid to the Wells lads for maximising their efforts right to the end. The hosts were very welcoming to all officials, players and supporters and should have a very exciting season ahead of them. For Wells it does not get any easier as they travel to play Rochford for the first time. With the home team joint top of the league and protecting a 52 match winning bonus point run, there will be no time for the players to feel sorry for themselves. However, there is no danger of that with this group and they will no doubt re-double their efforts in training ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Essex. Kick off is 3pm and all travelling support will be gratefully received.

Squad: Ollie Allman (George Montgomery); Richard Webster,Ryan Taylor-Dennehy (Capt), Mike Doherty, Max Hobbs; Frank Reynolds, Eddie Croft;  Kamil Wiecaszek, Stuart Nicholls, Carl Straeche (Luke Hawkins), Josh Hawkins (Arek Janeczko), Ben Whale, Mike Hathaway, Chris Brown, Nick Doherty.

Elsewhere in the LeagueWimbledon and next week’s opponents Rochford Hundred remain locked together on a maximum 25 points after impressive wins at home to Bedford Athletic (53-13) and away to Sidcup (22-45) respectively. Guernsey are now third on 20 points ahead of Sidcup on 17 and Hertford on 16, after they beat London Irish Wild Geese 36-14. We are 6th on 14 points ahead of Dorking (who beat Sevenoaks 26-23) and Tring who won 26-47 at Guildford. In the battle of the two bottom teams CS Stags 1863 will be very relieved to have travelled back from Brighton with a 25-34 win in the bag. 

Two other Tunbridge Wells teams took the field and they both gained emphatic wins. 

The Second XV won 20-34 away to their Old Colfeians counterparts, where a youthful side had to show great character after a slow start. After 25 minutes they had conceded two unconverted tries but  when Angus Horne crossed the line for a try converted by Tom Burgess they were back in the game. Five minutes later Lucas Scully crossed and it was against the run of play when the home team scored a breakaway try on 35 minutes. Crucially, though, Wells went into the interval in front when Tom Follows powered over on 38 minutes.15-17. 

Wells dominated the second half, recovering well from having a seemingly legitimate Scully try disallowed and receiving a yellow card. However, it took until the 70th minute for them to extend their lead when Jack Bear (playing his first game in 5 years) scored a try. Soon afterwards, prop Ciaran Lee got a deserved try (converted by Burgess) to make it 15-29. The Colfes forwards managed to get another try but it was fitting when Harvey Colangelo crossed for the final score to make it 20-34 at full time.

Tunbridge Wells Veterans also had a comfortable win beating Maidstone Vets 36-5 at St Marks. Jake Herman (2), Simon Beamish, Rob Harrison, Rob Azurdia and Charlie Sleightholme scored tries, with the last-named also slotting three conversions.


Graham Withers