Week 2 video challenge: World Rugby approves law trials to further injury prevention

Well done to those of you who participated in the various passing video challenges. I know a few are still to publish and I’ll add there here as they are shared…

This week – we’re setting a new challenge which should help get us all ready for the world-rugby global law trials, one of which is to be trialed in England next season. Specifically the permitted forward pass. For more details – read the World rugby announcement below. Teams will be allowed once pass per phase, provided the receiving player catches it in the 22 (some age grade variations apply).

In the video below, Martin provides a little guidance on how to do this – as well as setting the video challenge.

World Rugby approves law trials to further injury prevention

Injury-prevention focused law change has taken another significant step forward with World Rugby’s Executive Committee approving a package of law amendments for trial in London.

Following a comprehensive evaluation by the expert Law Review Group, the Committee approved six law trial proposals submitted by unions and developed at the ground-breaking player welfare and laws symposium in Marcoussis, Paris, in March. 

The package of trials will be rolled out as designated closed trials in competitions around the world and if successful, would be recommended for global trial within the next Rugby World Cup cycle, meaning Rugby World Cup 2023 could be the first global showpiece to feature law amendments fully aimed at reducing injury risk. Full announcement ,details of the law trials (including impact on Reg 15)

YOUTH BALL – Postponed

As I relayed in my note earlier in the week it is with great regret that we cancelled the Youth Ball that was planned for this weekend. I know that many of you were really looking forward to getting together and having a good time with friends from the club.

Having to cancel the event is also a financial blow for the club, The youth ball is our biggest event of the year and our largest fundraiser! In fact it was destined to have over 200 people attending on the night.

We have reserved a couple of dates at the High Rocks in September and October for the bigger and better (postponed) event to happen and we hope you will be able to join us then.

In the meantime the club is sat on your monies and I wanted to give you three options with regard to the £50 per head you have paid:

  • roll over your monies to the new date of the event in the Autumn (if you can’t make the new date further down the line we can offer a refund then);
  • request a refund of the monies to your account now;
  • or to donate the monies to the club.

I will ask our organiser and all round superstar volunteer Sarah Raine to reach out to the table captains and ask for your replies.

In the meantime thank you for your continued support for the club and hopefully see you back at St Mark’s soon.

Mike

is is a real shame as it our biggest event of the year and our largest fundraiser!

100 Club: March BIG Draw

The winner of the big £1000 March 100 club draw is number 56 Julian Clements.
If anyone is interested in joining the 100 Club please contact Alan Skinner.  The more members there are the bigger the prize pot is!

Club Development Update

When I took over as Chairman – I set-out that a key area of focus would be to establish a realistic and achievable development plan. My published target was to have a vision and plans in place to deliver progress on our priorities of pitch quality, clubhouse and increased parking.

Since then, in common with many other local clubs, we have had ongoing problems with pitch-availability. St. Mark’s has been soggy much earlier, and longer than we typically experience. Not only does this impact the rugby, it also impact the vibe and community-feel of the club. #OneTWRFC is much harder to achieve when we are seldom all together.

As a board we have decided that addressing this is our foremost development priority. We wish to see TWRFC have the facilities to enable rugby to be played at St. Mark’s for the entire season. As a result we are now actively exploring the viability of installing a 3G artificial playing surface at St. Mark’s. We see this as the best (and perhaps only) way of ensuring that rugby can be played at the club throughout the season.

A 3G pitch is no small undertaking. In addition to the astronomical cost (probably in excess of £800k), nearly all of which would requiring raising by the club, there are also planning considerations and approval to attain. At this point we are exploring if the plan is feasible, and whilst we are optimistic, we are not yet sure if the plan can be achieved in 18months, 10years or perhaps not at all.

Even so, I felt this was the right time to share the vision. Not least because we now need your help. We are particularly looking for help from anybody with these skills:

  • Traffic Consultant
  • Planning Consultant
  • Millionaire Philanthropist
  • Grants & Fund-raising
  • GeoTech Engineer
  • Ecology Consultant
  • Project Manager
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

if you are able to assist please speak to Martin Croker, Simon Hughes or Richard Bains. I think they may need all the help they can get.

Our conceptual design (kindly supplied by our sponsor Minifie Architects) is below. This places the 3G pitch next to our current first-team pitch, and also adds additional parking adjacent to the 2nd and 3rd team pitches.

Without wanting to over-caveat this. This is only a working draft – anything and everything could change as we assess the feasibility of the project, our ability to raise the funds, and planning considerations.

I hope you join me in seeing a great future for rugby at St. Mark’s. I will share more information as it becomes available.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): INFORMATION AND ADVICE [UPDATED MAR-16]

Important message for all club members and visitors

Dear Members and Visitors,

The Government and the RFU have now issued more prescriptive guidance on how we should all be reacting to the Coronavirus (links below). In response to this guidance we have made the following decisions:

Senior Rugby

  • All training and matches postponed until 14th April. Your Head coach or Director of Rugby will be in touch shorty with suggested individual training plans.
  • We will provide an update on the TWRFC Countryside 7’s tournament in the next few days.

Youth and Mini Rugby

  • All youth training and matches postponed until 14th April.
  • The Head coach of your age group will advise you when (or if) we are able to recommence training. They may also set you individual rugby goals or challenges to keep you entertained.
  • We are conscious that there are a number of outgoing tours and that these are at risk of being impacted. Each tour organiser is working to understand the impact and will communicate when they have any information.

Social gatherings

The Government has advised to avoid social contact, hence……

  • The Youth Ball that is planned for next weekend will be postponed. Further details on the postponement will follow tomorrow.
  • The End of Season awards dinner will be postponed to the beginning of next season.
  • The Clubhouse will be closed until further notice.

This is very disappointing, but hopefully in the circumstances, entirely understandable news. Let’s hope the virus is short lived and less impactful than the Government is planning for. Rugby is important but the health of the nation and our friends/family is way more important. 

If anyone in our community needs any help or assistance over the coming weeks or months then please do get in touch with me or any member of the club and let us know. We know we are a valuable part of our local community and times like this we would will stand tall to support you. #OneTWRFC.

Stay safe and healthy.

Regards
Mike

Mike Rigby
Chair TWRFC

Match Report: Tunbridge Wells vs. Wimbledon

TUNBRIDGE WELLS RFC 1st XV.        10.
WIMBLEDON RFC 1st XV.    40.

This was a rearranged game from earlier in the season which was switched from St Marks to Bennett Memorial School’s AGP after a pitch inspection by the referee and the two captains at 1 00 pm.
Wells found themselves without successful right wing Max Hobbs after three minutes with Eddie Croft replacing him on the wing and Charlie Rigby coming off the bench to play at scrum half.
These changes can be added to changes in the front row and back row from the team who last week played so well against CS 1863.

The first few minutes of the half set the pattern for the next 40 minutes with the visitors in 3rd place in the league demonstrating almost complete scrum dominance and the Wells- currently 7th showing that they had some dangerous backs. With Wimbledon not finding their touches adding to the ball available for Wells to counter attack from deep.
The Don’s were first on the scoresheet after 13 minutes when an electric break from scrum half Ben Newman saw centre Jack Reville in under the posts for James Moffat to convert. 0-7.
The Don’s were a man down on 15 mins as No 8 Chris York was yellow carded for an offence on the floor. Wells enjoyed plentiful possession and were unlucky not to score after a brilliant handling move initiated by the Doherty brothers carried on by Ryan Taylor Dennehy and involving 10 players in all. The home side did not have to wait long though as on 24 minutes the improbable figure of the Wells hooker Stuart Nicholls popped up on the right wing to score an unconverted try 5-7.
As the half approached it’s end Mike Hathaway made a great break up the middle only for the ball to be spilled, Ben Whales was yellow carded and then a Don’s player followed him for a head high tackle on Taylor Dennehy which could have been more.
Wells continued to attack and Matt Spicer was adjudged held up in the tackle over the Don’s line on 43 minutes before Wells got the ball wide again on the right to Eddie Croft who got the ball down for an unconverted try and a Wells halftime lead of 10-7.

If Wimbledon were to win and keep pressure on the top two sides their game needed to be tightened and they needed to be more accurate with their kicking in the second half.
Sadly for Wells their second half form was much better with more aggressive defence and if possible even more scrum dominance. Nick Doherty was off to be replaced by Josh Hawkins within a minute of the restart and Don’s regained the lead on 44 minutes as Reville scored his second after a switch in midfield to score under the posts with Moffatt adding the extras 10-14.
During the first 20 minutes of the half Wells could retain little possession as they conceded a number of scrum penalties. On 50 minutes impressive Don’s 6 Kane Albani broke up the middle  and fed No 4 Jack Cooke for try 3 which was unconverted 10-19.

In the last 20 minutes Wells struggled in both the scrum and in accuracy at the line out as the Don’s squeezed the life out of the home side with further tries from a high possession rate from 15 Blane Wilson again through the middle and under the posts on 62 minutes 10-26, by effective hooker Ugo Ogodulunwa on 78 mins 10-33 and by probably Man of the Match Kane Alboni on 83 minutes and Moffatt adding his 5th conversion. To make the final score 10-40.

Wells had a good first half but could not live with the aggressive defence and set piece mastery of the visitors in the second half. They will have to bring a full 80 minutes of precision and a rethink on scrum technique before the replay in South London in a few weeks time depending on whether the London and SE Premier season is still running.

Roger Clarke.

Charity Quiz Night – Sold Out!

The Charity Quiz Night for the Lewis Moody Foundation has sold out!

The quiz starts at 7pm hosted by our very own Tim McCabe – with Heads & Tales and a Raffle as well. Curry from our friends at The Raj will be served from 7:45pm

Ahead of the quiz we have 18 brave souls who have volunteered to “Brave the Shave” and be sponsored to have their heads shaved – the razors start buzzing from 5:45pm.

Even if you cannot make the quiz you can still sponsor “Brave the Shave” via our just-giving page:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/twrfc-brave-the-shave

Raffle tickets will be available all day Saturday from Chaz or Stu for £5 per strip or £10 for three. Some great prizes are on offer including signed memorabilia from former England, Leicester Tigers player and World Cup Winner Lewis Moody

“Friday Night Lights” sees Wells win well…..

TUNBRIDGE WELLS 36 CS STAGS 1863 0

With the wettest winter on record meaning that St Marks is better suited to water polo than rugby at present, Tunbridge Wells were relieved to be able to use the all-weather pitch at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys for their re-arranged league match against CS Stags 1863. Wells knew that one more win would see them mathematically safe in the London & South East Premier League, whilst their Chiswick-based opponents are very much in the mire at the bottom.

A very healthy crowd took advantage of Wells’ first game under the eponymous “Friday Night Lights”. Wells made four player changes to the squad that drew with Sevenoaks, together with several positional changes. The most significant one saw skipper Ryan Taylor-Dennehy move from full back to outside half, where he was to have a mightily impressive game. This also saw the return of the ever-popular Ollie Allman at 15, whilst Matt Spicer came in on the left wing enabling Richard Webster to move to outside centre. In the forwards, Aston Croall came back in to shore up the scrum at prop with Tui Tauaika moving to hooker. On the bench Josh Hawkins replaced Charley Smith.

Wells kicked off and and although they conceded an early penalty, when a powerful counter-maul turned the ball over following a line-out it put them on the attack. Strong scrummaging from Croall, Tauaika and Cral Straeche gave Wells a solid platform throughout and scrum half Eddie Croft and Taylor-Dennehy were able to being Max Hobbs in off his right wing for an initial incursion into Stags territory. The outside-half then made a further 30 metre break before being hauled down just 5 metres short. Another good scrum saw led to an offside penalty and with their confidence up the pack were asked to set another scrum. A big surge followed and the referee has no option but to award the Penalty Try as Stags wheeled the set-piece. 7-0 after 5 minutes.

The visitors now had what was to prove to be one of their best phases of play, such was Wells’ ascendancy throughout, but tine and again a hugely competitive and coherent defensive effort thwarted Stags. Webster and fellow centre Mike Doherty made big hits and closed space with impressive line-speed characterising a fine team performance in defence. Eventually Stags were forced to try a speculative kick which was superbly gathered by Taylor-Dennehy. He was clearly taken in the air but the un-sighted referee missed this, much to the derision of club stalwart Fran Colangelo….(I am not happy with that” said the irate Anglo-Italian) awarding just a scrum. A fine Allman clearance kick relived the pressure though.

If the centres were spearheading the back-line’s defence it was the flankers Mike Hathaway and Agy Eukaliti who were leading a powerful forward display. The latter, in particular, has been exceptional since the return of Ben Whale (more of him to come) has enabled him to move into the back row. Wells will be disappointed that their apparent edge at the breakdown often found dis-favour with the match official and it was after two successive penalties that Stags finally managed to engineer a clear break, only for an excellent last-ditch Allman tackle to avert the trouble.

On 18 minutes Wells extend their lead. It came from a Stags scrum just inside their half but when the home pack pushed them back, the pressure created untidy ball and as it was shipped wide Webster saw his opportunity to intercept the ball and gallop clear from 40 metres. Croft’s conversion slipped wide but it was now 12-0.

One facet of their game that Wells won’t have been pleased with was their work at re-starts as Stags managed to secure their own kick on more than one occasion. This was the case now but a superb Whale tackle and turnover saw the hosts awarded a penalty. Tauaika found lock Duncan Hales (a seriously good mid-season signing) but the ball was lost and hacked through. The nature of the 3g pitch is that balls do at least bounce consistently and Hobbs did very well to get back and gather the ball. Croft’s excellent 35 metre kick then took play back into the visitor’s half. Soon after, Mike Doherty charged down a clearance kick but the ball was knocked on as a try looked possible.

Stags finally secured a sustained foothold in the Wells’ half after 25 minutes. For five minutes they controlled ball and territory despite robust defence and after two more breakdown penalties had an attacking line-out 15 metres away out. However, the ball in was not straight and although Allman’s clearance kick from the ensuing scrum was charged down, this led to a line-out that saw Whale taken in the air and a relieving penalty awarded.

Wells were, as ever, trying to play ambitious “ball in hand” rugby, and this did lead to some handling errors. However, the players should be well aware that they have the support of the Wells’ faithful in this exciting style. The artificial service certainly helps with this approach as it leads to a quicker pace of game. It also makes it more physical and with the boys from St Marks winning most of the major collisions this also suited their style of play.

Excellent attacking play and continuity following a fine 20 metre break by Tauaika took Wells deep into Stags territory. With the effervescent Whale, Nick Doherty and Taylor-Dennehy prominent the visitors did well to halt this at the expense of an attacking scrum. Indeed, they did well again when they were able to bundle the boys in blue into touch from this, despite the deftest of Croft passes to Webster.

The home side were to spend most of the last 10 minutes inside their opponents half. They could easily have got frustrated as firstly a 12-man driving maul went to ground as a try beckoned (resulting in a turnover) and then a strong Spicer carry created another opportunity only for the ball to be spilt. Their persistence and patience was to be rewarded though as the clock ticked into injury time. Another powerful Tauaika drive put them on the front foot. The forwards secured quick ball and the most exquisite of delayed passes by Taylor-Dennehy served to put Webster clear again from 20 metres to bag his brace of tries. A superb score from start to finish, and although it was to go unconverted, a half-time score line of 17-0 was a more accurate reflection of the opening 40 minutes.

As the second-half got underway the contented “buzz” of conversation amongst supporters agreed that what Wells did not want to do was give their opponents any encouragement regarding a come-back and to this end it was imperative that they did not concede first. It was, therefore, very heartening when Wells avoided just that scenario despite the opening 5 minutes of play taking place deep in home territory. A line-out penalty saw Stags attempt to cross the line, firstly via a rolling maul and then by more forward drives.Another penalty saw a 5m line-out to the visitors but a superb counter-drive forced then out of play. With the throw-in adjudged not straight Stags were still on the front foot with a scrum but despite a good carry in the centres the ball was lost forward and Wells were finally able to clear their lines.

On 53 minutes the visitors were awarded a scrum penalty which produced an attacking line-out 35 metres form the try line. With their attempts to dominate Wells up-front in the tight phase proving fruitless, Stags now opted to spin the ball though the backs. However, when a wide pass was lost forward it was gathered by Taylor-Dennehy who made 40 metres as the cover started to close. He might well have made the line himself but when you have the electric pace of Hobbs next to you he took the pragmatic and sensible option of feeding him the ball to cover the final 30 metres. With Croft being replaced at scrum half by Charlie Rigby it was Allman who assumed kicking duties. His kick also slipped wide but with the bonus point secured it was now 22-0.

Wells continued to smother all that Stags could throw at them and then on 55 minutes a fifth try surely secured the win. And what a superb individual effort it was. From a scrum 30 metres from our own line, Taylor-Dennehy found Mike Doherty who had taken a sumptuous running line easing him into clear space with just the full back ahead of him. Anyone that has been following the club over the past 10 years knows that there is very rarely more than one outcome when this situation occurs and it was just the same now. A step in, a step out and the full back left floundering as Doherty strode majestically away for the try under the posts. This made Allman’s conversion a formality. 29-0.

On the hour Wells lost Spicer to the sin-bin when an attempted interception (with 70 metres of clear “astro-turf” ahead of him) was adjudged to be a deliberate knock-on (…… in reality it was just Matt’s handsEmoji). However, Stags now looked a beaten team with the unrelenting home defence proving too much. James Pancaldi repleced Eukailiti after another terrific stint, and with his arrival the defensive mastery was only lilkely to increase!

Despite being a man down it was Wells who were to score next. It should, perhaps, have come as a result of a superb individual Hathaway break when the athletic flanker carried for 40 metres. Surely, all he had to do was to pop the ball to the supporting Hobbs on his right shoulder? Instead the ball went inside and the chance was lost…..However, I shall fully accept that this is a much easier game from the touchline, pen and reporting pad in hand!

Stags’ reprieve was to be a fleeting one though. Josh Hawkins replaced Nick Doherty at the Wells attacking scrum, with Whale moving to number eight. And from that scrum Rigby found Mike Doherty standing in the outside-half channel and the prolific try “predator” stepped through the defence again for his second score of the game. Allman added the conversion to make it 36-0 after 68 minutes.

It looked like Wells had scored an even more spectacular try than the excellent efforts already witnessed when from the kick-off (my) man of the match Taylor-Dennehy broke free again before linking with Hobbs who put Allman away for a 20 metre run in. Sadly, the final pass was forward.

The final ten minutes got a little fractured and scrappy as frustrations started to seep to the surface (and I am sure that it was simply a coincidence that this was after Messrs Rigby and Hawkins arrived on the pitch…..lol?). Ben Whale typified his efforts all evening with another steal and run but the game was now over and the Wells’ players, management and supporters could look forward to the rest of their weekend with 5 league points safely deposited and a sense of satisfaction in a job well done. They could also reflect on the club’s first clean sheet since an 85-0 victory over Dover in April 2017 prior to the play-off win that secured the position in this league. Quite apt, as this victory confirms Level Five league rugby again for 2020/21.

Squad: Ollie Allman; Max Hobbs, Richard Webster, Mike Doherty, Matt Spicer; Ryan Taylor-Dennehy (Capt), Eddie Croft (Charlie Rigby); Aston Croall, Tui Tauaika, Carl Straeche, Duncan Hales, Ben Whale, Agy Eukaliti (James Pancaldi), Mike Hathaway, Nick Doherty (Josh Hawkins).

Elsewhere in the League
Just two other re-arranged games played this weekend.

Sevenoaks managed to jump back above us into sixth with a 24-22 win over Dorking. They have 55 points to our 54 but 5th placed Dorking are only 6 points ahead on 60 (having lost at home to bottom-placed Guildford last week) and 4th placed Hertford on 63 must also be within our possible reach given we have two games in hand on both sides?

One of these games, though, is against third-placed Wimbledon next Saturday and they maintained the pressure on the top two with a 22-25 win at Brighton. They are on 91 points which means they are 7 points behind Guernsey and Rochford Hundred who both have 98. It is getting very tight at the bottom though as whilst Brighton’s form since Christmas should see them safe it still remains any three form five for the clubs placed 10th-14th. I intend to do a more in-depth study of this next weekend.

Graham Withers

1XV Game Moves to Friday

This weeks 1XV fixture against CS Stags will take place on Friday 6th March at the Boys Grammar 3G pitch – KO 20:15

Location: By the Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre, St Johns Road, TN4 9TX

Parking: Please park in the Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar School carpark which is next door to the Sports Centre.

Countryside Kent 7s at TWRFC 2020

Tunbridge Wells RFC will be hosting their 9th annual Kent Sevens (in conjunction with the National  Sevens Series) on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April, 2020.

With Whiting & Hammond moving on to support the club via different avenues, we are delighted to announce new headline sponsors in the shape of Countryside Properties. The new sponsors have an outstanding reputation as a UK house-building and urban generation company, operating predominantly in London and the South East of England, and are well established in the local area.

Saturday will see the Men’s Open and Social events and the Ladies competition, whilst Sunday will see Kent Girls under 11s, 13s, 15s and 18s events during a “Festival of Female Rugby”.

Providing Open and Social events endeavours to cater for teams and players of all standards and with a full array of catering and bars, the well-established event promises to be another excellent weekend of rugby.

The more ambitious sides will be seeking qualifying points as they look to progress through to the National Finals to be held on 11th July.

Early entry is recommended and entry forms are here.

Countryside Kent 7s 2020 Entry Form

If you have any further questions then do please contact Graham Withers 07786 666348 or gwithers10@btinternet.com.