Category: Senior

Tunbridge Wells RFC 23 – 20 Hertford RFC

 

Tunbridge Wells welcomed table topping Hertford on a bright crisp Saturday to St Marks. Since the early season encounter, which Hertford won 17-8, the two sides have had very different seasons. Hertford came to St Marks looking to continue their 13 match winning streak and secure five points to maintain their top spot. Wells were looking to build on another strong performance the week before, where unfortunately they came away without the deserved win.

Despite a number of changes to the opposition team, the Wells injury list continued to hamper the home side, with 12 first team squad players unavailable this week. Wells started positively, winning a penalty and kicking for the corner. A sharp first line out and driving maul led to James McKeown crashing over the line for the first try. Jack Anderson added the extras, giving Wells a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes – for the first time this season, it was Hertford starting slowly in the early encounters, rather than Wells. Unfortunately Well’s injury list was added to in the first two minutes, with McKeown departing with a hamstring injury. Cameron Follows came into the back row, with Charley Smith moving to loosehead.     

Wells continued to put pressure on the Hertford team, nullifying their big ball carriers with a strong defensive effort. This continued pressure was rewarded, with Anderson, who had a good performance from the boot all game, adding a further three points, extending the lead to 10.

Wells continued to pressure the Hertford defensive line, with a series of strong carries and attacking play. This again led to a further infringement, with Anderson adding the three, to give Wells a 13 point lead at half time.

Wells and the home supporters were expecting the league leaders to come back with some fight in the second half and the opening score was almost certain to be key. The early encounters carried on the physicality of the first half and a rare penalty in the Wells half gave the visitors the first opportunity to add to the scoreboard, which they duly did – 13-3.

However the home side, buoyed by the strong home crowd, continued to assert attacking pressure which was rewarded with another penalty within the range of Anderson, who duly stepped up and put the lead back to 13 points.

The home crowd did not have to wait long for an additional score, with the first try of the second half coming from a rampaging run from the home favourite Nick Doherty, with an offload to Finn White, who was able to dot down under the posts. Anderson added the extras to extend the lead – 23-3.

Hertford began to build the pressure from here with their big ball carriers making inroads into the strong defensive set of the Wells. The Wells defensive line eventually succumbing to concede from a cross field kick – 23-10.

Hertford continued to carry strongly as the game moved into the final quarter, with the Wells crowd hoping the home side could buck this season’s trend and hold out for the win. A period of pressure in the Wells 22 resulted in a knock on, giving the home team a chance to clear their lines. However the kick was gathered by the opposition, who span the ball wide to score in the corner. 23-15.

Hertford’s dogged reserve began to show but the physicality of the game was taking its toll on both teams, with the benches emptied and injuries mounting.

With the clock ticking down into what surely was the final few minutes, the defensive line of Wells was broken again with Hertford scoring in the corner. In a rather bizarre move, Hertford declined the kick, opting to maximise the final mins. 23-20.

From the resulting kick off Wells continued to pressure Hertford – a series of scrums followed in the ensuing minutes – Hertford scrum, Wells scrum, Hertford scrum – all in the Hertford 22.

A turnover to Wells allowed them to wind down the last few seconds on the clock, before putting the ball out to earn the win.

A superb defensive effort from 1-15 for Wells sealed the victory, giving the players a much deserved home win and something for the supporters to truly enjoy.

This Saturday, Wells make the short journey to second place Sevenoaks for the second part of this season’s A21 derby. All support welcome!

 

Stu Nicholls

Sidcup RFC 22 Tunbridge Wells RFC 18

This was a rearranged fixture from a pre-Christmas postponement, played Thursday 3rd February under floodlights. On a cold evening with a chill wind Tunbridge Wells rallied but were arguably short changed under the shining Sidcup lights. Wells made a great account of themselves and should be extremely proud of a much improved performance as they confirmed they are in the right league.
Wells were once again slow out of the blocks but bravely defended their line from the first touch ‘knock-on’ at kick off.
They repelled a strong Sidcup for 14 minutes until the home side notched up a litany of points in the shape of a penalty, try with conversion and another penalty, making 13 unanswered points in total. Nearly matching the number of penalties conceded by Wells over that allotted time!
From the resulting kick off, Wells sent the ball high, Sidcup knocked on, but Jack Lord was deemed to have pushed a lingering forward out of the way, in order to close in on the fumbling Sidcup player. The referee felt a yellow card was the appropriate sanction, and the resulting pressure soon turned into 3 more points. Score now 16-0.
Still with Jack Lord in the bin, he was soon to be joined by Richard Webster who had kicked through a ruck. This resulted in another penalty, which was swiftly dispatched. Momentarily Wells were down to 13 men. 19-0.
Jack Lord, the 1st Wells yellow came back on, and shortly after, with only 14 on the pitch, they get a chance to take the 3, after some Sidcup ill-discipline. Fin White, Wells’ wispy 10, stepped up to slot. Back from a broken hand injured some weeks ago at Westcombe Park. He didn’t miss. 19-3
Now Wells with a ‘full fat’ 15 players back on, the super talented Wells 8, Nick Doherty crashed over, making a more respectable score line of 19-8.
Wells then proceeded to boss the game and repelled a resurgent Sidcup. They managed to get into Well’s half only to be suckered with a well read interception, just before the end of the half, by the motoring Max Hobbs. Fin White ended the half by capping the cake with the 3 point cherry.
An extremely relieved and excited visiting vocal group of Wells supporters clapped their resurgent team off with the half time score tightly balanced at 19-15.
Shortly after the restart Sidcup notched up their only points of the second half with another penalty. Now 22-15.

This was a low scoring second half with a more disciplined performance from the Wells side. Pressure gradually and carefully built as the half went on and Wells had the last 10 minutes all to themselves, countering with an incredible 45 metre thumping 3 from the golden boot of Fin White. Score line now 22-18 and the Wells visitors were going crazy.

Wells camped in Sidcup’s 22 – Tom West, who was superb, had now been replaced by the baby faced Max Douch at 9. Tom Adams who had lead from the front all game was having the game of his life.
This was close and it was scrum time in front of the shattered Sidcup defence.
However, sadly, reminiscent of the recent ending of the match at Murrayfield this weekend. Scrum pressure in front of the sticks only resulted in numerous free-kicks. And sadly both for England and Wells, pressure didn’t make points. And both games ebbed away.
Wells should be rightly proud of how they worked as a team and if only they can get an early foot hold, then they will clearly climb.
This Saturday Wells welcome league leaders Hertford RFC to St. Mark’s – 2.30pm k.o.
Tim McCabe

Sutton and Epsom RFC 24 Tunbridge Wells RFC 10

On a slightly overcast day the two sides met at Rugby Lane for the 10th fixture between the two clubs. The previous 9 meetings suggested the home side were the favourites with 6 victories compared to the visitors 3. However, the league standings do not lie and both sides are having a tough season. A thrilling encounter was expected as in the reverse fixture in 2021 only a single point separated them.

As the Wells got the game started they were playing up the hill and early on the game looked remarkably even. Scrums were evenly matched and line outs looked well controlled. Wells had some early success with a well organised line out set play but discipline was causing Wells some set backs. Some early crash balls by Dillon Robertson were looking interesting and encouraging the travelling fans. However, on 18 minutes a Wells error  in midfield gifted the S&E no.8 George Drye a try under the post. Hurley converted for 7-0. Wells needed to set this error behind them and go back to the solid platform they were building. Unfortunately within 2 minutes another Wells error during an attacking phase saw the Wells 9/12 drop the ball to allow Bushnell (13) run straight in beneath the posts. Another Hurley conversion saw the score hit 14-0.

Well did bounce back strong and were starting to look threatening. This started by Webster collecting the Wells kick off and the visitors were starting to cause S&E some challenges.  It was clear to see Webster was up for this game as he was throwing himself about and being a constant threat in defence. This coupled with Spicer getting to the breakdown fast meant Wells Defence was causing the Home side challenges. S&E pivoted their play to some great tactical kicking to grab territory. This did cause a couple of knock on errors for the Wells. However it was clear S&E were feeling the pressure as they attempted to grab 3 points from penalty kick (missed). S&E were clearly feeling the pressure and were trying to add anything to their very fortunate 14-0 lead.

On 35 minutes S&E executed a lovely rolling maul from 15m out and then a swift distribution wide saw them score in the corner (Hurley). The conversion missed 19-0. Again Wells bounced back stronger and looked to be taking the game to S&E. We had 5 strong minutes of pressure for Wells where they were camped on the S&E try line. Sadly after several pick and go’s where the Wells pack were trying to punch through we had a knock on when S&E were relieved to ask the ref to blow for half time.

As the second half kicked off Wells were looking for a swift correction to the scoreline. After 3 minutes we saw a Jack Anderson carry which looked full of intent. It resulted in a knock on and allowed S&E an escape where they reverted to a less expansive game. They pushed on through pick and gos and were gaining yards. After a period of intense pressure the S&E pack got over the line and extended the lead to 24-0. Wells made some substitutions one of which saw Finlay White replace Anderson. White was a very late call up for Mike Doherty who pulled up in warm up. White borrowed some boots from the Chairmans son and took to the pitch.

The changes seemed to have immediate impact with Wells pushing forward and starting to use the kick to better effect. On 55 minutes the Wells pressure at last paid dividends as a grubber kick was collected by Jake Smith in the corner. White missed the conversion (with borrowed boots) and the score stayed at 24-5. Wells were still giving away frequent penalties but were looking much more assured. In fact on 72 minutes Toby Wallace broke the line and committed the full back while releasing Finlay White to score in the corner. Another missed conversion saw the score line start to resemble the game we were watching 24-10, where 14 of the points were gifted to S&E by Wells errors.

With three minutes left, the Wells pressure continued and they were looking very threatening going forward and solid in defence. As another period of strong Wells play ended in a knock on the home side were again relieved to ask the Ref to blow his whistle for full time. 24-10

The score line flatters the home side and Wells represented themselves well. This is a game Tunbridge Wells will feel disappointed to lose, as they again played well but were the victim of costly errors which were well punished by S&E. They will move onto the excitement of a Thursday night game away to Sidcup with added encouragement . Hopefully the lights will inspire Wells to deliver the win they so deserve.

 

Mike Rigby

TWRFC 14 – Maidenhead RFC 45 22nd January 2022

Match report TWRFC vs. Maidenhead RFC KO 2pm – 22nd January 2022 

 

With fine, brisk conditions, Wells decided to play on the 2nd XV pitch. It was in good shape and gave the throng of 300 plus crowd a hill top vista in which to survey the grassy battle pitch.

Wells were hoping to repeat some winning ways from the previous weeks’ tight match away win at Brighton.

Both sides slightly unrecognisable from their earlier season close encounter. Wells suffering from a ’25 player’ injury list and the opposition looking like they have benefited from some in-season recruitment.

In addition, Wells capped a new Hooker, Cameron Follows, who played a full 80 minutes and should be commended for his excellent debut.

Maidenhead with a spring in their step pinned Wells down early on, in their 22 and from the get go put some swift points on the board. A touch down from the opposition no.10, with the conversion, Maidenhead quickly went seven nil up.

From the restart, play pings back and forth, however a high kick from Wells into the Maidenhead 22 gets knocked on, with the player under no real pressure.

This gave Wells a chance to get back and the resulting scrum creates a penalty for Wells. After some injury treatment, the silky Scot, Jack Anderson, slots the 3 points to make it 3-7.

With tails up and sustained pressure from Wells, back in the opponents 22, the opposition came off their feet and rightly get penalised. Another chance for a shot and Anderson picks up his penalty brace. Score now 6-7.

The next passage of play sees both teams trying to establish a foothold. Maidenhead collapse a scrum and the Wells get on the front foot.

With mounting dominance after 20 minutes gone, a kick for the touch turns up the heat. Sadly the pressure didn’t turn into points and Maidenhead get to clear their lines.

The play transfers into the home sides half and with Wells not rolling away after a tackle the ensuing penalty is neatly slotted and Maidenhead creep ahead. 6-10.

The next passage of play is quite stop start, Maidenhead’s line out is functioning well, however possessions seems to be swapping backwards and forwards.

But with 35 minutes gone, the visitors decide to kick for the line and again with heavy pressure on the Wells 22 they look like they will score. The line is caught, the maul is made and the Maidenhead hooker dots down. The 5 points get converted with an excellent kick form their full back, Conner Grainey. Score now 6-17.

Wells now retaliate, a ‘not straight’ from the usually reliable opposition hooker gives Wells a good scrum time chance. Wells attack, butcher their move as the ball goes wide, but receive a penalty back for a high shot on Anderson’s throat. He hits between the sticks. Score is now 9-17.

And the 1st half closes.

Last week, it was rumoured that Simon Jervis’  (the new evergreen Director of Rugby at TWRFC) Churchillian half time chat helped the Wells turn the tables with positive prose. Would his sage words this week provide another repeat of a Wells tide turning? We all hoped so.

Clearly he would have tried to address challenges around Wells being unable to create their own chances and help guide the team against high-pressure tactics from the magically lightning quick opposition in their defensive line.

With a shrill blast, the game kicked off. Maidenhead start the second half with applied pressure and score under the posts with a smart, quick, right to left passage of play. Score now 9-24. Not the start Wells wanted.

So Wells return with enlightened pressure. So much so, the opposition 4 gets his 10-minute marching orders for repeated infringement. The pen is kicked out for a lineout, which Wells fail to catch. And Maidenhead select a scrum.

Again Wells attack with a now dominant Scrum, and from an ensuing penalty, tap and go. But still lack the penetration to cross into the try zone.

Well’s receive another penalty in front of the posts but too far back to slot. Line out is selected, then scrum followed by more repeated infringements. The crowed pleading for more cards from the consistent referee. This is when Wells need to capitalise. Unfortunately they don’t. Maidenhead are off the hook, as they clear their lines.

Maidenhead then trundle down to the Wells half. Then to rub salt into already open wounds, the opposition break with a bullocking run, by the meaty loose head. Ball is spun out, after he eventually gets taken down, but the damage is done. Score now 9-31, still with 20 minutes left to play.

Arguably now a difficult score line to come back from with the lack of penetration from Wells and the dominance from the Maidenhead side, now very much with their heads up. And to further beleaguer the home side, Chris Shorter comes off with a shoulder injury.

Maidenhead now in their stride, give the ball to their talented 14 Scott Prince, the king of the wing, with light feet and swivel hips, he menaces the defense and flicks a pass to the Maidenhead Captain, Ben Mitchell. Score now 9-38.

With 5 minutes left to play, Maidenhead now bully their way down the field from kick off and with strong running from one of their big lads, Alex ‘Frenchie’ French, ploughs through three tackles and again seals the fate of the startled Tunbridge Wells side. Score line 9-45

The last moment sees the Maidenhead Prop see yellow, So Wells quick tap penalty allows Richard Webster, finally to cross over, for a consolation try.

14 – 45 is the final score.

 

Maidenhead fully deserved the win, however with more possession and some penetration, Wells really aren’t too far behind. But when they return the pressure, they have to convert it into points.

 

Tim McCabe

BRIGHTON FOOTBALL CLUB (R.F.U) 23 TUNBRIDGE WELLS RFC 25

Wells travelled to Waterhall Playing Fields remembering the missed opportunities that had cost them the home leg of this fixture when Brighton had emerged victorious.

Things did not start well when the Wells kick off failed to travel 10 metres.  At the resulting scrum Wells were able to impose themselves as they continued to do throughout the game with the return of Gabriel O’Brien at tight head.  Would that the line out had also been so impressive. The first Wells throw in over the top saw Brighton take the ball and maintain possession in a series of sustained attacks.  Wells under pressure were adjudged offside at a ruck giving Brighton an easy shot at goal on seven minutes (3 – 0).  After a series of line outs and good Brighton possession Wells were again penalised for offside at a ruck.  Brighton kicked to the corner, won the resulting line out and executed an excellent front drive resulting in a try on 12 minutes (8 – 0).  The conversion from wide out was missed.  Wells kicked off, retained the ball and good quick ruck balls and two bullocking runs by Nick Doherty resulted in Brighton being penalised for offside.  Jack Anderson dutifully converted (8 – 3).

From the kickoff Brighton redoubled their efforts with their centre, Thomas Derrick, scoring a spectacular individual try in which he ran over half the length of the pitch before dotting the ball down under the posts.  The try was converted (15 – 3).  Play continued in the same vein with the Wells scrum dominant but their line out stuttering.  Wells went down to 14 when [Charley Smith] was penalised for a high arm in a ruck. Brighton again kicked to the corner, but this time Wells successfully defended the home side’s drive.  Wells won the resulting scrum but then lost Josh Hawkins to a nasty cut.  Wells turned over some Brighton loose ball causing the Brighton winger (Aled Edwards) to deliberately knock on for which he was yellow carded.  Both sides ended the half with 14 men.

Whatever new Director of Rugby, Simon Jervis, said at half time really had the desired effect as the Wells emerged for the second half a side transformed.  The line out now functioned well producing clean ball with the returning Josh Hawkins becoming more influential.  From a line out at the halfway Wells moved the balls through the half backs and a lofted miss pass from Ben Day put the electric Max Hobbs in for a try, converted by Anderson (15 – 10). Brighton were next to score when Wells were penalised again for offside (18 – 10).  Wells were now increasingly in charge recycling the ball quickly at rucks and getting their backs into the game.  One such move put Jack Smith away to score a try duly converted by Anderson (18 – 17). The Wells pack were now totally in charge at the set piece and Brighton were penalised at a scrum on their own 22, with Anderson converting to put Wells in the lead for the first time in the afternoon (18 – 20).  Brighton came back hard with some aggressive and effective play to regain the lead when the Brighton No 8, Josh Sailsbury, scored in the corner.  A difficult conversion was missed (23 – 20).  Wells did not roll over and were immediately on the offensive winning a line out 10 metres out from the Brighton line.  The ball safely secured, Wells drove over with replacement Chris Shorter touching down.   Another difficult conversion was missed (23 – 25). The match then played out with Wells increasingly controlling the game, dominating the scrum and even winning some opposition lineouts.

This was a good win for Tunbridge Wells who showed great spirit and energy throughout the afternoon. It came at a cost however with a number of injuries which might cause the coaching staff a selection headache as they prepare to welcome Maidenhead to St. Marks next Saturday.

 

 

 

TUNBRIDGE WELLS RFC 1ST XV 13 TRING RFC 1ST XV 17

 

 

After a very wet week and heavy rain on match day this game was switched from the main pitch at St Marks to the newly drained 2nd XV pitch at St Marks.

Despite a 4 week gap from their last game Wells had to look carefully at squad selection with James Mckeown making his debut for the injured Gabriel O’Brien, with Tom West returning at Scrum Half for Chas Rigby and Dillon Robertson starting at centre along with Ben Day on the bench.

 

The first 20 minutes of the game saw the conditions win over the continuity of the Rugby with Tring enjoying the Lions share of possession and territory as Wells found themselves penalised seven times by referee Simon Waite predominantly for not staying on their feet at the clear out. Wells start was not helped when debutant McKeown left the field after 2 minutes with a potential hamstring injury with Tom Pithouse moving to prop from second row the Wells scrum was disrupted from the start.

After a sequence of attacks in the 22 the  Wells  defence finally gave way on 12 minutes as Tring fly half Will Mitchell beat the cover with some smart footwork to score a try close to the posts and convert his own score 0-7.

 

Wells were not without their own opportunities as the referee penalised Tring as well in the difficult conditions giving fly half Jack Anderson chances from the kicking tee one of which was underhit on 14 minutes. Wells, however, as has often been the case this season began to enjoy a greater share of the ball in the second quarter with Stuart Nicholls on for hooker Luke Hawkins who replaced Pithouse in the second row. Wells produced a sustained attack on thirty minutes picking and driving to the Tring line where a combination of the visitors defence and the conditions thwarted the home side after a sequence of pick and drives culminated in a knock on within a meter of the try line.

Finally on  33 minutes Anderson scored a well struck penalty to peg the score back to 3-7 as the home side through pure doggedness in the loose and the tackle started to enjoy more ball and territory. This was despite losing Pithouse to a yellow card and unopposed scrums being introduced. With a return to 15 men as the half came to an end Wells were able through Anderson to score from another well struck penalty to bring the score to 6-7 at halftime.

 

The first half had been played in torrential rain and squally winds and the rain continued but at not quite at the intensity of the first half as the brave crowd of just over 100 waited to see if Wells could play against the elements.

 

Both sides defences won the day for much of the second period despite both sides suffering disruption with  Tring tight head Nick Brown being yellow carded on 57 minutes and unopposed scrums being reintroduced and then became a permanent feature as Wells’s Pithouse was injured and there were no more front row replacements. Both sides then went down to 14 after a fracas -with the home side close to scoring- which saw Tring’s Josh White and Wells’ Tom West both yellow carded in the last 10 minutes of the game with Ben Day taking over as the Wells scrum half.

 

The second half remained scoreless despite a high standard of handling in the conditions by both sides. It took until the 77th minute for the deadlock to be broken as Wells conceded three quick penalties in a row  the last of which put Mitchell in kicking range as he kicked a simple penalty for a 6-10 lead.

 

With the last minute of normal time on the clock Tring kicked along the floor for centre Ted Stanford to get the referees nod on the touch down despite a desperately close call.and Mitchell converted to give Tring a 6-17 lead.

Wells were not finished, however and with the rain finally ending produced some excellent handling as the ball was moved across the pitch and finally to skipper Mike Doherty who despite conditions underfoot did enough to get over for the try close to the left touchline with Ben Day producing a very good conversion on 87 minutes to bring the final score to 13-17 and to earn a losing bonus point.

 

After the first 20 minutes this was a brave performance in poor conditions for Wells with the whole team putting in a fine defensive shift and handling a large amount of disruption in the pack through injury and yellow cards. Wells are very close to producing the form to produce more wins in the second half of the season having already amassed 5 losing bonus points. This game could have gone either way as the Tring try at the end of the game was a desperately close call. The sort of call that if you are winning regularly will go your way. DOR Simon Jervis and coaches Ben Kayser and Dave Strettle will work on a hopefully fuller squad before Wells visit Brighton this Saturday KO 2 00pm.

Roger Clarke

Chairman’s Update

Members and friends of TWRFC,

Welcome to 2022 and Happy New year to all.

Firstly, I hope you are well, healthy and happy. It is of course great to be back to normal rugby but I am very conscious that there are still some very challenging problems in our community.

However, as we are at the half way point in the season I wanted to give you a club wide update. It has been a very busy first four months across all aspects of the club with plenty of rugby played so let’s have a quick tour of the club:

The Senior Section: 

We have three very divergent parts of our Senior club: The Elite squad; The Social side; and of course the Vets. One common feature across our club and many other clubs locally is a struggle for availability. The return to senior rugby is proving quite abrasive on the bodies of our seniors and we are seeing more soft tissue injuries and longer recovery periods. Hopefully this will diminish as our bodies re-acclimatise to contact.

The Vets have had one outing so far this season and two fixtures where the opposition have failed to raise a team, the latest being TJ’s. However, as you would imagine this has not held the Vets back. They have remained focussed on their training regime and are seen regularly at touch on a Tuesday and the bar on a Saturday. They have, as always also been actively supporting the social side in their fixtures.

Vets Pre-match Huddle

The Social side have also been out on the field of play and enjoying life back in Kent 5 rural league. They are presently mid-table having played 5, won 2. They have had nice wins against Old Gravesendians and Vigo. They did also record a win against Gravesend on Mute’s 40th birthday weekend, but as we fielded a squad of circa 30 we did have to offer them the walkover win!! Well played lads good to see you back and active.

The Elite squad is a having a tougher start to the season. We do of course have a completely new coaching set up and an evolving playing squad. As per my note earlier in the week we have recently made some changes to our coaching set up as we welcomed back Simon Jervis to the club as our Director of Rugby. He will continue to be well supported by Chaz Spence, Ben Kayser, David Strettle and Paddy Seymour. Stuart continues to lead all things senior rugby and I would like to thank him for all the hard work he has put in this year under tough conditions.

Elite Squad & Management Team

We have started see the fruits of some hard labour as the squad are playing some lovely rugby. It is particularly pleasing to see our pack looking strong and us winning scrum penalties at regular intervals. We are still lacking some squad strength and depth in key positions but are working hard to address these. I have to say I have really enjoyed watching the rugby this year and have huge admiration for our players who literally give their heart and soul for our club week in week out. Thank you.

Ben Kayser watching the IXV in action

The Youth section:

What a difference a year makes: This year we have had fixtures, festivals, training (in person) every single week. What’s more……the pitches have been in great condition and we have played every week!! We now have over 760 youth members and it has been great to see so many of them back at St Marks.

The reason for the success of our youth section is very clear: The incredible volunteer coaches that support every single age group. These ladies and men get qualified, plan sessions, complete endless admin, prepare kit, turn up bright faced and deliver an exceptional experience for our members week in week out. Thank you.

Thank you one and all you are keeping the future of TWRFC very much alive and growing. Thanks to Laurence, Martin and Alex for Chairing the Youth and the Mini’s. You will see from our social media we now publish every youth fixture and the result every weekend. We are keen for them to feel as special as any other team in this club. It also means I can see all the results and I have to say our U13’s are looking pretty unbeatable this season. Well played lads and good luck in the Kent Competition later this season.

The Academy: 

Andy has continued to keep his focus on the Academy in the first half of the season. As always this is the quieter half of the season as it overlaps with most of the local school rugby.

We are really keen to have a cracking second half of the season with some real focus on Strength and Conditioning as well as seeing our new DoR Jervo get heavily involved. We will also see Ben and Stretts get more involved as well as other local qualified coaches. Andy is really looking forward to having a great second half of the season.

As always a huge thanks to our first team players who are helping out and doing a brilliant job inspiring the next generation.

The Ladies section: 

It is great to see so many numbers across all our ladies age groups. Simon continues to steer the ship well with the addition of Kelsey helping out across the older age groups.

The U13’s are progressing well and are in the Kent waterfall competition. The U15’s are doing well in the league and are in the last 16 of the national cup. The U18’s are enjoying their rugby and rebuilding the squad back to previous years strengths. The over 18’s continues to grow as our mini-coaches, senior players partners and friends build towards pulling a side together.

Well done Simon and all the Coaches. But also well done to all the players, you have a real sense of community and are the fastest growing section of the club.

The Inner Warriors – Ladies Over 18’s

So lastly to the running of the club :

The Commercial team: 

I would like to thank all our sponsors for their unwavering support this year. Many of our sponsors have been with us for many years and they enable this great club to trade on year after year having the impact we do on so many young lives. We have also added several new sponsors this year like:

Tunbridge Wells Taxis 888 tunbridgewellstaxis.co.uk ;

Pringle Insurance pringleinsurance.co.uk ;

Prestige Plumbing prestigeplumbers.co.uk ;

Benchmark Brewery Benchmark Brewery | Craft Beer | Eridge | Tunbridge Wells ;

Willowstick willostix.co.uk | English Willo Cricket bats

Easistore Storage Tunbridge Wells – Self Storage Units for Hire Kent (easistore.co.uk).  

Your support is helping us so much, thank you.

We are under no illusion the ability to get new partners/sponsors is always hard but we are ambitious and determined. If you know anyone who would like to sponsor our club please do let Simon Hughes or Andre Van Zijl know.

Operations: 

Membership: Has been a huge success again this year. Martin has brought real discipline to this via Spond and its starting to make a real difference as well as being really useful to track attendance. A record year for membership numbers and of course membership fees. We presently have over 750 youth members and 136 senior players. In addition we have well over 100 VP and social members. All round a good bunch of members who enjoy being part of our very special Club. Thank you for your support of your local club. 

Pitches: Well this is the first year we haven’t cancelled training for the weather!! The money we have spent on draining pitches two and three has made a real difference and they are in great condition. Long may this last!! We are now doing some work on refreshing the drainage channel along the north side of the site to make the training paddock drainage move away from our site.

Clubhouse: The cafe trades well and continues to be a great addition to our food & beverage provision, But the highlight of the first half of this season has been the arrival of Julia as our new landlady. She of course arrives with her partner in crime (Nick) and we have all felt the impact of her arrival: New drink choices being trialled; Halloween themes; Christmas decorations; and most importantly a lovely warm welcome to everyone who arrives in. No surprise that as a result of all of this we are seeing increased turnover through the Clubhouse.

The Future of the Club: 

Steve Daly and his team continue to make good progress on the AGP, Parking, Storage facility and Cricket pavilion project. Our planning permission is in which reflects a huge milestone in this project. Special thanks goes to Rich Bains for his huge personal efforts for the club. The fundraising is under way and has made a good start but as you will imagine there is still lots to do!

If you wish to support this project them please:

  • Comment favourably on the planning permission – TWBC comments are now closed but there’s still time to comment on the planning application with Wealden:

https://planning.wealden.gov.uk

Reference: WD/2021/2544/MAJ

  • Help with our fundraising either through grant applications, community fundraising or personal contributions. Please get in contact with Steve Daly if you believe you can help.

Well done Steve and team, your efforts on behalf of the club are much appreciated. 

Our Ambassadors – David Strettle, Tammy Samuel, Martin Corry and Ben Kayser support support the launch of the AGP plan

Impact on our community:

We know that as a club we have always had a significant impact on our community through volunteering work and social impact work e.g. fundraising for local charities (like Nourish)  and supporting local events (like Dunorlan Fireworks). During the pandemic our volunteer coaches also had a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of our members through virtual sessions and social events. We also continue to be a site where you can see: rugby tots happening; where BMF perform weekly fitness sessions; schools tag festival occurs; schools rugby/cricket matches happen; county schools cross-country competition occurs; dog training classes happen; acting societies practice; county over 70’s cricket occurs; our community enjoy walking with their dogs (on a lead!); and of course occasionally the Air Ambulance lands. Hence our impact locally is significant but we now wish to strive to have more impact away from St Marks.

So this year we have made a conscious effort to build out our community coaching impact. We have always supported ad-hoc requests for our local schools with visits from our parent helpers but now we have looked to offer more structure and formalise this offering. The arrival of Jack and Kelsey has certainly helped this: We have already 125+ sessions in 8 local schools. This is amazing and reflects our biggest ever community impact.

So in summary:

Not the year any of us wanted, but we have kept on performing our valuable role in our community.

  • We have a growing youth and ladies section
  • We have a successful academy
  • We are ever closer to our #oneTWRFC ambition
  • The number of volunteers are growing but we do need more!
  • We are financially stable and operationally organised
  • We have direction and purpose for the future of St Marks.

Thank you to all our many volunteers and to everyone who keeps TWRFC at the heart of our Community.

COYW

Mike

Club Chairman

#oneTWRFC

Simon Jervis returns to TWRFC as Director of Rugby

Tunbridge Wells RFC have ambitions to build a squad capable of pushing on from the London and Southeast Premier League to be challenging for Level 4 rugby. To achieve this ambition we are delighted to welcome back Simon Jervis to TWRFC as our Director of Rugby. Simon is a Level 4 RFU Rugby Coach and has over 15 years working as a Director of Sport in a number of high performing state and private schools. He holds a BA (hons) in Sports Studies, Qualified Teacher Status and a Masters in Sports Management from The Cruyff Institute at The University of Barcelona. His coaching philosophy is one that looks to promote self-improvement with those he works with. He aims to do this by developing self-awareness in order to become self-reliant and self-governing.

Supporting Simon will be Chaz Spence as First Team Coach and player liaison. Chaz has valiantly stepped up as our interim DoR this season which has really helped consistency with the squad. Chaz has played for the club from mini rugby through to 1st XV captain. We look forward to supporting Chaz through his coaching qualifications and seeing him flourish in a coaching role.

The coaching set up will continue to feature Ben Kayser (Forwards coach) and David Strettle (Backs coach).  The level of coaching and international experience Ben and David bring is second to none locally. They have had a significant impact on the players they have coached and we continue to see new players arriving purely to experience one on one coaching from such esteemed internationals. This new structure will also see Ben and David start to deliver coaching within the academy and develop our player pathway from youth to adult.

We would like to thank David Marshall for all he has given to TWRFC and particularly for stepping into our DoR role at the end of last season. As a volunteer Dave gave much of his time to this club and added a real edge to the coaching team when he arrived in 2019.  We wish him luck with his commercial interests and look forward to seeing him watching from the touchline in the future.

Lastly, we would like to wholeheartedly thank Paddy Seymour for supporting Chaz so much this season.  He has been there at every league game and every week at training and brought real passion and northern grit to our coaching line up.  He will continue in his role as our defensive coach and will play a vital role in the new set up.

We hope these changes will see us pivot our season as the team look to enjoy a fresh start in 2022. We have played all teams once now and have lost out very narrowly on too many occasions. We are optimistic that with a focus on further professionalising our approach to coaching, improving our strength and conditioning and player recruitment we can build as the season progresses and come back stronger for the start of next season.

Welcome home Jervo.

 

Tunbridge Wells RFC is a successful senior rugby team playing at Level 5 in London and Southeast Premier League. We have a second team playing in Kent Invicta A league and a third team playing in Kent 5 Rural West. We also have a very social vets side who enjoy friendlies and an annual outing in the Kent Vets cup.

 

 

 

 

Havant RFC 41 – 17 Tunbridge Wells RFC

Tunbridge Wells RFC Match Report 11 December 2021

Wells travelled to Havant with high hopes after their excellent performance against second place Wimbledon the week before. The weather was still and dry with the game played on an artificial pitch under lights: perfect conditions for a running game.  Havant kicked off and a poor clearance from Wells put them under immediate pressure from the resulting line out.  Wells were judged offside in front of the posts allowing the Havant captain Joel Knight, one of three brothers playing in the Havant backs, an easy three points after two minutes.  Wells came back strongly and after a good solid scrum at which Havant were penalised Jack Anderson, the Wells stand off, converted to make the score level at three all after six minutes.  Havant now upped their game and scored a try in the corner after Wells had lost a line out on the opposition 10-metre line and Havant passed slickly down the line to put their winger in.  Knight was successful with the difficult conversion leaving Wells trailing 10 – 3 on 11 minutes. Wells came back again into the opposition 22 with the resulting pressure leading to a penalty kicked by Jack Anderson to bring the score to 10 – 6. Havant then altered their game tactics relying much more on their bigger, more powerful and aggressive forwards.   A driving maul following a line out close to the Wells line resulted in the ball being moved to the right and a Havant try.  The conversion was successful making the score 17 – 6 on 26 minutes.  Despite some good Wells play Havant were soon back putting pressure on the Wells line with a series of line outs and driving mauls which Wells defended well.  This defence came at a cost when the Wells second row, Tom Pithouse, was yellow carded on 35 minutes.  Another line out won by Havant resulted in more pressure on the Wells line with the Havant No 8, Gavin Hughan, going over from short range.  The try was converted, to make the score 24-6.  Havant scored their fourth try securing a winning bonus point before half time.  The conversion was missed leaving the score at   29 – 6.  Wells produced some good play to work the ball out of their 22 and when Havant were penalised at a subsequent scrum on the Havant 10-metre line Anderson produced another fine kick to bring the score to 29-9 at half time.  Wells, back to a full complement, started the second half brightly, nearly scoring from the kick off when Havant failed to deal with the ball. Further good Wells play including a fine break by Max Hobbs resulting in a penalty converted by Anderson on 54 minutes, 29 – 12.  But there was no dealing with the powerful Havant pack whose driving maul led to a further try two minutes later.  The conversion was missed leaving the score at 34 – 12.  Soon afterwards Wells were penalised at a scrum and a quick kick through allowed Hughan to touch down over the Wells line.  The conversion was successful, 41 – 12.  Wells again came back, and two excellent Wells scrums and smart handling produced an overlap to allow Jack Smith the Wells winger to score a try to produce the final score, 41 -17.

 

Alan Skinner

100 Club – November Draw

The results of the November Draw are:-

1st prize – No 24 Glenn Douglas £250

2nd prize – No 45 Tim McCabe £100

3rd prize – No 34 Kathy Skinner £50

Please contact Alan Skinner skinners205@btinternet.com if you would like to join.