CANTERBURY V TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS
We go into the second round of National 2 East with a full blown Kent derby against a Tonbridge Juddians side smarting from a home defeat last week. We could not have wished for anything better than this fixture for the first home game of the new league season. The Canterbury side shows changes from the squad that made such a good start at North Waltham with injuries ruling out fly half Frank Reynolds (hamstring strain) and lock Jesse De Vries who took a knock to the head and stands down for a minimum two weeks under concussion protocols
Tyler Oliver and Tom Williams are still recovering from injuries sustained in pre-season games, In the starting line-up for the first time are back row players Cameron Murray and Harry Andrews while another newcomer, Harry Sansbury who has joined us from Westcombe Park, is in the squad together with Freddie Edwards.
Head Coach Matt Corker says:. “It feels great to be returning home after a long trip on the road last week at North Walsham. After a slow start, we came out after half time and showed how we want to play, and what we are capable of. In a 20-minute period we scored 26 points, and although we did concede a few tries late on, we were proud of the way we turned the game in our favour and earned 5 points in the process.
“I am looking forward to welcoming our rugby neighbours, Tonbridge Juddians to The Marine Travel Ground on Saturday. They return to our league after a season in National 1 and will be full of ambition to return at the soonest opportunity. They will have learnt a lot from their experiences in the league above and I am expecting the match to be a physical encounter, just like all the previous games between these two proud clubs.”
Canterbury; A.Moss, G.Hilton, W.Waddington, T.Best, F.Morgan, C. Kingsman, B.Cooper, B.Young, N.Morris, D.Herriott, D.Irvine, J.Stephens (captain), H.Andrews, A.Evans, C.Murray;
Replacements: A.Cooper ,E.Lusher, H.Sansbury, F.Edwards, W.Calder
The National 2 East season got off to an intriguing start last week with defeats for Tonbridge Juddians and Worthing. With both clubs tipped to be strong title challengers those results, Judds losing at home to Rochford Hundred and Worthing away at Barnes, were a surprise. One game does, not, of course, define a whole season but it does suggest that this league is not going to be a walkover for any side. Worthing’s website put their defeat down to the absence of all their dual registered Harlequins players, none whom were available. Not a great advert for team building you might think Our own policy is now very much focused on producing young players through the club’s systems and surely that is the right way to go. One benefit of the revamped league set up was reduced travel. North Walsham away knocks that theory slightly on the head. The long trek to Norfolk last week was just like the bad old/good old days of National 2 South with the Summer festival of road works in full swing. Still, to play and win in front of a crowd of over 1000 made it worthwhile.
Last Saturday proved to be a good day for the Hilton brothers, Will and Guy. While Guy was strutting his stuff on the wing at North Walsham Will was playing a major role in St Lawrence and Highland Court cricket club’s successful title-winning promotion bid to reach the Kent League’s Premier division. Will, the team’s leading run scorer this season, added another half century to his total. For Guy, scoring our sixth try at North Walsham, it was a double celebration. As joint captain of St Lawrence & Highland Court second team he was able to dash back and join in the fun as his side also won promotion to the Second Team Premier division. For Will, it’s time now to ditch the whites and pull on the black and amber.