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N3 LSE Predictions Week 14

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Kentish Odd balls View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kentish Odd balls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2018 at 08:58
Decided to pop along to Wimbledon yesterday as I was “in that direction” in the evening anyway.

Firstly can I say, Wimbledon...lovely hosts, good grub and great beer. Everything you need when the weather was like it was yesterday.

Onto the two teams, fair play to both. Despite the score line, both teams trying to play some decent rugby. From my perspective, I think Dons will consider that their “get out of jail” game. Second half especially, Wells were dominant. Only some resolute (and top) defence on the line from the Dons kept Wells our numerous times. I was very surprised that Dons didn’t use the strong wind second half to pin Wells back. Still, that’s why they are league leaders. They can see out games like that. And credit to them.

Whilst Dons had more scrums go their way, it certainly wasn’t one way traffic. I think I counted 2 against the for the Dons and 1 for Wells. Dons got a couple of pens but I think Wells should have a couple second half. Lineouts I think Wells just edged. It was a great battle between the two packs.

As for Wells, if they can play like they did yesterday in their remaining games then we will see maybe the Wells of last year emerge.

Have a good Christmas all and see you in the new year!
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secondrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote secondrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2018 at 12:51
I went to Wimbledon last week, and rather hope they get promoted so I dont have to go there again, awful place to get to from Hertford, more supporters from Hertford than Wimbledon, pitch far away from the club house. Not helped I guess by the dreadful weather.

Yesterday I went to a proper rugby club, Shelford though I do baulk at paying £10 to get in (at least Wimbledon was free!) . Shelford did not look a bottom place club, I think they may have got some players back from injury and I did overhear somebody say that they have got some loan players from Cambridge. They scored three tries in open play, while Hertford scored 7 tries, 4 of them from 5 meter lineouts, 2 from driving mauls and  1 from a pushover scrum. Weather of course was dreadful but I hope that Shelford pick up some wins soon, as its not only a good club, but easy and close for us to get to! 
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Dangerous Dave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dangerous Dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 09:23
I have finally thawed out after what was a bitter day at Aviation Way. Trench Foot, I feel like the result should do your talking for you!

We were well and truly hammered on a day where Westcliff bullied us up front, adapted to the weather conditions much better and didn't let up all game. A great effort. The support was certainly noisy, bordering on boisterous - those bloody terráces are such an advantage for the home alacadoos. The one and only positive of my day was indeed the (ironically kentish) Spitfire ale, clear, crisp, everything you could possibly want. 9/10 - would be 10 but i'm still smarting from the shut out. 

Bruce (thank you!) was correct in his statement that i haven't made any outlandish predictions, however its Christmas, and having seen everyone, now seems a perfect time...

Top 2 - Although I certainly wasn't blown away by Wimbledon, I feel they have the strongest scrum and mauling game, although their results haven't been that impressive lately, with the weather turning for the next few months I think they're going to be the team to beat. The other 2, could be anybody in the top 8 its that close. Im blown away by S&E's form this year, it shows you the power of good coaching, but feel like their pack may struggle. I can 100% see one of the older guard, potentially either Dorking and Hertford nipping in there, both have a good all round games and know what it takes to win in this league. Of course I suppose Westcliff, have to be considered, but then again I predict Sidcup will most likely run the table with 5 point wins every week which puts us back in the frame. I dare to dream Wink

Bottom 3 - It will be interesting to see if these reported loanees make a difference at Shelford, for me they're already down unfortunately. After them who knows, Bedford seem to good to drop down, likewise RTW who i expect to climb the league in months to come. I think it may unfortunately be the new boys CS and Chingford that go down. Whatever happens, its been a great start to a fantastically open league.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts, and inevitably being proven wrong too!
DD
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Thames Estuary Man View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thames Estuary Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 13:26
DD, I’m glad you enjoyed your beer at Aviation Way. The weather conditions were testing to say the least, but a big crowd for the Christmas lunch hopefully gave the clubhouse a warm atmosphere. I enjoyed the company on the balcony during the game of the Sidcup ‘Jolly boys outing’ and I hope they had a fun stay over in Southend. Hopefully next season when we have moved to our new clubhouse, the longer / wider balcony there will be even more noisy bordering boisterous (without anyone overstepping the mark).

The top is tight and I imagine it’s the same for all clubs, where two or three key injuries / unavailabilities makes the difference between winning and losing close games. Therefore some good fortune is needed to come out on top. Wimbledon & S&E are there on merit so must be favourites but it wouldn’t shock me if Dorking or Hertford made a move.
I’ve only seen Shelford, Brentwood and CS once each, but none of these impressed me so I’ll predict they go down.

It’s certainly been a great league so far, and we enjoyed being top for a couple of weeks. Here’s hoping the second half of the season is equally enjoyable.

Merry Xmas all.



Edited by Thames Estuary Man - 17 Dec 2018 at 18:26
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Maskedchicken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maskedchicken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 17:11
Dorking are 13 points off and I think that is a huge gap to close when you are trying to catch teams who win most weeks. Hertford certainly are difficult to beat at home, have a little money behind them and might have the ambition that others don’t (and hence don’t surprisingly lose come the final months!) What ambition do S&E have?

As for the bottom, I think CS will have enough when the conditions dry up to win enough games. It certainly seems like Brentwood are now struggling. Is this to do with injuries at this higher level and the lack of depth so many new teams suffer from? Chingford probably need some wins while the conditions are bad and I can see them turning over S&E at home in early January to kick start 2 or 3 wins. It will be close down there and a few late in the season surprise wins against less ambitious top 4 teams might swing it!

A funny season!
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@boatyjames View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @boatyjames Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 18:06
Dear Second Row.
Whilst I agree that we have generally fair weather supporters and even if they all turn up they are not as numerous as those regularly attending Hoe Lane I do find the inference that we are not a "proper rugby club" a little wide of the mark.
We run 4 senior sides and this Saturday our top three teams played Tunbridge Wells, Cinderford 2's and Sutton & Epsom 2's, winning 2 and losing the other.
We have always been a players club not a supporter's club, the town side not the Old Hertfordians, and possibly don't get the same loyal support because of that.
I look forward to making the return - equally tricky - journey to Ware in April when I will be available to discuss further!
Cheers
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@boatyjames View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @boatyjames Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 18:06
Dear Second Row.
Whilst I agree that we have generally fair weather supporters and even if they all turn up they are not as numerous as those regularly attending Hoe Lane I do find the inference that we are not a "proper rugby club" a little wide of the mark.
We run 4 senior sides and this Saturday our top three teams played Tunbridge Wells, Cinderford 2's and Sutton & Epsom 2's, winning 2 and losing the other.
We have always been a players club not a supporter's club, the town side not the Old Hertfordians, and possibly don't get the same loyal support because of that.
I look forward to making the return - equally tricky - journey to Ware in April when I will be available to discuss further!
Cheers
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secondrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote secondrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 23:32
James,
The tricky journey to Wimbledon was made much worse as after driving the 80 odd miles round the M25 the sign to the club was pointing in the wrong direction which caused me further anxt, as I then got lost, and had to ask a number of people where the ground was, unfortunately the first half dozen people who I spoke to had never heard of the rugby club. 

Anyway apologies if I inferred that by saying that Shelford were a proper rugby club that Wimbledon wasnt, Shelford do have facilities that most clubs at our level can only aspire too and it is a shame that they havent got a team to match. You will also have an advantage over me in that when you visit Hoe Lane I assume you can stay overnight with your parents, and of course in April the sun will be shining, not the freezing rain of a couple of weeks ago.
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