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Nat 2 South early predictions and Rumours

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Clueless like most View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 May 2019 at 14:35
So 10 weeks or so with nothing to do but speculate. We are not sure but the level transfer looks to be Hinkley again. They are a mid table Nat 2 side so does this make them relegation material? For what it is worth and that is nothing here are my pre-pre-early season predictions.

Top 5 not in order as that would be way too bold. (3rd place has been promoted the past 2 seasons so Henley and TJs finished equal 3rd on points. Could the winners be one of them?)

1. Esher. They should fare better than Old Albanians did win they took the drop. They will be in for a shock when they meet other ambitious teams listed below.
2. TJs. Season 3 in the league and they are now a top 5 side for sure. They are scoring tries and if they hold on to that squad with a few new signings up front, they will be up there. They beat every team in the league and beat Taunton and Henley home and away. They lost just the once at home to Rams. They will need to be more disciplined winning the yellow card table last season.
3. Henley. Will be keen to keep that squad together. They finished on equal on points with TJs just a single point off the play off game although TJs won more games than them and Canterbury. Both of these teams will keep Esher on their toes and will be in the mix for sure.
4. I'm going to go for an improving Old Albanians here. They beat the Rams (As did TJs) but they could not cover a load of injuries mid season. If they stay healthy, I think they will be up there next season.
5. Another bolter for me. I think Tauntons team is a bit passed it's promotion chance. Too many nearly seasons may well give them nightmares when things get close. My call is an improving young worthing team if they can sustain injuries and playing away.

The Bottom 3

I am brave enough to call this one

Last place Westcliff. I am sure they will have a great time but to play Nat 2, They will be drained of funds, and the long journeys and injuries will take a heavy toll. 30 games plus 2 or 3 warm up games will be too much for a runner up London team.

Second from bottom. Sutton and Epsom  You just need to see the 1000+ points conceded by Guernsey to know This is a step too far unless the ex Esher coach can pull off some magic and draft in 7 or so players with greater experience.

Last relegation slot for me will be Old Reds. Two years of scraping by might just come to an end this season but the battle may well be with Dings for survival.

Ohh well enjoy the shopping trips and DIY. Not long left before pre season. 





Edited by Clueless like most - 07 May 2019 at 14:48
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Raider999 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2019 at 21:51
I would say the top spot will be between

Esher, Henley and TJs

As for the bottom 3 - not knowing anything at all about Westcliff or Sutton & Epsom I expect them to struggle unless they have money.

As for the 14th place

Bournemouth, back at this level - I spotted a couple of Bournemouth people at Worthing v Taunton, were they scouts or just rugby supporters wanting to watch good flowing rugby - I know not, could have enough to stay up

Hinckley - again I know little about them

Old Reds - usually pick up enough points at home to survive

Dings - have the advantage of a plastic pitch at home

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clueless like most Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2019 at 14:49
Good call on Bournemouth but I think I will stick to Old Reds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chinese dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2019 at 16:22
The three promoted sides are definitely going to be up against it, as it is obviously a huge step up in quality, and the depth of squads will be sorely tested, however the one sided play off result suggests to me that the LSE league may well have been stronger than the SW league which could make Bournemouth favourite for the drop.
Westcliff rely on home grown talent and it's rumoured they may have lost a couple of players to the ambitious Rochford, my own club Sutton also gained promotion with a relatively small squad, but the best bit of pre season business we've done is retaining the coaching team of Mike Schmidt (Ex Rotherham & Canada) and Paul Hodgson (Ex London Irish & England). I have heard nothing from the club as yet but I think we're all hoping Paul may still have contacts at Irish so as to introduce some dual registered players to bolster our squad. No illusions from us about how tough next season will be, but we're going to enjoy the ride, already planning some away trips. Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2019 at 19:48
Originally posted by chinese dave chinese dave wrote:


The three promoted sides are definitely going to be up against it, as it is obviously a huge step up in quality, and the depth of squads will be sorely tested, however the one sided play off result suggests to me that the LSE league may well have been stronger than the SW league which could make Bournemouth favourite for the drop.
Westcliff rely on home grown talent and it's rumoured they may have lost a couple of players to the ambitious Rochford, my own club Sutton also gained promotion with a relatively small squad, but the best bit of pre season business we've done is retaining the coaching team of Mike Schmidt (Ex Rotherham & Canada) and Paul Hodgson (Ex London Irish & England). I have heard nothing from the club as yet but I think we're all hoping Paul may still have contacts at Irish so as to introduce some dual registered players to bolster our squad. No illusions from us about how tough next season will be, but we're going to enjoy the ride, already planning some away trips. Beer


I hope to make the Sutton & Epsom v Worthing match, always try to go to as many as possible - especially places I've not been before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clueless like most Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 06:31
DRs are not a good way to go if you read some of the discussions on RM. They tend to play without training much if at all. They upset the rest of the players too. I think there will be another big split in the league this year as the bottom seems to be getting weaker year on year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chinese dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 09:06
C.L.M. although there may be some truth in your statement, the success of dual registered players can be positive if the players are motivated and the clubs handle them properly, Joe Marler, Joe Marchant and James Chisholm were all very popular and committed during their spells with Worthing, and my own son who was also on loan at Worthing stayed for a further five seasons after being released by Quins because he loved the club.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 12:20
Originally posted by chinese dave chinese dave wrote:


C.L.M. although there may be some truth in your statement, the success of dual registered players can be positive if the players are motivated and the clubs handle them properly, Joe Marler, Joe Marchant and James Chisholm were all very popular and committed during their spells with Worthing, and my own son who was also on loan at Worthing stayed for a further five seasons after being released by Quins because he loved the club.


Have to agree CD - we have had a number of others recently who have also given their all for the Raiders. Can only think of 1 who didn't.

DRs can be a good thing at N2 level where they are strictly limited, the downside is that they are often unavailable due to A team commitments and you don't always get players in the positions you might like.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clueless like most Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 14:03
I also think that some of the 19 year olds released to clubs, are not actually good enough yet to be starters at Nat 2. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Surreyben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 16:22
I suspect Sutton & Epsom have a reasonable chance of staying up next season - excellent coaching staff with good contacts and they often pull in some good players. 

I also suspect Barnes will finish top half next season.

Top three - Esher, Tonbridge Juddians/Henley Hawks (not sure which way round they will come).

Bottom three - Westcliff, Old Redcliffians, Dings Crusaders/Bournemouth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Friendly prop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 18:19
Originally posted by Surreyben Surreyben wrote:

I suspect Sutton & Epsom have a reasonable chance of staying up next season - excellent coaching staff with good contacts and they often pull in some good players. 

I also suspect Barnes will finish top half next season.

Top three - Esher, Tonbridge Juddians/Henley Hawks (not sure which way round they will come).

Bottom three - Westcliff, Old Redcliffians, Dings Crusaders/Bournemouth.
Interesting you think Bournemouth will be in the bottom 3 after their convincing winning of SW3 losing only 1 match. Do you think there is such a massive gulf between levels?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Hawks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 19:12
Now my 5p worth!!

Top 3:

Esher/Henley/TJ’s

Bottom 3:

Westcliffe, Bournemouth, Dings

When Bournemouth were here last they went straight back down. It was a close call, but I have a feeling that Sutton will stay up just along with Old Reds,

Enjoy your summer everyone, enjoying the lovely sun down here in Cornwall, living the dream!!
'Go The Hawks!'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2019 at 23:11
i've come to this a bit late......much to respond to.

1.  Nick......i will offer you 2p for your opinion......generous I think Wink
2. Bournemouth......are a bit of a yo-yo side IMO.......been up twice before and straight back down.  Can't remember which posters said what.....but in my experience the side promoted from the SW is consistently weaker than its SE equivalent.....evidenced perhaps, by the playoff result again this year ?
Hence I place Bournemouth last despite their great record last year. 
3.  I also cannot see past the promoted sides as potential relegation candidates.  Where i will diverge is with Old Reds......who I think are a decent side but with three or four very good players.  If they keep them all I think they will easily stay up......also if these players stay fit.  Personally, I thought that Bird on the wing, young Hewitt at 10, Ethan Doyle at 8 and a lad called something like Pursall at 4, might all have had a case for being in a best of our league side.  Apologies to Reds fans if I have these names wrong.....I;ve seen them play 4 times now and they are very good. 
4.  Given their resources and ambition, I place TJ's as favourites for the title.  Hawks look good too and have a good rcord of getting out of this league and may get second, despite losing home and away against the mighty Raiders next year TongueWink  In many ways you expect the team coming down to be favourites, but history shows that they nearly always struggle with the competitiveness in our league.  
Esher may buck that trend if they keep their squad together ?
5.  999......if the Crawley boys visit Sutton and Epsom......two things.....firstly get your SATNAV sorted up front and secondly, unless things have changed, if you want a beer, get a couple of trays and walk them out to the pitch, which as I recall, is about 7 miles from the clubhouse and bar (Old Hooker please also note.....carry Malbeq/Rioja). 
6.  i did have some other points......but i've forgotten them.  it's an age thing......ho hum.
7.  Oops.....yes.....agree that Titans are past their sell by date.  They have had a great run without quite getting over the line.....I suspect that that generation of players are coming tom an end now ?  
Will 'donkey' Kingdom continue ?  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chinese dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 07:44
A slight exaggeration Darth, our clubhouse and first team pitch is only separated by a pitch length, and we now have a little pop up bar by the stand selling tins and bottled beer, see you next season.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 12:49
It's probably just a Raiders thing Dave......there are a few of us who get a little anxious if there is too much distance between the rugby and and the bar Tongue  

It's been a long time since our two sides have been at the same level, so it will be good to watch your lot again.  I look forward to it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MCNRY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 13:04
It looks like with a change of management and relegation from National 1, Esher will lose a few of their top players, recruitment let them down last year, as to how they approach this year will be interesting. Expect a very open National 2 South race next season!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chinese dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 13:38
Rumours that the ex England and British Lion flanker Peter Winterbottom is to be involved in the revamped coaching team at Esher, can anyone from Esher confirm if this is true ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 13:47
I am not from Esher, but it is on their web site and was reported on the nat 1 forum earlier in the season.



Edited by Camquin - 13 May 2019 at 13:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatbear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 13:50
Peter Winterbottom was announced as DOR at Esher a few weeks ago. Talking to a few Esher supporters at their last home game of the season they are expecting their side to be significantly strengthened for next season as they seem to expect a return to Nat1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 18:26
Originally posted by chinese dave chinese dave wrote:


A slight exaggeration Darth, our clubhouse and first team pitch is only separated by a pitch length, and we now have a little pop up bar by the stand selling tins and bottled beer, see you next season.


CD - that's good to know - not sure who supplies your beer, but a few bottles of porter and/or stout (not Guinness) would go down well.

Not sure about Darth's satnav comment as he knows we normally go by train, doing lunch and a number of beers before, during and after the game.

Edited by Raider999 - 13 May 2019 at 18:28
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