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National 2 South status

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Darth Raider View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Oct 2017 at 20:50
We have a few games under our collective belts now, so perhaps time for a thread to discuss our league as it continues to develop ?

Cinders went off at a tremendous rate and although their last few results represent something of a retrenchment, I still find it hard not to see them in one of the first two places ?  That said, very well done to Chinnor who MAY have exhibited the class that (I for one) have been expecting to see them use to march to the title.  Dave Winpenny will be looking to say goodbye to this league (at last!) Big smile  
 
Titans have been gifted a dream start by the fixtures secretary, so it is still difficult to know if they have the quality to challenge Chinnor or Cinders ?  They will certainly be up for it and full of confidence after their dream start.   I can't see them outside of the top 5 but wonder if over the full season, they can finish above Rams and perhaps, the free scoring City Side ?

The way the fixtures have worked out, it seems that at some point, we will all get to play Titans/Cinders/Chinnor and Rams in almost successive weeks.  This is not good for accumulating points but very good for accumulating injuries, as my own young team have found .  I think we lost five players to injury in the home game against Chinnor.....a very disciplined and physical outfit. They reminded me very much of a mid-table Nat1 outfit. 

Some erratic results (and not having seen them play yet) have left me with little understanding where the likes of BSE, Clifton and TJ's likely stand as regards longer term prospects.  
Many sides have not yet encountered the run of fixtures I mentioned earlier, from which they too, may exit with very few points and a depleted squad ?
 
The most interesting bit for me, is how the teams in the bottom half of the table are reacting.
The Geese, who already had an impactful back line, seem to have added  Charles Broughton (ex-scots ?)......they continue to score a lot of tries and if you let them have the ball they will hurt you.  Can't see them going down.

Barum seem to be making a fist of it again and with their big home crowd, it is hard to see them getting into trouble ?  
Redcliffians seem to have at least a couple of new(ish) and experienced players and appear much more competitive.....they should win a home game soon ?
 Broadstreet had their first win last week and seem to be bolstered by three Wasps DR's ?  
Wimbledon too seem to be getting more competitive, though whether this is through recruitment I do not know ?
Either way, the number of easily winnable games seems to be decreasing at a rate of knots. 

Statbunker has finally updated but is still at least one week out of date.  A brief perusal of scoring stats......and confessedly these are early days, shows that Hawks are again struggling to score tries. They seem to have retained the nucleus of a good pack, but be ineffective in the back line ?  I know that some favoured them as promotion candidates........but I suspect that unless they recruit aggressively, they will be in the bottom half of the table (sorry Nick ! Ouch)  Probably wrong.

My lot are down to 12th and have Cinders up next....a daunting prospect.  Our future, like many others will be dictated by injuries......not just volume, but if we lose key players.  If I had to bet though, there is a lot of young talent at the club and I think that we COULD finish as high as 8th TongueWink.  We will see.

No doubt it will be another great season and there will be more surprises to come .   It would be good to get any contributions from any of the new clubs posters ?  How are you finding it ?



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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: 13 Oct 2017 at 22:12
The run into Christmas will tell, but personally I have said since week 2 that I expect the bottom 3 to come from Wild Geese, Broadstreet, Old Redcliffians and Wimbledon.

Interesting what you say about all teams having the run of 4 or 5 very difficult sides at top of table, hadn't realised that but as Worthing are nearing the end of that run first time round I am feeling a little happier.

Have to agree, Chinnor were exceptional at Worthing and must be in the top 2. I suspect the other will either be Taunton or Cinderford.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2017 at 13:53
Darth - you mention everyone except Redruth. A Freudian slip or do you really just wish we didn't exist? Cry

For what it's worth when we have our first choice XV available we can compete with most but we lack depth and like most are struggling with injuries/unavailabilities. I would expect a top half finish for us with Chinnor topping the table and Taunton or Cinderford in the play offs. Hard to disagree with Raider on the bottom end.
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Darth Raider View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2017 at 21:08
No slight intended Redhead, rather an aged based omission.  Expect more while I last Tongue

FWIW, I have not seen Redruth this season......to my continuing shame, the Recreation Ground, along with Clifton, are the only two regular Nat2S grounds I have still to visit.....should have made it this year .
Just looking at results, in a league in which I have already said I think is at it's weakest for a very long time, Redruth seem to have gone slightly backwards, but this may be due to the injury issues you note.

I suspect they will finish above halfway.....6th to 8th perhaps ?  I was surprised by how tight the game was today at Merton Lane ?   I guess that Choppers must have won the forward battle ?  It is hard to restrain the City Side if they have any ball at all ?  A tight game ? 

999......I still don't agree with your selection of LIWG as relegation candidates....they have (for me) far too much in the way of tryscoring intention and ability to get drawn into a relegation battle.  Also, they too have already played Rams, Cinders and Chinnor and to be fair, did at least as well as us and sit level with us in the table at present.

I remain impressed with the spirited performances from the teams at the bottom of the table.  OK, Broadstreet got a bit of a cuffing at Rams, but that will happen to a lot of teams this year. 
The Dons ran Clifton very close and Redcliffians scored plenty of points, despite a heavy defeat.

TJ's must be (very early) candidates for team of the season ?  I guess they either scored all their tries right in the corner or their place kicker had an off day ?  4 tries to 3 in their favour at Thame is a hell of a result ?  I have not seen them yet but believe they are mostly about a big and dominant pack ?  Any comments from game attendees much appreciated.  Very well done either way.

I watched Cinders today at the Rugby Park and remain confused.  I don't know if the rested/rotated or what , but they looked very much the same to me as last year, but with more youth and dynamism in the back row.  They tried to chuck it about in the first half and (I thought) got outplayed.  They reverted to type in the second period and then dominated, but lacked a cutting edge.  Still a very good 5pts for them, but they were a lesser side than I had built up in my mind.     



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markk848 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 09:23
Firstly, i just wanted to say it is great to read the few posts from the passionate Raiders fans on here, it is a shame there are not more contributors for the N2S section, but thank you for your summaries and thoughts - much appreciated and great to read. 

From a Cinderford perspective they are proving to be a frustration at the moment.  They seemed very blase after the Henley match, and have been a bit muddled since.  Firstly they rested a lot of players for LIWG, which nearly backfired, they battled hard but nearly came unstuck against the Rams, and then they were unlucky with injuries against Chinnor - but were outplayed on the day.  

I do think from my personal perspective that the changes were too much, and have unsettled and messed with what looked a very strong side.  

Yesterday, after the Chinnor result last week, they had 7 changes from the Chinnor starting line up.  Three players who were marked as the second coming after the Henley match found themselves in the 2nds, and 3 young Gloucester D/Rs played their first game.  Again it seems they were lucky to come through a match that they were behind in for pretty much the entire 80 minutes.

Maybe it is good that they are scraping wins with players missing and injured, but i have always been an advocate of keeping a winning team together.  That being said, i am not a coach....so who knows!  


Edited by markk848 - 15 Oct 2017 at 09:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wigwam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 11:03
Have to say that while I am sure cinderford will be a top five side they do not look like a team that will challenge for top spot. They were totally outplayed for much of the game at worthing yesterday and were a tad lucky to get the win. The last poster spoke of rested players well Worthing 'rested' two of their own yesterday and I suspect will be kicking themselves that these players were not on the bench at least. Three points lost maybe. But in saying that I would have taken two before play started.

Edited by Wigwam - 15 Oct 2017 at 11:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markk848 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 11:16
I don't Cinderford rested players yesterday, I think they dropped them, as all played for the seconds at Cambridge!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 11:24
Who played well fighting back to salvage 2 points against a very strong Cambridge 2nd XV which featured several 1st team regulars, including James Ayrton playing his first game back from injury.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wigwam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 12:30
Originally posted by markk848 markk848 wrote:

I don't Cinderford rested players yesterday, I think they dropped them, as all played for the seconds at Cambridge!


Just being polite in saying 'rested'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatbear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 13:55
I was impressed with TJs yesterday. It was pretty even in the forwards and pretty even in the backs.  Their balding fly half made a big difference when he came on in the second half, and the scrum half seemed to be everywhere. They won all their lineout ball.
Chinnor "rested" Goss and Goodfellow after the win at Cinders.
 
Three of TJs tries were close to the corner, and they hit the post with the other whereas Bentley converted all his kicks and a penalty, one being a superb effort from close to the touch-line.
 
It says a lot that with TJs leading 15-14 with about 20 minutes to go, Chinnor decided to kick a penalty to regain the lead rather than go for the corner. A try shortly after that gave a 9 point buffer but the last 3 or 4 minutes were a bit nervy but play was kept in TJs half.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatbear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 13:55
Have Redruth slipped back to their old ways of win at home, lose away ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 13:57
Originally posted by fatbear fatbear wrote:

Have Redruth slipped back to their old ways of win at home, lose away ?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Hawks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 14:01
Well Darth, we picked up a try bonus win yesterday, so a well deserved 5 pts to climb up the table!! With Wimbledon away next week we might get another, but they have been very unlucky with their results so far!!
I think it's will be a two horse race with Taunton and Chinnor gunning for the line!!

Edited by The Hawks - 15 Oct 2017 at 14:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2017 at 21:35
Hi Nick......I will wait to see Titans play Chinnor, Cinders or Rams before I make my mind up on where I think they will finish.......instinct tells me 4th, though I know they look much better than that at present and maybe 3rd after watching Cinderfords selection policy at work this week.  Why would any coach CHOOSE to make 7/8 changes to a winning side ?   It is highly likely that I am a no-nothing buffoon and the coach knows exactly what he is doing, but it does seem bizarre, to me at least.  Also something of a luxury to have that many players.......a very positive thing for the Foresters over the course of our long season. Best of luck to them either way.

As to Hawks.....well done on the narrow home win over Barum,  but I reckon my lot will finish above you this year (narrowly Wink)) ........I'll buy you a pint or two if I'm wrong.......we'll probably start with 5pts at your place in December LOL   Will you be there ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steviewonder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2017 at 10:20
I think the fact Cinderford made so many changes and despite playing poorly managed to overturn a 12 point deficit away from home shouldn't be overlooked. The ability to come back and win when playing poorly demonstrates a mental toughness that is needed to challenge at the top. 

I still believe Chinnor will win this League with Cindeford and Taunton fighting for 2nd place.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2017 at 12:54
Fair point Stevie and the 15/20 players wearing the Cinders shirt on Saturday did battle for 80mins for their win.
But I remain curious as to why (apparently)  eight changes were made after the Dry Leas rampage and then seven more after the Chinnor game ?   I think we all understand the concepts of rest and rotation in a long Nat2S season (if you have the squad),  but it must be hard to create an cohesive team unit with that degree of change ?   It just seemed strange and worthy of comment.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @boatyjames Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2017 at 13:20
Hello all. Wimbledon RFC reporting in!

We have managed to have a very successful form of squad rotation by averaging 3 serious injuries a game since 1 September!

View on the league - not much more talented but BIGGER!

We are hopeful of our first win on Saturday..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markk848 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2017 at 13:32
My understand of the Cinderford changes is that after the Henley match they wanted to rest players, some of who were carrying small knocks, for the supposedly less challenging LIWG match, in readiness for the Rams and Chinnor matches.  You could argue this failed as they only just squeezed by the Rams and then lost to Chinnor. 

The 7 changes this weekend were more of a mystery, with many key players from the Henley match demoted to the 2nds.  They performed well for the seconds, but my understanding on this one is that some of the First XV were getting a little too comfortable so they decided to mix things up - also nearly backfiring!!  



Edited by markk848 - 16 Oct 2017 at 16:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2017 at 14:27
The fruit filter strikes again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2017 at 16:44
Originally posted by @boatyjames @boatyjames wrote:

Hello all. Wimbledon RFC reporting in!

We have managed to have a very successful form of squad rotation by averaging 3 serious injuries a game since 1 September!

View on the league - not much more talented but BIGGER!

We are hopeful of our first win on Saturday..



I think as you move up each level the players do get bigger and faster.

I understand what you mean by not much more talented as there are without doubt a number of players at level 5 who could be level 4 players (perhaps they like standing out at the lower level?)

Additionally, because of the physicality you allude to the number of injuries is higher, meaning the big budget clubs fare better as they can afford to have bigger squads.

The weekend's paper ran an article about the injuries in the Premiership suggesting the number of subs is to blame as players can bulk up as half of them will never do 80 minutes.
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