AFTER all the excitement of last weekend’s Ladies’ Day, this Saturday we made the long trip to Lydney RFC.
With the coach leaving the rugby ground at 8.30am, there were a few sleeping bags and pillows onboard.
It was important this week for us not to get too far ahead of ourselves, to get back to basics and do the little things right and to earn the right to go wide.
The side this week saw a few changes. Micky Pointing started at loosehead, with Charlie McGowan away, Finlay Coxon-Smith and Will Stutchbury formed the second row, Matt McLean was injured so Ben Dudley went to inside centre and Oli Luke started at fly-half. We also welcomed Liam Perkins and Iain Greenwood onto the bench for their first appearances for the Raiders.
The win this week was again based on solid defence, but that was by no means it.
Yes, we defended well and at times had to repel the Lydney attack for long periods, but we were also clinical in attack and took our chances well when we created them.
The final scoreline did give the impression of a closer game when in truth 23-13 was the more representative scoreline, with Lydney scoring in the last play of the game when we were down a man to the sin bin, to make it 23-18.
Lydney is a very tough place to go and get a result and this is a very pleasing win, especially when missing some players and we will take this confidence into next Saturday’s fixture.
So, this is the week when we begin our trio of games all against the top three teams in our league, two at home and one away.
First up, it’s a Jersey side making their first trip to the Rugby Park.
They are currently sitting in second place having beaten both the league leaders Ealing and Richmond, and fresh from the demolition of Newbury. We go into this game full of belief and confidence knowing that this will be an extremely tough fixture but one where we believe we can get a result.
Other wins from the weekend went to Ealing, Richmond, Southend, Clifton, Henley and Taunton and, as I have already said, Jersey.
With the challenge of this Saturday’s game, we would really appreciate as much support as possible and hope to see many of you at the Rugby Park, in good voice as always.
As a further attraction, the club is putting on a St Patrick’s Day event with a live band, Irish themed food, loads of Guinness and, of course, the England v Ireland game on a large screen.
It’s sure to be a great evening.