Chinnor will aiming to become the first side to inflict a defeat on league leaders Cinderford this weekend as two of the top three sides clash at Dockham Road in Round Six.
Cinderford start the game two points clear of Chinnor with both sides beginning October unbeaten while second placed Taunton Titans will be keeping abreast of proceedings in Gloucestershire when they take on Worthing Raiders at Hyde Park.
In-form Canterbury and Bury St Edmunds both face tough away trips and at the wrong end of the division, Broadstreet and London Irish Wild Geese clash in the Midlands. Elsewhere, Tonbridge Juddians host Redingensians, Clifton go to Barnstaple and Old Redcliffians will be aiming for their first win of the campaign at home against Henley Hawks.
Cinderford v Chinnor
It is Halloween at the end of this month, but we begin October with a treat in National Two South as league leaders Cinderford welcome Chinnor to Dockham Road. The hosts ended September with five wins from five, but that record looked in doubt last weekend against Redingensians until James Moffat landed a last-gasp penalty to snatch the points for Paul Morris’ men.
The Gloucestershire side look like they are on a mission to return to National One following relegation in 2016 and another side with ambitions of playing third tier rugby are Chinnor. Matt Williams’ men missed out on a top two finish by the finest of margins last term and the Oxfordshire outfit mean business once again this season. After a draw with Clifton on the opening day, Chinnor have flown through their last four games to leave them just two points off Cinderford and with both sides currently unbeaten this term, this should be a top of the table cracker on Saturday.
Taunton Titans v Worthing Raiders
Taunton Titans will certainly have an eye on proceedings at Cinderford this weekend, but Tony Yapp and his side will be fuly focused on their own job as they welcome Worthing Raiders to Hyde Park. Last weekend, the Titans produced a professional and commanding display against rivals Redruth to once again highlight their possible promotion credentials this term and they will be hoping for a similar outcome tomorrow.
Taunton have won all five of their games so far this term and have lost just four of their last 18 matches on home soil so the task that faces the Raiders is a tough one. After an excellent start to the campaign, Jody Levett’s men have been unable to build on their two victories this term and head to Somerset on the back of three straight defeats. After losing to Chinnor, it’s another top side that awaits Worthing, but they will believe they can cause an upset this weekend.
Wimbledon v Canterbury
Having already mentioned the top three sides, another coach who would have been very pleased last Saturday evening is Andy Pratt. His Canterbury team currently sit fourth in the table following four straight wins. Their only defeat this term has come again table toppers Cinderford and the City Men may well fancy their chances of extending their winning run to five matches when they travel to Wimbledon this weekend.
In contrast, Wimbledon are craving a win. The newly promoted side are yet to triumph at this level following promotion in May, but by all accounts, their play has justified a victory. Their attacking style as not gone unnoticed and if they continue that way, then they will surely reap the rewards sooner, rather than later. The southwest London side will be hoping that their maiden win is just around the corner.
Redruth v Bury St Edmunds
Like Canterbury, Bury St Edmunds’ season is certainly heading in the right direction. Under the new stewardship of Ollie Smith and Kevin Maggs, things got off to the worst possible start for Bury as they were humbled by Tonbridge Juddians, but the Wolfpack hit back in style. Four successive wins has seen them move up to fifth in the table and now they take the lengthy trip to Cornwall confident that they can get a result against a strong Redruth side.
The hosts finished last year in fifth place and three wins from five matches is a solid enough start for Pale Nonu’s side. The Reds suffered a defeat against Taunton Titans last weekend so they will be itching for a response back at the Recreation Ground, where all three of their aforementioned victories have come this season.
Tonbridge Juddians v Redingensian
After wins over Bury St Edmunds, Clifton and Henley Hawks, last weekend’s defeat against London Irish Wild Geese would have been tough to take for Tonbridge Juddians. The newcomers to the division will be satisfied with the start they have made as they currently sit seventh in the table, but they will want to put last Saturday’s disappointing performance behind them as they look to clinch their second home win of the term.
TJs may have felt deflated on Saturday evening, but no other side in National Two South would have been more disappointed than Redingensians. They were moments away from inflicting a first defeat of the season on Cinderford, but despite a superb performance, they came away from Dockham Road without maximum points. On the flip side, the Rams can take so many positive from last week’s defeat and if they put in the same kind of display tomorrow, then Redingensians will certainly have a much more enjoyable trip home this time around.
Barnstaple v Clifton
Clifton secured a win last weekend against local rivals Old Redcliffians to end the month on a positive note. It was an assured performance from Darren Lloyd’s men who head to Devon this Saturday on the back of successive victories. The Lavender and Blacks also beat Broadstreet in their last away match so they will be aiming for something similar this weekend.
But, Pottington Road isn’t an easy place to go and get a result. Last season, eight of Barnstaple’s nine wins came on their own turf and so far, they have already picked up a victory at home this term. Steve Perry’s side began the season strongly, but have now lost their last three games so Barum will be aiming to start October in the same way they kicked off September.
Old Redcliffians v Henley Hawks
Henley Hawks certainly ended September on the up. A superb win at home to Broadstreet was exactly what the doctor order for Pete Davies’ side who arrested a run of three straight defeats. Henley now take the trip to Bristol to face another one of the newly promoted sides as they aim for back to back wins for the first time since April.
While Henley will be confident heading into Round Six, their hosts will be wondering what they can do to claim their first win of the campaign. The ORs have suffered five consecutive defeats following promotion in the summer and unfortunately, they are showing no signs of putting a stop to the rot. Saul Nelson’s side will looking to forget about September and start fresh this month as they go in search of their maiden win in National Two South.
Broadstreet v London Irish Wild Geese
Reading the match report from last weekend, it seemed that London Irish Wild Geese’s first victory of the season was built on a superb defensive effort and clinical finishing against Tonbridge Juddians. It was a much needed win for the men from Hazlewood, who stayed in this division by the skin of their teeth last term.
Next up for the Geese is their second newly promoted side in a row as they take the trip north to take on Broadstreet. The Midlands side have certainly been close to breaking their duck for this season following promotion last May, with narrow defeats coming against Clifton and Bury St Edmunds in each of their last two home games. With the amount of travelling Paul Hurst’s side have to do this term, you expect them to be stronger at Ivor Preece Field and they will be hoping another positive showing at home can lead to their first ever victory in this division.
Darlington Mowden Park produced an excellent month of rugby in September to seal five straight bonus-point win and they will be keen to stay at the summit following the first weekend of October.
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