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National 2 East Prospects

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Darth Raider View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 Feb 2024 at 11:09
Great to see NW continue to rack up the try count......shame they could not have begun this run a couple of months back ?
As regards the relegation battle, things might be getting very slightly simpler.  Newport in the West still have only 22pts with 7 games left, so we MIGHT assume that 2 teams will go down from that league. Which means by extrapolation, that three out of four will go down from the East and North combined. 
Both Wimbledon and Worthing are on 33pts from 19 games.....fantastic away win for the Wombles as mentioned above.  And Billingham and Ionians both are on 27pts from 19.  Still nip and tuck then !
I have n't yet looked at all of the remaining fixtures....but in the East....our two contenders have some tough fixtures remaining and indeed, playing each other near the end !  Could be a huge game that.

Both Barnes and the Dorks managed good wins in tough fixtures to try and maintain pressure on the leaders, but I suspect Esher will need quite a stumble if they are to be caught ?
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sweatysock View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweatysock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2024 at 22:19
Remains very precarious at the bottom, especially with Wimbledon's excellent win on the road. At moment the "best loser" spot looks to be in the east division, but that can change. At top Esher remain favourites
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Happy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2024 at 19:40
Walsham were excellent today the adventurous rugby really is difficult to counter
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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 Feb 2024 at 19:01
Yay!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2024 at 21:22
We had a lot more injuries last season. Two players had head injuries pre-Christmas but only one was a poor tackle. We have 3 or 4 out with long-term injuries but only one would have been a regular starter. With players recovering our second team has started 2024 with wins where we lost earlier in the season. Our coaches worked very hard on adjusting tackle techniques and it seems to have paid off
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honestinjun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2024 at 19:30
One thing that has been on my mind since my recent post above, are you all seeing more injuries this season than last?  further to the point I made earlier this week, we have lost three first choice fly halves since the end of December, all to dislocated shoulders, all tackling opponents,  I am sure some might say this is down to poor tackle technique, but these were all experienced players, seems an unlikely coincidence don’t you think? Our DOR is convinced it is directly attributable to the new tackle height laws… just curious about what is going on elsewhere…and what people think.
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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 Feb 2024 at 12:10
Hi Injun.....my lot have played both the high scoring City Side and the battling Islanders of late.  If the Goose Poo Green title challenge is to be maintained, your lads will need to be on their mettle to get anything out of either game.  Just two more very decent sides in this year's very competitive league. 
Very good win at the Big Field though.....that helps a lot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honestinjun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2024 at 17:38
Hi Darth, Barnes are continuing to win ugly, it was a pretty poor performance yesterday against a Westcombe Park side who hassled HRD, and successfully prevented Barnes from settling, we are also ravaged by long term injuries, no excuses really from me as all clubs have them, however, last season we hardly had any long term injuries, this time around we have a whole team of players who are unlikely to return to the pitch this season…this leads to a lack of continuity and experience when players step up from the 2’s, thank god we have a 2nd XV competing in that tough Halbro Raging Bull league, it is an incredibly important part of our strategy to try players out, and boy have we needed them to be tested early. I predict more ugly scraps against Canterbury and Guernsey over the next couple of weeks…both nasty looking banana skins if you ask me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2024 at 11:42
I was at the Rugby Park yesterday too......and agree with Sweaty.  For me, Guernsey were much the better side and it was a mystery how they went into oranges so far behind Confused  We only got into their 22 three times I believe, but managed to score on each occasion.  That coupled with lengthy periods of excellent defence on our own tryline gave an 21-7 interval lead.  We hardly got out of our own half after HT as the islanders slowly moved into the lead.  I don't think we managed to put the ball through hands until the last minute, when an excellent move down our right flank brought about the last gasp try and two bonus points....most welcome.  Clap  Any possession we did win we seemed to kick straight back to them. 
As far as the situation at the bottom of the three leagues is now concerned, with 8 games to go:
Wimbledon 28pts  Worthing 32pts
Billingham 26pts  Ionians 27pts
Newport 22pts

Nervy times for all teams involved. Ouch

Elsewhere.....although Barnes don't seem to be quite the force they were earlier in the season, the top three remain in a good competition.  Esher still clear favourites for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Golden Jackal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2024 at 10:29
Often happens and good to see refs picking up on players putting a cheap shot on someone as they are in the act of scoring... Not sure if it warrants a pen at the re start....Example when a Pen Try is awarded a player can often recieve a yellow but the game re starts as normal....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweatysock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2024 at 09:37
I watched the Worthing v Guernsey game yesterday, and was impressed by Guernsey who had the lion's share of territory and possession. A last minute try enabled Worthing to take 2 points from the game, which they scarcely deserved.

A question for you all - when Worthing scored that try, a Guernsey player was yellow carded for late challenge on the scorer. Shouldnt Worthing have been awarded a penalty or isnt that possible if time has elapsed?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oyster Catcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2024 at 15:52
I am certainly in agreement with Shamrose and Darth Raider's comments above.
This week (20) is especially difficult to predict. One could make a winning case for all 14 teams with this set of fixtures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2024 at 11:27
I suspect doughnuts abound Shamrose Ouch   Most weeks I might as well just toss a coin ?  For me at least, this has been the most difficult season to predict, though I never find it easy  ConfusedTongue  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamrose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2024 at 11:38
A very mixed set of results and i got a donut in the tipping for the first time everCry

Sevenoaks have been there or thereabouts and they impressed me at Dorking so not a total surprise

It seems NW are now determind to throw the ball about and score points rather than be whipping boys

There are really no bad teams in this division so still wide open
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2024 at 17:49
29-26 I think Sweaty......but very much agree on the much needed front.  Also very interestingly...me and some others had been assigning games against NW as an automatic 5pts ConfusedEmbarrassed  Well they seem to be on quite a roll now and an away draw today has done the Wombles no favours.....and they have yet to travel to Norwich Rd.....which MIGHT be good news for our lot ?  Also out of interest.....NW have not had a home game since 16/12 last year.....so the points garnered of late have all been on the road.  Good for them Clap

By contrast.....the away win for the islanders stretches them away ?  We have them at home next week...so therein lies another opportunity to create a bit of a gap.

Lastly.....our potential opponents in the relegation battle from the West and the North made little or no progress today  TongueWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Happy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2024 at 17:38
Walsham get the draw !! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweatysock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2024 at 16:33
last minute penalty gives Worthing a much needed win (27-24)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2024 at 18:00
Esher’s game in hand doesn’t get played until 20th April - sandwiched between home to Dorking and away to Barnes. So we need to keep winning through the next few weeks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thatbloke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2024 at 11:59
If I could just throw into that Wimbledon have Nth Walsham home and away so you can probably add a "free" 10 points to their tally which might see them pull clear of the bottom two places
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2024 at 11:26
I appreciate that there is a good way to go, but if Esher get a decent win from their game in hand they are 9pts clear of Barnes.....who are not in great form at the mo ?  Seems very likely indeed to me, that Esher will deservedly go on to win it. 
It sounds like NW are chucking it about a bit then ?  Good for them Clap  Perhaps their attacking intent will bring them a few wins towards the end.  

The way the level 4 leagues look atm, it seems likely that it will be a very tight competition to get the benefit of that best 13th position.  Currently:
West   Newport P 16 Pts 23
East  Wimbledon 16/24  Worth  16/25
North  Ionians/Billingham  16/23

2 out of 3 go down....EEK
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