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Friday Feeling – 1st April 2022

Last week’s ‘Friday Feeling’ featured an enjoyable chat with a few of Caldy’s more loquacious players and to bring some balance this week we chatted to Director of Rugby Gareth Davies (GD) together with some of the squad’s big hitters in Harrison Crowe (HC), Callum Ridgway (CR) and Tom Sanders (TS).

Did the Taunton game go to plan?

CR: “Not exactly! It was not the plan to play sevens, but we knew we had to counter Taunton’s wide game and the fast dry conditions suited them more than us. The conditions favoured the attacking side, and we took a while to adjust defensively”

HC: “Spring came early, and we certainly felt the pace, but we had more in the tank at the end than Taunton which allowed us to eventually move clear of them, but until then it was anyone’s game”

This week the Ravers will be playing on Rosslyn Park’s 3g artificial surface what challenges does that bring?

TS: “Obviously its faster so the big lads need to have better footwork in defence. Discipline at the breakdown is crucial because ball presentation can be awkward with the ball bouncing around. We will need to approach the set pieces differently as well. Feet placement and traction at the scrum is markedly improved which will allow us to generate more power but I am sure Rosslyn will have techniques to try and counter that.”

HC: “What I think you mean Crouchy is playing on 3g isn’t rugby as we know it! “

CR: “Last week’s game against Taunton on a fast hard Paton Field was almost like 3g so it has given us a little bit of preparation, but up front we have way more piano shifters than piano players, so it is going to be a challenge”

GD: “We are conscious of the challenge that Rosslyn Park’s game and 3g surface will present so we have had to mix things up for this week. The squad we will be taking to London will show a number of changes from previous weeks”

What are the changes and why?

GD:” Playing at the Rock against Rosslyn Park presents some unique challenges. We thought it was the right time to freshen up the match day squad. A lot of guys have been pushing for places and we think a changeup may just give us a point of difference. Andy Soutar and Christian Jones have been exceptional for the 2nd XV this season and they will come straight into the starting line-up, as will Kenny Roberts at tight head prop. These changes will give us a bit more guile at full back and more pace in the pack. We have also made a number of changes amongst the replacements that will give us a bit more of an attacking threat from the bench.”

HC: “There is no argument that the new guys deserve their shot and they will be pumped for the game which will give us more energy. We have been falling away a bit in recent weeks. The new guys bring the right game for a 3g surface”

CR “Last week I found myself out on the wing for the last 15 minutes. I wasn’t comfortable with that. After his rehab Flashman seems quicker than ever so I won’t be playing 14 at any point on Saturday.”

TS: “Agreed. Sooty and CJ are no brainers on 3g. and when the 1st XV is having such a good season it is difficult for some lads to get a chance to step up. The changeup is good for the club as a whole and guys like Flashman, Blackstock and Kenny Roberts are such good players, they won’t let anyone down”

This week’s game is 1st v 2nd and has been billed in some quarters as the ‘Big One’ is that how you see it?

GD: “No”

The club have made some special travel arrangements with Avanti West Coast out of Lime Street for this Saturday have you got an update on what those are?

GD: “No”

Have you heard the rumours that there may be several hundred Caldy fans travelling to the Rock this weekend?

GD: “Yes”

The match kicks off at the ‘Rock’ at 3 pm and there is travel information on the Caldy website for those travelling down tomorrow morning.

For those travelling this afternoon and this evening, we understand that a suggested meeting point is The Admiralty Pub in Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DS. Pete Owen’s stag party will be there from 7.30 pm.

The suggested pubs for meeting tomorrow before the game include The Fox & Hounds in Putney SW15 6SE and a bit further afield the White Hart in Barnes SW13 ONR. Please do your own research.

Head Coach Matt Cairns has selected the following squad for tomorrow’s match against Rosslyn Park.

1. Aigbokhae 2. Jones C 3. Roberts K 4. Dickinson S 5. Gerrard 6. Crowe 7. Ridgway 8. Dickinson JJ 9. Murray 10. Hinchcliffe 11. Jones B 12. Titherington 13. Cartmill 14. Royle 15. Soutar 16. Rushton 17. Blackstock 18. Hearn 19. Jones D 20. Flashman

For those travelling to the Rock: Normal, raucous, noisy and energetic support for the Ravers is of course very welcome but the club has asked, that out of respect for Rosslyn Park and their neighbours, could Caldy supporters please refrain from the use of ‘air horns’.

For those that are not able to travel: We understand that the club is trying to make arrangements to screen the game from a live Twitter feed (courtesy of Rosslyn Park RFC) into the Caldy club house. Further information will be available on the Caldy website this evening or tomorrow morning.

Safe journey to all those travelling.


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