Hendo, the Haka and Who Dares
Learn from the past; look to the future... that's a rough
translation of the Latin motto 'Respice, Prospice' which
appears on the logo of Ealing Trailfinders, this weekend's visitors
to St Peter.
Ealing will be aiming to start the future, and their 2013/14
season, on a ground where they have enjoyed a notable victory in
the past. The recent past has been difficult, with nine straight
league defeats and a brace of cup losses and as yet not a bonus
point to show for it.
It might look forlorn, but think back to a bad start for Jersey 12
months ago, and then look at the league table: the Islanders may be
11 points clear of their opponents going into the weekend, but by
narrowing that to seven Ealing could throw a cat amongst the
pigeons. The game at St Peter kicks off at 2.30pm on
The learning from the past won't just include the Londoners' 15-26
win at St Peter in October 2011, but also the harsh lessons from
this season to date. And there is some encouraging evidence - for
their first five competitive outings Trailfinders conceded an
average of 54 points per match, but since returning from a B&I
trip to Dublin in mid October the average concession has shrunk to
26. Sadly the 'points for' column remained stubbornly unchanged
between one phase and the next.
Jersey will want to get another home win under their belt and in
the process show that they belong in the cluster of clubs battling
for at least a spot in the 'middle four' of the Championship,
rather than in a relegation tussle. Both sides will be gunning for
victory, and might adopt another latin phrase, 'Qui audet
adipiscitur', which is the motto of the SAS, in which Ealing's
benefactor Mike Gooley served.
News from the Jersey camp
Aaron Penberthy's fractured fibula from last Sunday's trip to Leeds
sees him join Tom Cooper on a list of long-term injured among
Jersey's backs. There are also question marks over Nicky Griffiths
and Grant Pointer, both of whom missed the journey to
The forwards are hopefully in better shape, although Tom Brown was
absent at Headingley and fellow back-row man Fred Silcock may still
not be quite ready to return for his first action since
Jersey were in touch for most of the game with Leeds, trailing
12-10 at the break and 15-13 approaching the hour mark, but fell
away to finish 29-13 losers. The Islanders will be keener to draw
on their last home match, the thrilling comeback against Cornish
Pirates that was sealed with Niall O'Connor's last-kick
The Jersey squad will be published on Friday at around 12noon and
you can see it HERE.
The quadrilogy of meetings between the two clubs during their
National League co-habitation unfolded thus:
Ealing Trailfinders in 2013/4
The club didn't sit still over the summer and recruited heavily on
the playing side, while off the pitch Trailfinders helped bring
facilities up to Championship level.
DoR Mike Cudmore, now in his 12th season at the club named Adam
Preocanin as captain for the season - the lock joined early in the
2012/13, having previously been a member of the Saracems Academy
and played for Queensland 'A' during a five-year sojourn Down
Two new recruits were named as vice-captains: three-quarter Chris
Kinloch, a former Scotland age-group and sevens player who played
for Loughborough Students against Trailfinders - and Jersey - in
Thomas 'TJ' Anderson, the other 'vice-skips' (pictured above)
meanwhile crossed the Irish Sea from Connacht. He has previously
played for Irish age-group sides and his home province of Ulster.
His father is the legendary Willie Anderson, the former Ireland
captain who was featured in the 'And Finally' section of a preview
last month, and he also has a brother who is probably more famous
in fashion circles than his sibling is in rugby - the fashion
designer JW Anderson.
Also coming into the squad over the summer were former London Irish
flanker Ed Siggery (who took on Jersey in last season's B&I
while playing for Pontypridd), wing Billy Robinson arrived from
Moseley, Tom Bedford from Bedford Blues and flanker Sam Hocking
from Plymouth Albion.
A final one to watch is full-back Andrew Henderson. 'Hendo'
(pictured below) is a player well known to Jersey fans and staff
having scored nine tries in 30 appearances for the club in the
He is now in his second season with Trailfinders and since the
start of the club's debut season in the Greene King IPA
Championship, his versatility has meant he has featured in the
majority of the matches; first as wing, then in the centre and
finally at full-back where his sureness under the high ball and
swiftness of foot has allowed him to develop as a counter-attacking
Hendo started his career at Newbury and then played for Rotherham
before his move to the Channel Island. He has punished Jersey
before when tackling his former club - in March 2012 the Islanders
succumbed to his late try for Barking and suffered their only
defeat in a run of 24 games. Barking finished bottom of National
One that season, but they also upset high-flying Ealing, and yes of
course Hendo was on the score-sheet that day too.
History of Ealing RFC
Ealing Football Club played its first match in 1869 on Ealing
Common, prior to the founding of the RFU in 1871. The early years
saw regular fixtures against the likes of Wasps, London Irish,
Harlequins, Richmond and Blackheath.
Between 1894 and 1958 the club moved location numerous times and is
now located at Trailfinders Sports Ground, just south of the A40 at
the upper end of West Ealing. The Trailfinders Sports Club was
acquired by the Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity in 1997. Gooley
(below) is a former SAS soldier who set up travel company
Trailfinders in 1970 and has been a committed and generous patron
of the club which took on his company's name.
Ealing's centenary match was played against Harlequins in 1971.
The 1970s and '80s saw Ealing playing a high standard of rugby and
supplying many county level players for Middlesex.
In 1987 the club finished top of London Division 1 (level five) and
over the next six years was never lower than 2nd in London 1 or
higher than 10th in National 4. Ealing won the Middlesex Cup three
times in this period.
In 1996 Ealing were relegated from London 1, but returned to this
level during the 'noughties' and were promoted back to the national
leagues in 2006/07.
Immediately competitive on their return to the national stage,
Ealing finished third in three successive seasons, the third of
which saw them tied with Rosslyn Park on 113 points each. Park had
won more games, including the contests against Ealing by 31-24 and
9-8, and therefore took the play-off spot and ultimately won
In 2010/11 Trailfinders finally achieved the goal of promotion to
Level Three, winning National Two South with a strong display of
front running that eventually saw them edge Jersey by four points
(132-128). The Islanders' good form meant Ealing couldn't afford to
lose, and they rose to the occasion with nine straight wins,
including 8-3 at Dings, 130-14 over Hinckley, a minor wobble at the
penultimate hurdle before despatching Henley 35-25, and finally
127-19 over Lydney in front of 1,100 spectators at Vallis
With Jersey also promoted following the play-off against
Loughborough, the two sides went head-to-head in National One, with
Rosslyn Park also jostling for supremacy during the mid-point of
the season. Jersey got their noses in front after beating Park in
mid-January and were never caught, although Ealing battled gamely
and eventually finished second with 112 points, seven adrift of the
Last season Ealing tore it up in National One, winning the title at
a canter with 128 points, 19 clear of runners-up Esher, to seal
promotion to the Championship
Following the game
The home club will be looking for a huge crowd to cheer them on in
this crucial fixture. But those who genuinely can't make it can
keep up-to-speed with news from Jersey v Ealing through the
• Preview on BBC Radio Jersey on Friday from 5.30pm, and live
commentary on Saturday afternoon (available online and on your
• Preview in Friday's JEP, more coverage in the 'Inside Centre'
pull-out in Saturday's paper (on sale from 7am) and full match
coverage on Monday
• Scoreflashes on @jerseyrfc Twitter and the 'Rolling Maul' rugby
• Match preview on Channel 103 on Saturday afternoon
• Reports and match action on Channel TV online and on Monday
evening at 6.15pm; and on BBC Channel Islands on Monday evening at
The Greene King IPA Championship this
Plymouth have the second of three consecutive Friday night home
games, with Rotherham the visitors.
Last weekend at Brickfields, Bedford gained their second league win
in nine attempts, and on Saturday the Blues will try and treat the
unbeaten league leaders to a large portion of momentum. London
Scottish will look to maintain their recently-gained top-four
status by defeating Moseley at the RAG.
Advent starts on Sunday, with the fixture calendar offering a brace
of excuses to avoid Christmas shopping: Nottingham against the
Pirates, and Bristol - sunk by the Pirates last weekend for the
second time in three months - hosting Leeds.
Jersey will also take on Ealing at second team level, with Jersey
Athletic meeting Ealing's Development XV. Sadly it wasn't possible
to have the games on the same island as the 1st XV games in
November and March, so the Zoo Sports Shield clash takes place at
Vallis Way at 1pm. Saturday's JRA action sees Beeches play LQ
Lydian Lions at 12.30 at Grainville, while HMP Panthers play Banks
at LQ at 2.30pm. On Sunday St Jacques host Jersey II (actually the
3rd team) in Guernsey at 11.30am
While all the teams taking part this weekend will be hoping to
make a good start, they'll do well to match the effort of Doncaster
Knights' Tyson Lewis against old Albanians last Saturday. This is
claimed to be the fastest in rugby union history even though the
kicker took more than a second after the whistle to start the game.
Watch it HERE
Willie Anderson gets a season ticket in this part of the
preview. The father of Ealing's back row man TJ Anderson once
challenged the New Zealand haka to the point where his face was
inches away from All Black captain 'Buck' Shelford - here it is again on Youtube.
Shelford and fellow NZ legend Sir Colin 'Pinetree' Meads hosted
an evening at JRFC this week, and we were able to hear from the
horse's mouth how impressed Shelford was with the Maori challenge
being answered in this way, even tho' New Zealand's number 8 may
have appeared a wee bit cross at the time.
Enjoy your weekend's rugby!
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.