Newbury R.F.C.

  (Redirected from Newbury RFC)

Newbury Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club representing Newbury. They are currently playing in South West Premier, a league at tier 5 of the English rugby union system following promotion from South West 1 East as champions at the end of the 2018-19 season. Newbury RFC is a community rugby club using players drawn from the local community and those coached through its youth rugby program.

Newbury
NewburyRugby.png
Full nameNewbury Rugby Football Club
UnionBerkshire RFU
Founded1928; 92 years ago (1928)
LocationNewbury, Berkshire, England
Ground(s)Monks Lane (Capacity: 8,000[1])
ChairmanLouise Goodall
PresidentDavid Jones
Coach(es)Paul Archer
Captain(s)Dan Thorne
League(s)South West Premier
2019–2012th (relegated to South West 1 East)
Official website
www.newburyrfc.co.uk

HistoryEdit

The club was founded in 1928 due to the efforts of Len Whittaker who left St. Bartholomews Grammar School in 1924. The first game played by the newly formed club took place on 15 September 1928 against Midlands team, Stoke RFC. This was the first of 23 games that season during which the club won 13 matches and lost 10. Even throughout the early years of the club, the standard of play encouraged such major sides as Northampton, Gloucester, Harlequins and Wasps to come and play against Newbury.

 
The club's home ground

In 1932 the club found a permanent home where they stayed until 1952 at which time the club moved to Pinchington Lane to the south of the town. It was not until 1958 that a clubhouse could be built on the site which was less than a mile from the present headquarters at Monks Lane where they have five pitches, of which three are fully floodlit. The 1938–39 season saw Newbury unofficially crowned by the local press as "Champions of Berkshire". The first game to be played after the War was on 13 April 1946 and despite the inauspicious date, the club won the match 37 – 0 against Windsor.

When the league system for English rugby started in 1987, Newbury were playing in a regional league – Courage South West 1. They were relegated at the end of their first season, but by the 1990–91 season they were back in South West 1 and then promoted a second time, having finished as runners-up.

By the 1994–95 season they had been relegated back into South West 1, and again finished runners-up. Unfortunately for The Blues, though, there was no promotion place for runners-up that season. The following season, however, The Blues were promoted back into the National League as champions of South West 1.

The 1996–97 season saw the advent of professionalism in English Rugby, along with the reduction in the number of tiers in the league from 5 to 4. The Blues spent the season in the 4th tier (known as National 4 South at the time) and enjoyed their second successive promotion, again as champions.

The next eight seasons were spent in the third tier (known as the Jewson National League 1 for the first three seasons, latterly changing to National Division 2 following the league restructure at the end of the 1999–00 season). The Blues finished 7th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 8th, 9th, and 8th, before finishing as runners-up in 2004–05 and finally achieving the fifth promotion of their league career.[2][3][4]

In their first season in the second tier of English rugby (known at the time as National Division One), The Blues finished 11th under coach Ben Ryan,[5] and achieved exactly the same placement the following season.

The Blues third season in the second tier was slightly less successful, with the team finishing in 13th place in 2007–08 under coach Chris Dossett,[6] and in 2008-09 Newbury finished 3rd-bottom with just 4 wins under coach Ben Sturnham.[7] In normal seasons this would have resulted in a narrow escape from relegation, but with another league restructure undertaken at the end of the season there were five teams relegated instead of the usual two, taking The Blues back down to National League One (the 3rd tier) for the first time since the 2004–05 season.

The 2009–10 season saw The Blues suffer a second successive relegation under Ben Sturnham, despite winning 12 games, and they were relegated to the fourth tier (National League 2) for the first time since 1997.[citation needed]

In 2010–11, under coach Andy Widdop,[8] The Blues hit new lows, winning just one game and achieving an unwanted division record of 2,055 points conceded. Naturally this resulted in a last-place finish and a third successive relegation.[9][10]

Mike Marchant took over as coach for the 2011–12 season in National League 3 South West,[11] but The Blues did only slightly better than the previous season, winning just two games.[12] They were relegated at the end of the season to the sixth tier, South West Division One East.[13] This was reported in local media at the time as being lower than the league where Newbury Blues started their league careers, although this is debatable as South West Division One East was by now the equivalent league to South West 2, where Newbury Blues spent the 1987–88 season.

In 2012–13 The Blues finally arrested their slide down the divisions and managed to avoid a fifth successive relegation by winning ten games and finishing a creditable 9th in the division.[14] Former Samoan international Ngapaku Ngapaku (known as Pux) was coach.

Pux left at the end of the season, having guided The Blues to survival for the first time since 2009, and Lee Goodall took over the head coach role.[15] 2013–14 saw The Blues finish 11th with eight wins,[16] before winning 15 games in the 2014-15 season and finishing 6th.[17]

The 2015–16 season was The Blues most successful in a long time, with 21 wins, including a 14-game winning streak that saw them win every single game in 2016, resulting in a third place finish and only a lack of bonus points denying The Blues a play-off place (Salisbury had 20 wins to Newbury’s 21, but had picked up 14 bonus points to Newbury’s 8).[18]

Building on the previous season's success the 2016–17 season ended with The Blues in second position and into the play-off match against Clevedon RFC in April to decide who would be promoted up into National League 3 South West (renamed South West Premier for season 2017–18). With 21 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses the match statistics were the same as the previous season, but what was markedly different was in the try bonus points, with 17 against the previous season's 7. The match finished at 25–22 with Newbury the victors and promotion.[19]

On 28 April 2018 The Blues were once again relegated, despite having won 13 of the 26 games in the season [20]. They finished with 64 points, had the best defensive record in the league after table toppers Dings Crusaders, beat Bournemouth, Maidenhead and Newtown Abbot both home and away who finished second, third and fourth in the league respectively, but unfortunately with just 7 try-scoring bonus points during the season it wasn't enough to keep out of the relegation zone and on the final day of an extended season they missed out on staying up by one point.

The 2018-19 season in the Wadworth 6X South West One East division did however get off to a great start with a 67-7 away win against Stratford-Upon-Avon that was followed up with an emphatic 85-0 home win against Swindon.

HonoursEdit

1st team:

2nd team (Newbury Stags):

3rd team:

Youth teamsEdit

Newbury RFC has a reputation for having one of the best youth sections in the country, sponsored by local solicitors Thomas Eggar, the youth section has several hundred members and several high calibre coaches. A close link between the youth and senior sections of the club is a proud tradition at Monks Lane and the youth section at Newbury RFC is no exception to this, the first team squad often help out with training as do the senior coaches at Monks Lane. Newbury teams have often won at a high level and no section displays this more clearly than the youth section, whose teams often win at county level and have represented Newbury at Twickenham stadium.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "League table National One 97/98". Statbunker.
  3. ^ "League table National One 98/99". Statbunker.
  4. ^ "League table National Two 1999/00". Statbunker.
  5. ^ "Ryan to take England Sevens role". 13 December 2006 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  6. ^ "Coach Dossett quits Newbury Blues". 20 May 2008 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  7. ^ "Sturnham joins Newbury as coach". 3 June 2008 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ "Newbury can bounce back - Widdup". 16 March 2011 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  9. ^ "Back the boys plea from Blues".
  10. ^ "Newbury Blues - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  11. ^ "New coach starts work".
  12. ^ "Newbury Blues - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  13. ^ "Blues' relegation confirmed".
  14. ^ "Newbury Blues - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  15. ^ "Promotion of Lee Goodall to Head Coach - News - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  16. ^ "Newbury Blues - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  17. ^ "Newbury Blues - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  18. ^ "Newbury Blues - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  19. ^ "BLUES ARE PROMOTED! - News - Newbury Blues". www.pitchero.com.
  20. ^ https://www.newburytoday.co.uk/news/sport/24038/blues-name-paul-archer-as-new-head-coach.html

External linksEdit