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We want to win title for Charlie Maker and everyone at the club, says Old Patesians captain Sam Rhymes

All Areas > Sport > Rugby Union

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 5th April 2024, 09:00

Old Patesians won the Counties 3 Gloucestershire North title last season Old Patesians won the Counties 3 Gloucestershire North title last season

Charlie Maker will be cheering on from the sidelines as Old Patesians host Counties 2 Gloucestershire North frontrunners Gordon League in a final day title showdown on Saturday.

Maker has been supporting his team-mates all season, even though his on-field involvement was ended by injury on the opening day of the campaign.

The no 8 and captain broke his leg at Gordon League at the start of the September and Sam Rhymes, who has led the side in Maker’s absence, said: “We’ve said all season that we want to win the league for him.”

Not that it will be easy. Both teams have won 18 out of their 19 league games but Gordon League hold a four-point advantage and haven’t lost a league game since going down 28-21 to the Pats in that season-opener seven months ago.

However, should the Pats win on Saturday and the two teams finish level at the top of the table then the Pats would be crowned champions as they would have won more games.

So it’s all to play for and scrum-half Rhymes can’t wait for Saturday to come around.

“It’s the biggest game I’ve been involved in since I’ve been with the Pats,” he said. “It’s massive, it’s really exciting.”

Gordon League have led the table for much of the campaign and a bonus point may be all they need on Saturday but the Pats, whose only league defeat was at Smiths in mid-October, have hung in there all season.

They kept their title hopes alive with a 51-45 win at old rivals Cheltenham North at the weekend, a game that was played on the artificial grass pitch at the Newlands.

“We made it hard for ourselves,” admitted Rhymes. “We were 24-0 up after scoring four tries in the first 15 minutes but then it was all hands to the pump.

“They came right back at us and they were leading 41-31 at one stage. In the end we needed a length of the pitch try by Johnny Fenley. He ran 50 or 60 yards, it was a worldie.”

Rhymes readily admits he doesn’t know too much about Gordon League.

“We haven’t played them since the start of the season but they’re obviously a good side, well-drilled,” he said.

“But we back ourselves. We’re young, fast, fit and in good form. We’ve got to be disciplined but we believe we can do it.”

And the Pats know what it takes to win a league on the final day of the campaign because last season they clinched the Counties 3 Gloucestershire North title with an 84-14 win at Fairford, after overcoming main rivals Stroud seven days earlier.

“There’s a really good vibe around the club, we had 45 at training on Tuesday and we should be able to select our best 18 on Saturday,” continued Rhymes.

“We want to win this league  for everybody at the club.”

The winners of Counties 2 Gloucestershire North will play the winners of Counties 2 Gloucestershire South in an end-of season play-off to determine which club will be promoted.

Bream, who have won 19 of their 21 games, are one point ahead of Dings Crusaders 2nds going into the final round of Counties 2 Gloucestershire South matches at the weekend. 

And whichever division the Pats are playing in next season, the good news is that Maker should be fit and raring to go.

“He’s back in training,” added Rhymes. “He's a massive part of the club, he should be ready for the start of the new season.”

Meanwhile, Old Patesians 2nds can clinch the Gloucester & District 2 title when they host Brockworth 2nds in their final league game on Saturday after winning 12 of their previous 13 games.

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