Minety RFC

Annual Club Dinner

Minety RFC are delighted to announce that the Annual Club Dinner will be held on Friday 31st May at the Club house.

This year’s event is something of a ground breaker with partners being invited for the first time.

Tickets are £35 each for which those attending will enjoy a three course meal with roast beef and all the trimmings (a vegetarian option is available upon request) followed by presentations, reviews of the season and all manner of entertainment.

Tickets can be purchased from Andy Ward (07989 019543), Tom Claxton (07901 701153) or Andy Somers (07810 546341).

Make sure that you reserve your tickets as quickly as possible.

Written by Graham Cooke

February 22nd, 2019 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of Calne match

Bustard Productions film, for MTV, of last Saturday’s match against Calne is now available on this site.  It can be accessed via this link, clicking on the MTV icon or by choosing the Minety Player option from the side menu.



Written by Graham Cooke

February 20th, 2019 at 9:26 am

Posted in Home Page,News

2019 Tour is cancelled

We regret to announce that this year’s proposed tour to the North West has had to be cancelled.  After extensive consultations with players it seems as if there is little appetite for a tour this year and with timing ticking on and bookings for hotels becoming more and more difficult, we have made the decision to shelve this year’s event.

Plans for the 2020 tour will be announced in September and we hope that, with a significantly increased lead in, more players, in particular, will want to tour with the club.

Thanks to Dave Cooke for all of his hard work with this year’s planning – let’s hope that at least some of the planning can be used for next year.



Written by Graham Cooke

February 19th, 2019 at 10:08 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Results from this weekend’s fixtures

Saturday’s hard fought win over Calne arrested Minety’s slide after a run of losses in Dorset and Wilts Division 1 North.  The team, led in Tom Claxton’s absence by Andrew Hibbard, snatched a valuable bonus point with the last play of the game and that result, allied to Trowbridge’s defeat at Royal Wootton Bassett means that Minety are just two points behind Trowbridge and 6 behind Bassett in the race for the 5th spot in the table.

It seems likely that 5th place will be the best that Minety can hope for as the season enters its final quarter, the top four being well clear of the chasing pack. Of some import is the fact that Minety’s win has put them firmly back in the positive for the points scored / points conceded column!

Combe Down put over 100 points on Pewsey for the second time this season and extended their lead on Avonvale who were unable to grab a bonus point in their tough away win at 4th placed Warminster.  Melksham’s quiet move up the table continued with a narrow win over Chippenham.

In the other match in Division 1, Sutton Benger heaped more misery on Supermarine, winning and maintaining their league poistion, although they are now 12 points behind Minety.

In Division 3 Minety’s 2nd XV put a great show against a strong Swindon outfit and gained a losing bonus point (for their 4th try).  The team presently sit in 8th place, 5 points behind 7th placed Swindon but 20 points clear of the basement club, Melksham.  Supermarine’s withdrawal from the league leaves just 9 teams in the division.

Elsewhere, Amesbury maintained their winning streak with a walkover over bottom club Melksham.  15 points clear of 2nd placed Combe Down, promotion in their first season looks an almost certainty for the Amesbury outfit.

2nd placed Combe Down overcame Bath Saracens in a battle of the Bath teams while 5th placed Chippenham defeated 6th placed Bradford.

It’s a blank weekend in the fixture calendar next week.  Certainly Andy Grayson will hope that his battered squad can recover and strengthen in time for the crucial run in to the end of the season.


Written by Graham Cooke

February 18th, 2019 at 11:25 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Minety bag a bonus point win

Minety got their season back on track on Saturday with a hard fought bonus point winning victory over Calne.  After a disappointing run of results, largely down to a crippling injury list, the villagers scored four tries and ran out comfortable winners after a lack lustre performance in the 1st half.

Minety were on the back foot before the match started when last week’s Man of the Match, Morgan Aubrey, injured his back in warm up and had to withdraw, Matt Chisholm being introduced from the 2nd XV.

Calne started the match playing down the slope and the new half back combination of Sam Hughes and Jack Howse were forced to kick to clear Minety’s lines as Calne’s big forwards powered their way down field.

Minety’s pack found themselves being pushed back at set pieces in the early stages and that prevented captain Andrew Hibbard from having the time and space to set up attacks and the backs, unaccustomed to playing in their new positions, often missed opportunities to make inroads into the Calne defence.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a well worked try after a period of sustained pressure on the Minety line.  A clever switchback pass allowed the Number 8 to power through the Minety defence for a try near the posts.  The conversion was kicked and Calne led by 7 – 0. The visitors kept up the pressure and only some strong defensive tackling from props Colin French and Andy Darrell and hooker Mark Glew kept them out.  A fine double tackle from Hughes and full back Ben Langridge brought another Calne attack to an end with the Minety line in sight as the home side struggled to organise their attacking play.

Calne increased their lead in the 29th minute with a penalty after a Minety player was penalised for holding on to the ball in a ruck.

As the half neared its end Minety started to play the kind of rugby that had served them so well early in the season.  Hughes was foiled by a tap tackle when apparently clean through but the ball broke to centre Chris Rule who took the ball forward before it was moved out wide to winger Ben Langridge who touched down in the corner in first half stoppage time. Hughes’ monster conversion from the touchline brought the score to 7-10 as the half time whistle went.

Ben Langridge scores Minety’s 1st try

Minety took the lead for the first time in the 48th minute after Howse had battered his way down the middle.  The ball was fed back to Hughes to beat three defenders before popping the ball to winger Dave Cooke who cut back and scored Minety’s second try.  The conversion sailed wide but Minety were now 12-10 up.

Dave Cooke cuts back to beat the defence and score try number 2

Hughes kicked a penalty to extend the lead shortly after a brilliant solo effort from Glew was halted on the Calne 22.

Calne struck back with a penalty of their own on the hour after Minety were caught off side at a ruck.

As the match entered its final quarter Minety went for the win and the four try bonus point.  Hibbard was held up on the line as the Minety pack found their form and drove Calne back but from the ensuing scrum the elusive Hughes spotted a gap in the Calne defence and dived through to score Minety’s third try and he then extended the home side’s advantage to 9 points with the conversion.

Sam Hughes picks up and drives through for Minety’s 3rd try

It looked as if Minety’s quest for the bonus point 4th try would be thwarted by a determined Calne defence until Howse burst through in stoppage time.  In the move of the match he managed to off load as he was tackled and Rule, following up, collected the ball, beat the final defender and ran in to score in what was to be the last play of the match.  The conversion was missed but Minety had ended their losing streak with a solid win.

Chris Rule scores the bonus point winning 4th try

Coach Andy Grayson was pleased with the second half performance.  “We struggled in the first half and made life difficult for ourselves.  The scrum wasn’t working as well as usual and too many moves were breaking down at crucial times.

“Ben Langridge’s try at the end of the half was vital; it gave us the impetus to take the game to Calne and use the speed that this team thrives upon.  Dave Cooke’s second try and a solid all round performance earned him my man of the match award and the final two tries from Sam Hughes and the marvellous final try from Chris Rule bought us the bonus point win I felt we deserved.”

The four try scorers: Dave Cooke, Ben Langridge, Sam Hughes and Chris Rule

The win keeps Minety in 7th place but closes the gap to 6th placed Trowbridge to just two points.

In the other match Minety 2nds were beaten 22 -42 by Swindon.





Written by Graham Cooke

February 16th, 2019 at 7:08 pm

Today’s fixtures

Note: The 2nd XV fixture was originally scheduled to be at Swindon but since they conceded the match at Minety earlier in the season, the reverse match must also be played at Minety.


Written by Graham Cooke

February 16th, 2019 at 8:52 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of Avonvale match

Bustard Productions film, for MTV, of last Saturday’s match against Avonvale is now available on this site.  It can be accessed via this link, clicking on the MTV icon or by choosing the Minety Player option from the side menu.



Written by Graham Cooke

February 15th, 2019 at 8:46 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Consistency is key

On Saturday the 43rd player to respresent the 1st XV this season, Ned Lockwood, pulled on a Minety shirt and played against Avonvale.  That represents nearly three teams and means that quite probably, if every player registered to play for Minety was available on Saturday for two teams, quite a few would not even make the bench for the 2nd XV.

That’s not a criticism, that’s a fact of life.  The days when a core of 25 players could be relied upon to populate the 1st and 2nd XV’s week in and week out have long gone.  With the increased demands upon people’s social and “free” time, the necessity to take injuries, especially head injuries and their recovery so much more seriously, the challenge is to find sufficient players for one team let alone two.

The game has also moved on in terms of playing skills – forwards tend to be more mobile and specialist positions more skilled.  So while the captains and coaches try to find sufficient players they also have to fit them around their own individual skill sets.  15 players, even the best 15 in the club, all playing out of position, will perform significantly worse than if they were in their accustomed positions.

And then there’s co-ordination.  That comes from training, developing skills associated with certain plays and formations.  The coaches can do all the work in the world on set plays on the training ground on a Tuesday night but much of that good work will be negated if only a fraction of those present on a Tuesday are there to put what has been worked on into practice on a Saturday afternoon.

That is not a criticism; it’s a fact of life, and not one that is solely Minety’s.  Teams throughout the leagues are finding the challenge of putting out competitive teams more and more difficult.  In the last week we have lost Supermarine’s 2nd XV from Division 3.  Only two of the scheduled 5 matches in Division 3 actually went ahead and those games featured teams who field just one team, Bath Saracens and Amesbury.

So what do the statistics say?  Benjamin, Benny to his mates, doesn’t have data on Tuesday night training session but he does have exhaustive data on 1st XV matches played this season, and this is what he has unearthed.  He looked simply at the number of changes that occured in 1st XV line ups from week to week.

He found that the 1st XV has not put out the same lineup once this season.  He didn’t have time to work out how many times players played in their best positions, but he was able to out together this little table:

Date Opposition H / A Won / Lost Changes % change
8th September Warminster A L    
15th September RWB A W 7 / 17 41%
22nd September Calne A W 5 / 17 29%
29th September Supermarine A W 6 / 16 37%
6th October Sutton Benger H W 5 / 17 29%
13th October          
20th October Trowbridge A L 6 / 16 37%
27th October Avonvale H L 8 / 16 50%
3rd November Calne A W 8 / 17 47%
10th November Warminster H W 7 / 16 43%
17th November Chippenham H W 3 / 16 18%
24th November Dorset Dockers A L 9 / 21 43%
1st December Combe Down A L 5 / 14 36%
8th December Melksham H L 6 / 17 35%
15th December Pewsey Vale A L 4 / 14 28%
22nd December          
29th December          
5th January RWB H W 6 / 17 35%
12th January Supermarine H W 6 / 18 33%
19th January Sutton Benger A L 5 / 15 33%
26th January Trowbridge H L 7 / 18 39%
2nd February          
9th February Avonvale A L 5 / 15 33%

So what does it all mean?  In essence, coach Andy Grayson was faced with making 7 changes in a squad of 17 players for the second game of the season; that’s a 41% change in personnel from the 1st match at Warminster.  The smallest number of changes in consecutive matches came against Chippenham when there were only 3 changes, although they came from an availability that allowed for just one person on the bench.

The greatest percentage of changes came for the Avonvale match in October when 50% of the team were different from those who played the previous week.

Taken as an average over the season thus far, over a third of the team changes each week.

On two occasions Minety have started a match with less than 15 players and on 15 occasions we have had less than the usual 3 players on the bench.  It’s easier to say that on only two league occasions have we had a full bench (and the Supermarine data is a little misleading because players who were less than fit and who came along to support the team were persuaded to play).

So far this season 13 of the 43 different playesr who have represented the 1st XV have made 2 or fewer appearances from 18 matches.  That’s 30% of the players.

15 of the 43 players have made 10 or more appearances from 18 matches 35% of players.

Only 6  of the 43 have lodged 15 or more appearances from 18 matches. 14% of players.

The challenge for all involved with Minety, be they coaches, players, committee, supporters, is to to find a way of unlocking this conundrum – consistency is key and we, like so many others, cannot find it.  Our challenge, irrespective of what others clubs think or do, is to step up and meet the challenge head on and forge a brighter future for the club.




Written by Graham Cooke

February 12th, 2019 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend round up

Before we go any further, huge congratulations and commisserations to the 15 players who represented Minety so valiantly on Saturday.  If ever a rugby score did not reflect the nature of the game; the 57-3 statistic does Minety no favours at all.  It was a huge effort from all concerned and given the amount of time we spent attacking their line, our domination of both territory and possession, the score line is very cruel indeed.  Thanks also to the small but very positive band of supporters who made the journey to suppprt the team.

Minety’s loss keeps the team in 7th place although we have dropped two more points behind Trowbridge, who gained those points in a high scoring but narrow defeat by 3rd placed Warminster.

Below us, Sutton Benger’s match is recorded as being abandoned, although there are no further details.  It presumably means that they will have to replay their match aganst 5th placed Royal Wootton Bassett.

Elsewhere, Combe Down kept up their relentless march to the divisional title with another comprehensive win, this time away at Chippenham.  This means that in 16 games they have recorded bonus points for 4 tries or more on 13 occasions – impressive stuff.

Avonvale are the only team who can catch them, and they maintained their fine record against other teams in the league with their win against MInety.

3rd placed Warminster saw off 6th placed Trowbridge while in the league’s other games, Melksham were comfortable winners against Calne, who Minety face next weekend at Minety Fields, while in the battle of the basement duo, Pewsey overcame the winless Supermarine.

Attention now turns to next weekend with both Minety teams at home, the 1st XV hosting Calne while the 2nd XV face up to Swindon.

The 2nd XV’s match against Supermarine was called off after the Swindon club withdrew their 2nd XV from Division 3 North earlier in the week.

Benjamin, our resident statistician, has produced some fascinating data regarding the 1st XV – all will be revealed exclusively on this site tomorrow.


Written by Graham Cooke

February 11th, 2019 at 9:57 am

Posted in Home Page,News

A harsh lesson for Minety

Minety’s run of losses in the Dorset and Wilts league was extended to three on Saturday when they were taught a harsh lesson in finishing by a confident and well drilled Avonvale side.  The Batheaston unit, beaten only three times this season, twice by runaway leaders Combe Down, ran in 9 tries to inflict a heavy 57 – 3 defeat of Andy Grayson’s patched up Minety side, although the casual watcher would have thought the sides much more evenly matched with Minety dominating both possession and territory, especially in a second half where they were camped on the Avonvale line for long periods.

With club captain Tom Claxton still out with a head injury, Andrew Hibbard captained a team which gave Ned Lockwood his first team debut and brought in a number of second teamers to raise a basic 15 players.

On a pitch that dropped at least 10 feet from one touchline to the other, the game kicked off under grey skies and a whirling cold wind.

Much of Avonvale’s success has been built upon their confident handling and speed of attack and Minety were forced to defend their line in the first minute, debutant Lockwood and Jay Thompson being called upon to make try saving tackles as Minety tried to organise their line.

Avonvale opened the scoring with a well worked try by the right hand corner flag.  From a lineout on the other side of the pitch the ball was moved quickly cross field for the winger to touch down.

Captain Andrew Hibbard

Hibbard looked to have broken through for an equalising try soon after but play was brought back when the assistant referee indicated a foot had touched the line.

Minety’s lineout, without regular catcher Ben Scott, also out with a head injury, held up well, Matt Chisholm in only his second match of the season, taking the ball confidently and providing good ball to the new half back pairing of Del Murray and Will Mason.

Strong tackling in midfield from Morgan Aubrey, second row Matt Stone and centre Bram Coleman kept Avonvale at bay as the home side opted for an open attacking style with Minety content to keep the ball in tight.

Minety on the attack

Minety’s attacking cost them dear in the 18th minute.  Avonvale gathered a loose ball in mid field and, after a suspiciously forward looking pass, broke the line, their second row ran in to touch down beneath the posts.  The conversion was successful and Minety were 12-0 down.  Minety struck back and centre Jack Howse, Stone and prop Colin French were all held up by a well disciplined and resolute Avonvale defence.

As Minety pressed Avonvale were penalised on a number of occasions as Hibbard drove his forwards towards the line.  Tempers flared up in the 26th minute as the battle intensified and the referee had to speak to both captains to calm the situation down.

Chris Rule and Ned Lockwood combine to keep out a try

Avonvale’s 3rd try came in the 28th minute.  With Minety desperately pressing for a try, a chip over the Avonvale defence was caught by the full back who launched an impressive attack featuring three quick passes to allow the fly half a run in from half way with the Minety defence caught upfield.

Fly half Will Mason, in his second appearance of the season, posted Minety’s first score in the 32nd minute with a long range penalty after Aubrey had been illegally cleared out of a ruck.

Morgan Aubrey “cleared” out of a ruck

Avonvale ended the half strongly with two tries in stoppage time, the first a push over from a scrum, the second a run in by the centre after play had broken down in midfield.

The villagers were reduced to 14 players in the opening minute of the second half when Howse picked up a leg injury with no players available to replace him on the bench. Avonvale capitalised on the advantage, plundering a try on the short side after a ruck near the Minety line. The 7th try came from another breakaway.  A Minety attack down the right broke down in the home 22 and a swift attacking move down the left involving four players saw the full back cross for a try which he converted to take Avonvale into a 43-3 point lead.

Ben Langridge tackled

A solo effort from scrum half Murray was taken on by Hibbard and Rule before Lockwood was held up over the line as Minety pushed for their first try.  In the next passage of play Stone, French, Murray and Hibbard all went desperately close but were kept out by the impressive Avonvale defence.

A wonderfully mazy run by Mason, beating three players, was halted on the Avonvale 22 and when Hibbard caught the clearance kick and ran it back it seemed certain that Minety would score but Stone, now playing in the centre, and full back Chris Rule both went close without being able to breach the defensive line.

Will Mason breaks free

Minety’s chances of salvaging anything from the match went with 10 minutes to go when winger Langridge suffered a re-occurrence of an ankle injury that had kept him out for a month earlier in the season and then hooker Jay Thompson suffered a shoulder injury which necessitated huge changes to the organisation of the pack.

Ned Lockwood held up over the line

Desperately tired and outnumbered all over the pitch, Minety were unable to hold out and Avonvale’s prop scored close to the posts with 3 minutes left and the Batheaston outfit finished the game with a further breakaway converted try in stoppage time to run out 57-3 victors.

Chris Rule breaks through

Coach Andy Grayson had nothing but praise for his side after the match.  “Thanks to all who played, many out of position.  I couldn’t have asked for more effort.  We were down to 14 men at the start of the 2nd half and then lost two more to significant injuries but the team kept going and I thought they were desperately unlucky not to score at least one try, especially since we had so much possession and territory.  Special mention to Ned Lockwood, making his debut on the wing; I thought he had a great game and was so unlucky not to score mid-way through the second half.  My joint men of the match were Morgan Aubrey, for his tremendous tackling, and Andrew Hibbard for his attacking play.”

Batterde and bruised, joint man of the match, Morgan Aubrey

Next week Minety take on Calne at home, hoping to arrest a slide that has now cast them adrift of the top sides, sitting in 7th place 7 points behind Trowbridge and 12 ahead of 8th placed Sutton Benger.

The “Brains Trust”



Written by Graham Cooke

February 10th, 2019 at 11:06 am

Stat Attack

Yes, it’s a return for Anton’s favourite post.  Benny (Disraeli) has been toiling away with our statistics and has come up with these little gems to keep you going over a weekend when there is no rugby at Minety!

42 players have now donned the 1st XV shirts, the latest two to make their debuts for the season were Matt Chisholm and Gareth Thomas.  

We are just 3 debutants short of being able to put out three complete teams worth of 1st XV players.

The 1st XV have played 17 matches so far this season, including cup games but not including pre-season friendlies.

Top of the appearance charts are Ben Scott and Chris Rule, both who have featured in 16 out of the 17 fixtures (94.12%)

Hot on their heals are Tom Claxton and Jack Howse with 15 appearances (88.24%) while Andrew Hibbard and Matt Stone featured in 14 (82.35%)

7 players have featured just once this season.

Surnames starting with the letter “C” are the most numerous with 8: Chisholm, Church, Claxton, Coleman, Collins, Cooke, Crisp and Cross.

440 points have been scored by Minety 1st XV players this season (we’ll include penalty tries in this calculation).

19 players have scored points for Minety’s 1st XV this season.

Garin Garland sits atop the points scored chart with 127 (or 28.86% of the total).

59 tries have been scored by the 1st XV this season.

Garin Garland again tops this list with 9 tries, with Jack Howse not far behind on 7.

18 players have crossed the line for tries.

2 penalty tries have been awarded this season, one of which we have awarded to James Nicksen, who was high tackled in the process of touching down.

The one unattributed penalty try was the one awarded in the final seconds of the Sutton Benger match for an infringement in a scrum.

Of the 59 tries scored, 44 have been successfully converted.  That equates to 74.58% success.

Top conversion scorer is Garin Garland with 12.  Other successful conversion have come from Jack Ward (4), Ash Windle (2) and Sam Hughes (1).

The naughty step is filling up a little with 8 yellow and 1 red card handed to Minety players in the 17 games.  Recently, joining Matt Stone, Ash Windle, Jack Ward, Ben Collins, Gareth Peirce and Garin Garland, are Jay Thompson (Supermarine) and Ben Scott (Trowbridge).

Minety 1st XV sit in 7th place in the table, 5 points behind 6th placed Trowbridge and 12 above 8th placed Sutton Benger.

Minety are 35 points behind league leaders Combe Down and 34 points above the bottom team Supermarine.

Minety have scored 55 more league points than they have conceded, gaining 6 Try Bonus points (for scoring 4 or more tries in a game) and 3 Losing Bonus points (for being narrowly beaten).


Benjamin (call me Benny) is now headed for a darkened room with a large glass of a single malt!



Written by Graham Cooke

February 1st, 2019 at 6:00 am

Posted in Home Page,News

6 Nations at Minety RFC

Why not watch the “big match” on a big screen at Minety RFC on Saturday?  Tom Claxton assures us there bar will be open throughout! 

“You know it makes sense!”

Written by Graham Cooke

January 31st, 2019 at 11:21 am

Posted in Home Page,News

MTV of Trowbridge match

Bustard Productions film, for MTV, of last Saturday’s match against Trowbridge is now available on this site.  It can be accessed via this link, clicking on the MTV icon or by choosing the Minety Player option from the side menu.



Written by Graham Cooke

January 30th, 2019 at 8:33 am

Posted in Home Page,News

North by Northwest

If you are interested in this year’s tour (see post below for details) but have yet to answer the survey about it, please do so before training on Tuesday night.  Your views count!

To enter your interests in the survey please click on this link.  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T9VTF62



Written by Graham Cooke

January 28th, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Home Page,News

Weekend roundup

Saturday’s result was certainly not what Minety wanted, losing ground to the nearest club in the league to them.  The loss, despite the valiant efforts of all 18 players who donned the shirt, keeps Minety in 7th place but the early season hopes of a top 4 place now seem distant.

Elsewhere, Combe Down enjoyed another thrashing, this time of Calne, who Minety entertain in three weeks time, while Avonvale kept up the pressure by beating Melksham, who started the day in 3rd place.  Avonvale are Minety’s next opposition at the Batheaston ground in a fortnight.

Warminster’s comfortable win over Sutton Benger has taken them up above Melksham into 3rd place while the loss means that Sutton Benger remain 12 points behind Minety in the league table.  5th placed Royal Wootton Bassett enjoyed a comfortable home win over the winless Supermarine team while 10th placed Chippenham took maximum points against 11th placed Pewsey Vale.

It is difficult to see anyone other than Avonvale denying Combe Down the championship and promotion out of the league.  Melksham and Warminster are still locked in a battle to be Wiltshire’s top team while Minety will have to perform well over the rest of the season if they are to pull themselves up the table.

In Division 3 once again 40% of matches played were conceded.  Minety’s inability to field a team at Warminster leaves them in 7th place.  At the top Amesbury kept up their fine record, maintaining their unbeaten run and sitting 7 points clear of Combe Down, who overcame 8th placed Swindon, with a 75-0 thrashing of 4th placed Chippenham. Bath Saracens did themselves some good with a comprehensive victory over 6th placed Bradford, while the match between the two teams at the bottom, Melksham and Supermarine, was an away walkover, resulting in Supermarine sitting at the bottom of the table with -24 points.

The Division is now a straight shoot out between Amesbury and Combe Down.  Minety will have to work hard if they are to improve on their 7th place in the league.


Written by Graham Cooke

January 28th, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Posted in Home Page,News