Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Toby H-B out to upset old friends

Toby Howley-Berridge made a welcome return to action at the weekend as Ealing Trailfinders took on Cornish Pirates on Sunday in the Greene King IPA Championship.

He came on in the centres at half-time and while he made a number of breaks through the Pirates’ defence, he was unable to help Ben Ward’s side avoid slipping to a 30-15 loss at the Mennaye Field. 

“I had mixed feelings, ” he said. “While it was very good to be back out there, I think it was my first match back in eight or nine games, on the other side of that we lost, which wasn’t great. 

“The endeavour is always there from the boys, which is really positive to see and hopefully we can see it this weekend and come away with the win.”

Howley-Berridge is now striving to be in contention when Ealing Trailfinders’ face Doncaster Knights, one of his former teams, at Vallis Way on Saturday, aiming for their first win since the Boxing Day victory over London Scottish. 

Ealing Trailfinders are currently one place off the bottom of the Championship, but level on points with bottom side Moseley who visit west London on 27 February. The 26-year-old has previously suffered relegation from the Championship with Doncaster Knights and Plymouth Albion. 

“I’ve been in this situation in my time with Plymouth and Doncaster, ” Howley-Berridge said. “The main thing is to stay positive and not panic. 

“You just have to keep on trusting your structure and going through your patterns and then you have to believe you are going to win. The main thing is to go out there to win and not trying not to lose.”

Doncaster Knights are in their second season since returning to the Championship in 2014 and they have flourished this season. They are currently second in the table, seven points behind Bristol and recently showcased their development on Sky Sports when they defeated Rotherham Titans 34-24 in a Yorkshire derby. 

“They’ve recruited really well, ” Howley-Berridge said. “Clive Griffith has been there before and had a really good team and he has gone back to that type of mentality. 

“They have very big ball carriers and are very powerful in the backs as well. Declan Cusack, who I used to play with at 10 is a very astute player and can ping us around the park if we don’t get things right.”