Reds seek knock-out prize at St Peter18/01/2017
One of the biggest games of the season so far sees Jersey Reds battling to top their British & Irish Cup pool, with the winners guaranteed a home quarter-final in the knockout tournament for the 12 clubs from the English Championship and eight representative 'A' teams from the Welsh and Irish regions.
The Reds are looking for a large and noisy home crowd to get behind the team at St Peter - kick-off is at the earlier time of 2pm - as they strive to bring knock-out rugby to the Island on the second weekend of March. Harvey Biljon's side will be keen to follow-up the 10-55 win over Cardiff Blues Select last Saturday (watch the tries from that game HERE)
For team news on the eve of the big game, see HERE
The Reds are looking to at least emulate last season's cup run - this included a dramatic win at Doncaster in the final pool match, a gritty quarter-final triumph at Bedford and finally an agonising 33-32 semi-final defeat to Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley.
Ulster 'A' won the first encounter against the Reds this season with a 19-6 success in Belfast, and will be keen to reach the last eight for the first time since 2011. Their squad is likely to be a mixture of youth and experience, featuring several players who have earned a significant amount of 'game time' for the Ulster's 1st XV in the RaboDirect Pro12 or European Champions Cup. On several occasions this season they have fielded full Irish internationals in their B&I squad, such as British Lion Tommy Bowe (pictured below during the game against the Reds in October).
Tickets + lunch
Advance tickets for the big game can be obtained online via THIS LINK, while there is also the opportunity to book lunch in the supporters' marquee via the same link (or email Sean Dunne if you have any queries). Lunch will be available from 12noon, and the price of £10 per person covers a hot main course and selection of cheeses to follow.
Supporters are also reminded that the usual Friday night reception will take place on the eve of the game. The Barclays Pavilion will be open from 5.30 to 7.30pm, with chance for supporters to have an end-of-week drink and look forward to the match. Free nibbles will be laid on and we know of at least one visiting Ulster supporter who'll be in the house!
For those trying to plot how the final weekend of pool games, and the quarter-final line-up, may pan out, the following guide may help.
- The winners of each of the five pools progress to the quarter finals on the weekend of March 10th-12th, with the four teams with the best record earning home ties
- The remaining pool winner, and the three highest-ranked runners-up, will be the four away sides, with the quarter-final draw set to be confirmed on Monday January 30th
- The semi-final draw will take place on the same date (games to be played on the weekend of March 31st- April 2nd)
The standings ahead of Round 6
Q = qualified for quarter-final; H = home draw for teams ranked 1st-4th
1. Munster 'A' 28.5 pts (with no game this weekend, Munster have achieved 95% of the maximum tally in their pool by getting 19 pts out of a possible 20; all other contending teams have a maximum tally of 30 points) (Q H)
2. London Irish 24 (Q H)
3. Ealing Trailfinders 21 (Q)
4. Ulster 'A' 19
5. Jersey Reds 18
6. Scarlets Premiership Select 17
7. Yorkshire Carnegie 16
8. Cornish Pirates 15
9. Nottingham 15
10. Leinster 'A' 11
Teams level on points are separated first by the number of games won, then points difference. Full results and pool tables can be see HERE
The relevant games this weekend (all except the Leinster game are at 2pm on Saturday)
- Reds v Ulster: winners will top the pool and are guaranteed a home tie. Losers could qualify, especially if they earn a bonus point or two, depending on other results
- Carnegie v Ealing: Carnegie need a 5-0 win and a sizeable winning margin to overtake their visitors and top the pool, but could well be eliminated if they lose; Ealing need two points to guarantee hosting a QF at Vallis Way
- Pirates v Connacht: Irish visitors have just one point from a possible 25 so far - surely the home side can extract maximum points, which would guarantee them a QF place?
- Scarlets v Nottingham: another contest where the winner will top the pool, with the loser hoping that bonus points will help them progress
- London Irish v Ospreys: Exiles have dropped only one point so far and will be looking to keep up their season-long winning run, with the prospect of being number one seeds should they get five points
- Leinster v Richmond: in Friday's only game, Leinster will be looking to get maximum points and then hope that two of Carnegie, Pirates and Nottingham slip up. The odds are against the two-time winners making it into the last eight