Preview to Doncaster (H) 13.09.14


Doncaster, Determination and Dambusters

Two determined teams will run out at St Peter at two minutes to three on Saturday, both sides anxious to prove they can cut it at Championship level.

Jersey's drive comes after successive 11th-placed finishes in their first two seasons at level two, and on the back of a disappointing performance last weekend, when a 3-19 lead at Moseley was wiped away and the match ended 22-all.

Doncaster are back in the Championship after a year down in National One, and are playing the team who effectively sent them down - a 13-10 defeat at St Peter in April 2013 having proved crucial in keeping Jersey away from the relegation trap-door, which opened for the Knights a week later.

The Yorkshire club's opening league match of the new season saw an impressive 27-6 win over Plymouth Albion at Castle Park. Lock Tyler Hotson, captain and flanker Michael Hills and full-back Paul Jarvis scored tries, while winger Dougie Flockhart claimed 12 points with five successful kicks.

In August, the Knights had a busy pre-season schedule and enjoyed trips to Neath (15-15) and Tynedale (14-41) as well as hosting Swansea, who were defeated 76-5, and a Newcastle Falcons side made up of a mix of academy and first team talent (another win by 40-26).

The Jersey players met supporters in Royal Square, St Helier on Wednesday and were sharing the disappointment of Moseley with those who hadn't been able to make the trip. The determination to get into winning ways was palpable, and the home support will be looking for delivery of the goods on Saturday afternoon.

News from the Jersey camp

Jersey's team for the clash with Doncaster Knights at St Peter shows three changes to the starting line-up from last weekend's 22-22 draw at Moseley.

The back row unit is the area where Harvey Biljon has made the majority of his changes, with Ben Maidment (pictured below) coming in at blindside in place of the injured Nick Haining, while Michael Noone gets the nod at number 8 ahead of Paula Kaho.

Maid And Rae

Ryan Hodson completes the Jersey back-row, retaining the number 7 shirt, and the captaincy, from last weekend as Alex Rae is once again named among the replacements; the club captain continues to work his way back to full match fitness and has been obliged to wait his turn thanks to the continued good form of Dave Markham and Pierce Phillips in the second row.

The only other change to the starting XV sees Jack Burroughs come in ahead of Ed Dawson at left wing. Six of Jersey's replacements from the opening weekend will again be on the bench, with the addition of Kaho as a swap with Noone.

"Selection hasn't been a great deal easier this week, but I felt the platform established by those who started against Moseley was a strong one, and should have led to a victory, so most of those players are back in the team sheet."

JRFC 1st XV vs Doncaster Knights (H), Greene King IPA Championship
Saturday September 13th, 2014, k-o 3pm

  1. Sam Lockwood
  2. Martin Garcia-Veiga
  3. Harry Williams
  4. Pierce Phillips
  5. Dave Markham
  6. Ben Maidment
  7. Ryan Hodson (capt)
  8. Michael Noone
  9. Ryan Glynn
  10. Jonny Bentley
  11. Jack Burroughs
  12. Lewis Robling
  13. Drew Locke
  14. Mark Foster
  15. Tommy Bell


16. Ignacio Lancuba
17. Gareth Harris
18. Danny Herriot
19. Alex Rae
20. Paula Kaho
21. Nicky Griffiths
22. Mark McCrea

Any Previous? (click for links)

November 30th, 2012 - Doncaster 22 Jersey 17

April 13th, 2013 - Jersey 13 Doncaster 10

Doncaster - a potted history

Dk Logo

Formed: 1875

Back in the day: the club had various homes during the first 50 years of its existence, and then spent around 30 years sharing a home with the Doncaster Cricket Club before moving to the site of their present home in the 1950s - the now very well-appointed rugby ground and conference facility Castle Park.

Famous sons: Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths was an accomplished full-back in his day, but his way into the Welsh team was blocked by the great JPR Williams. Griffiths earned one cap, replacing the great man mid-way through a Five Nations win over England in 1979

Jersey connection: he'd like to have been included in the category above, but Jersey Forwards Coach Steve Boden made around 200 appearances for the club until he moved to Jersey in summer 2012, and scored 18 tries for Knights, including 10 in 2007/08, while Nicky Griffiths played a season at Castle Park in 2009/10. Former Jersey full-back Glenn Bryce spent last season with Doncaster, but has since left the club and returned to his native Scotland and joined Glasgow Warriors.

Silverware: The Yorkshire Shield in 1979, and of course National One in April of this year

League History: Doncaster made a meteoric rise up the English rugby pyramid after leagues were introduced in 1987. Starting in Yorkshire Division Two (Level 10), by 2005 they had reached Level Two, where they spent eight seasons until relegation in 2013

The Greene King IPA Championship this weekend

Some people have insisted on referring to league positions after a single game, in fact this pointless exercise was even going on last Saturday and Sunday morning before four teams had even played a game. Suffice to say those teams who won will be looking to maintain their 100% records, while last weekend's losers will be seeking to turn things around.

On Saturday Worcester host Moseley, Rotherham travel to Bedford and Plymouth are at home to Nottingham. Sunday's games are Yorkshire Carnegie against Bristol and Cornish Pirates v London Scottish.

A full preview can be seen HERE

And Finally

Jersey Athletic won 15-19 last week against French side Coutances, and this weekend they travel to Barnes for a Zoo Shield match on Saturday, while on Sunday Jersey Colts play their first match of the season, away to Trojans.


Jersey's 1st team squad players will be looking to draw inspiration from the privilege of getting up close and personal with the only two Lancaster bombers still flying. The chance came on Thursday ahead of the Battle of Britain Air Display, when the Canadian Lancaster joined its British 'Dambuster' counterpart in the skies over the Island - the first time this had happened since 1956 and quite possibly the last.

Enjoy your weekend's rugby

Tom Innes

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