Preview to Nottingham (A) 21.09.14


/*stop press squad changes - see below*/

Jersey and Nottingham will meet for the fifth time in the Championship with the ledger square after each side performed the double.

Three of the previous matches were close, with the loser within seven points and earning a bonus point; the exception was the first meeting in October 2012 when a 48-16 thrashing remains one of Jersey's three worst defeats at this level in terms of margin.

Nottingham were flying high at the time, going on to finish second in 2012/13, but suffered a dip in fortunes last season and were outside candidates for relegation until the closing weeks of the season.

Last season's Jersey double was made up of two nail-biters - the second of them settled in the last move of the game when Jack Burroughs dived over in the Jersey Bowl corner to wild home celebrations (pictured below).

Burroughs Try

Now the Green & Whites are back in second spot. Not that you can read much into the table after a fortnight, but certainly Martin Haag will be the happier boss: his side have won both their matches so far (19-10 at home to Bedford and 17-24 at Plymouth).

News from the Jersey camp

Harvey Biljon is giving his new look Jersey squad time to gel and opted against wholesale changes to his line-up for the trip to Nottingham this weekend.

After Jersey gave up potentially winning leads to draw against Moseley and lose to Doncaster in their opening games, Biljon has made three changes to his starting XV, one in each row of the scrum.

Skipper Alex Rae (pictured below) is back in the second row of the scrum, replacing Dave Markham who switches to the bench. At loosehead prop, Sam Lockwood has failed to recover from a calf injury, giving Nacho Lancuba his first league start for the Islanders.

Alex Rae Pirates

The final change sees Nick Haining back at blindside flanker after sustaining an eye injury at Moseley - he replaces Ben Maidment.

Jersey's back line is unchanged, and so is the bench with the exceptions of Grant Pointer, who will provide an additional back-line option, and Markham.

/*STOP PRESS*/ On Saturday morning Jersey scrum-half Ryan Glynn was ruled out of the match with illness, prior to the squad's 5.45pm flight to Birmingham.

Glynn's place has been taken by Nicky Griffiths, with Joel Dudley coming onto the bench - see revised squad below with changes in bold.

Jersey squad v Nottingham (A) Greene King IPA Championship, Sunday September 21st, k-o 3pm

1. Ignacio Lancuba
2. Martin Garcia-Veiga
3. Harry Williams
4. Pierce Phillips
5. Alex Rae (capt)
6. Nick Haining
7. Ryan Hodson
8. Michael Noone
9. Nicky Griffiths
10. Jonny Bentley
11. Jack Burroughs
12. Lewis Robling
13. Drew Locke
14. Mark Foster
15. Tommy Bell
16. Gareth Harris
17. Danny Herriot
18. Dave Markham
19. Paula Kaho
20. Joel Dudley
21. Mark McCrea
22. Grant Pointer

Any previous? (click for link to match report)

October 2012 Nottingham 48 Jersey 16

February 2013 Jersey v Nottingham - match postponed

March 2013 Jersey 13 Nottingham 20

October 2013 Nottingham 19 Jersey 22

February 2014 Jersey 17 Nottingham 13

Nottingham - a potted history


Formed: 1877

Back in the day: the club were based at Ireland Avenue in Beeston from 1904 until the ground was sold in 2006

Famous sons: VH Cartwright was Nottingham's first England player, winning 14 caps in the early 1900s; In the 1980s, the club had no less than five England caps: Gareth Rees, Rob Andrew, Brian Moore, Chris 'Swing Low' Oti and Simon Hodgkinson, as well as the Scotland lock Chris Gray. New Zealand lock Ali Williams played a month of rugby with the Green-and-Whites as part of a successful return from injury in early 2011. That's successful as in he won the World Cup 10 months later...

Jersey connections: given the high volume of player movements at this level, surprisingly few. Jersey tighthead Harry Williams played 21 games for Notts last season and was yellow-carded in the closing stages of the match at St Peter in February as the home side pressed for victory.

Silverware: there doesn't look to have been much action in the Green and White trophy cabinet of late, with the exception of the Selkirk Sevens in 1991; the club were runners-up in the National Merit Table in 1985/86 and finished second in the Championship in 2012/13 before losing out to Bedford in the play-offs

League history: Nottingham have spent most of the 27 completed seasons of the league era at level two, now the Greene King IPA Championship - the club first entered this league in the early 90s, and though relegated in 1996/97, they were back after being promoted as runners-up at level three in 2003/04.

And finally

This stat is a week late, but relates to Jersey and Moseley's record of draws prior to their 22-all score on the first weekend of September. For the Midlanders it was the sixth draw in five seasons (and one week) of league rugby since the Championship began in 2008. Although there was a 20-each Cup draw with Pontypridd in October 2012, Jersey's last league draw was at level five in October 2008, 6-all against Shelford, just a few weeks after a game against North Walsham finished 20-20.

This weekend's rugby in Jersey: the Athletic are at home to Esher on Saturday, with KO at 12noon, while on Sunday the third Jersey side, the newly-named Buccaneers, take on LQ Lydian Lions at 1pm.

Enjoy your weekend's rugby!

Tom Innes

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