Preview to Rotherham (H) 27.09.1426/09/2014
Back-to-back wins - probably not as easy as ABC
After being granted the less-than-plum late January slot for their previous trips to Jersey, Rotherham's players and supporters will emerge blinking into the sunlight for a late summer fixture against the Island side.
Based on previous experience, even the rugged northerners must have been planning to pack thermals and sou'westers for the trip, but happily neither should be necessary; Jersey was officially in drought for around a week in the middle of this month, and although it has since rained once or twice, September could yet be the driest on record. Saturday looks dry and bright with a forecast high of 22c.
Rotherham's first trip to the Island in January 2013 saw the match played on the reserve pitch 2 at St Peter following incessant rain across most of December and January. It's fair to say the switch didn't delight the visiting party, especially when they were defeated 13-10. The 2013/14 season was little drier, but remedial drainage work meant the main pitch was in decent shape for a contest the Titans won 22-35, displaying some scintillating rugby along the way.
The Yorkshire side made it through to the play-offs last season, and are determined to back up this achievement with another top-four spot this time around. London Scottish may have something to say about that, and defeated the Titans 32-23 at the RAG on the opening Saturday of the season, but Roth have since recovered with two wins, a thumping 15-42 success at Bedford and a less convincing home victory over Plymouth Albion by 30-25.
Talking of backing up, Jersey will be looking to do just that after a stunning 12-39 win at Nottingham last Sunday. Jersey have only once recorded back-to-back league wins since joining the Greene King IPA Championship two years ago, with wins at St Peter over London Scottish and Plymouth Albion in October/November 2012. A win on home soil would really leave the Island players and supporters in the pink, but will be a tough task against one of the league's most formidable sides.
Jersey will take the field in an unfamiliar colour, with a
one-off pink strip (pictured above) produced by kit
supplier Kukri as part of a special charity fund-raising day. Local
charity After Breast Cancer will be the beneficiary from the event,
which will adopt a pink theme throughout, with discounted admission
for female supporters who wear pink, shirt auctions, bucket
collections and other activities to raise funds for this excellent
News from the Jersey camp
Scrum-half Ryan Glynn has been recalled by Head Coach Harvey Biljon for this weekend's game, having been ill and forced to miss last Sunday's trip to Nottingham.
The switch at number 9 is the only alteration to the Jersey starting XV, with the other change being on the bench, where David Bishop is selected ahead of Grant Pointer as Jersey retain a 4:3 split of forwards and backs among the replacements.
Biljon said his squad were determined to follow-up the success at Meadow Lane on home soil.
"We must go out with the aim of backing up one good result with
another," he said. "Not many of our supporters were able to make it
to Nottingham, but the backing we had from everyone who followed
the game on the radio or via social media was fantastic - now it's
time to show them what we can do at St Peter."
Jersey squad v Rotherham (H) GKIPA Championship, Saturday September 27th, 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. Ryan Glynn
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. David Bishop
Any previous (click for match report)
September 2012 - Rotherham 54 Jersey 31
January 2013 - Jersey 13 Rotherham 10
October 2013 - Rotherham 25 Jersey 16
January 2014 - Jersey 22 Rotherham 35
Rotherham: a potted history
Back in the day: the club were of 'no fixed abode' until they settled at Clifton Lane in the late 1930s
Famous sons: current Moseley Head Coach and 70-times Ireland cap Kevin Maggs, Spanish wing Oriol Ripol, Irish scrum-half Guy Easterby, plus Henry Paul, John Bentley and Dave Scully. 14-times-capped Samoan Mike Umaga played 123 times for Roth, later becoming Player-Coach
Jersey connection: not too many players have represented both sides, an exception being Tongan flanker Latu Makaafi, who is now with Doncaster
League history: Rotherham were in North-East Division One - level 8 - for the first season of league rugby in 1987/88. Seven promotions in 13 seasons saw the club reach the Premiership by 2000. Two seasons at the top level both ended with relegation, and the club have been settled in the Championship since 2004/05
The Greene King IPA Championship this weekend
Bristol v London Scottish, Friday 7.45pm
Plymouth Albion v Bedford, Saturday 3pm
Worcester v Nottingham, Saturday 3pm
Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster, Sunday 2.30pm
Cornish Pirates v Moseley, Sunday 3pm
See HERE for the full preview
Although Jersey Athletic are without a game this weekend, there will be two matches at St Peter on Sunday. Jersey Ladies take on Oakmedians at 1pm, while Jersey Buccaneers against Beeches kicks off an hour later