Jersey get set to tackle the Titans01/04/2016
Jersey enter the final month of the regular season looking to keep up recent good form with a home win over Rotherham.
The Reds won three of their four matches in March, the only exception being the one-point British & Irish Cup loss to Yorkshire Carnegie, and bounced back on Good Friday with a last-gap win over London Scottish by 22-20.
Not only did the league win over the Exiles kick off the Easter holiday in style in front of a season-high crowd of 2,460, but it also maintained Jersey's outside chance of infiltrating the top four of the Greene King IPA Championship. Fourth-placed Bedford, who entertain Cornish Pirates on Saturday are eight points clear of the Islanders with three matches to play and remain favourites to secure the final play-off spot.
Jersey's opponents have also won three of their last four games, Rotherham's improved form coinciding with the arrival of Justin Burnell as Head Coach in place of Mark Jones in mid-February. A 22-12 home win over Nottingham on Easter Saturday was almost certainly enough to ensure the South Yorkshire side will stay clear of the Championship's relegation trap-door.
Jersey have won just two of the seven meetings between the clubs, claiming a nail-biting 13-10 win at St Peter in January 2013, and then a far more emphatic 6-27 bonus-point win at Clifton Lane earlier this season back in November.
The Jersey squad to take on the Titans includes two changes to the starting XV that faced London Scottish. Tom Howe returns on the right wing, which means Ross Adair reverts to full-back and Aaron Penberthy drops to the bench. The other switch is at tight-head prop, where Simon Kerrod will start and Danny Herriott is back among the replacements.
Jersey's bench also includes new loan signing Jake Woolmore, who has arrived from Exeter Chiefs as emergency front row cover. The move has received RFU clearance and follows injuries in the past two games to loose-head props Sam Lockwood and Nacho Lancuba. Woolmore had been on loan with National Two side Taunton Titans earlier in the season, and had previously agreed terms to move to Jersey permanently at the conclusion of 2015/16.
The first Saturday of British Summer Time is expected to see another good crowd at St Peter, with the attendance swelled by a healthy contingent of away supporters who have been able to take advantage of the new summer flight schedules which have included daily flights to Jersey from neighbouring Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.
The second weekend of April is a free one for the Jersey players, who will return to action with a trip to Ealing on Saturday April 16th, followed by the visit of Yorkshire Carnegie to St Peter on the final day of the regular season, Saturday April 23rd.
Jersey squad v Rotherham Titans (H) - Greene King IPA Championship, Saturday April 2nd, St Peter, k-o 3pm
Alex Rae (capt)