Reds eagerly await Island homecoming

23/03/2018

With Rotherham Titans whistling the 'Great Escape' theme tune as they bid to avoid Championship relegation, Jersey Reds find themselves reluctantly cast as the prison guards seeking to ensure there's no way out for their 'guests'.

The home side will be seeking to match the determination of a visiting Titans' outfit who know their 14-year stay at level two will be over with anything other than a win at Stade Santander International.

It's been five weeks since the Reds had a home game, and this period has seen two impressive away wins, by 34-38 against previously-unbeaten league leaders Bristol, and an emphatic 19-52 win over London Scottish, which took Harvey Biljon's side up to fourth in the Greene King IPA Championship table.

Now Jersey's Head Coach has called on his players to put on a performance on home turf, where their record so far this season (four wins from nine games) has fallen short of their tally on the road (six wins and a draw, also from nine outings).

Jersey's Head Coach has made six changes to his starting XV from the line-up that began last Friday's match at the Athletic Ground. Roy Godfrey, Jared Saunders and Leeroy Atalifo come into the front row, with Jake Woolmore, Nick Selway and Jake Armstrong reverting to the bench.

The other changes are in the backline, with George Eastwell and Joel Dudley coming in for Mark Best and Kieran Hardy, who both drop to the bench, and a first start at wing for on-loan teenager James Newey, a late replacement against London Scottish.

The two sides have been evenly-matched during their five seasons competing against each other at Championship level; there was a home win apiece last season, but four months ago the Reds claimed an emphatic win by 14-45 at Clifton Lane. Overall each club has five wins apiece over the 11 encounters, with one draw.

The clash with the Titans is the first of two back-to-back games at Stade Santander International as the home game famine turns to feast. On Good Friday (March 30th) the Reds host another team from South Yorkshire, Doncaster Knights, for a quarter-final tie in the British & Irish Cup. Cut-price tickets are available in advance from the Eventbrite site.


Jersey Reds squad v Rotherham Titans (H) - Greene King IPA Championship, Round 19/22, Saturday March 24th, Stade Santander International, k-o 3pm

Backs (15-9)

Scott Van Breda (co-capt)
James Newey
Apakuki Ma'afu
George Eastwell
Jason Worrall
Brendan Cope
Joel Dudley

Forwards (1-8)

Roy Godfrey (co-capt)
Jared Saunders
Leeroy Atalifo
Jerry Sexton
Dave Mckern
Rory Bartle
Conor Joyce
Max Argyle

Replacements

Jake Woolmore, Nick Selway, Jake Armstrong, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Jake Upfield; Kieran Hardy, Mark Best.

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