Rivals ready for Siam showdown

03/05/2018

The climax to the rugby season in the Channel Islands will play out at Footes Lane this Saturday, with four matches between two old rivals: hosts Guernsey and the visitors from Jersey.

Last year's day finished two games all: the Siam itself remained in Jersey's possession, as it had since 2009, thanks to a last-kick Guernsey conversion missing the target, and the home team had a far more comfortable win in the Fallaize Cup for 2nd teams; but Guernsey Ladies were too strong for their opponents, and the visitors also took the Nash Cup for Veterans after a keenly-contested tussle.

For 2018 and 2019, the Siam Cup has a new sponsor: Santander International, who are also the main sponsor of Jersey Reds.

With a three-season eligibility rule for Jersey's professional players, up to five pros could have been selected in theory, but in fact just two are in the squad: Nick Selway will captain the side in his fifth Siam appearance, and 35-year-old Uili Kolo'ofa'i will play his final game for the club he joined in 2015 - the eight-times-capped Tongan international is set to return to New Zealand at the end of the season.

Joining Messrs Selway and Kolo'ofa'i will be 20 team-mates who have played for the amateur Jersey Reds Athletic side this year. 15 of the squad are Jersey-born, and 17 are aged 26 or under, including replacement scrum-half Max Harrington, who is set to become the first player born in a year staring with '2' to earn Siam Cup honours.

For the third time, Jersey's Siam Cup side will be coached by Myles Landick, a former Siam cap and Head Coach of Jersey Reds Athletic.

Guernsey are on a high after ending their six-season stay in London/SE Premier in triumph thanks to a win in last Saturday's promotion play-off over Bournemouth - the Raiders ascend to National 2 South for this first time in their history.

Jersey Reds squads (based on info supplied - apologies for any errors/omissions)

Jersey Reds 1st XV, Santander International Siam Cup (2.45pm, Garenne Stand)

1 George Banks
2 Nick Selway (capt)
3 Chris Pople
4 Euan Spencer
5 Tom Ellis
6 Alex Budd
7 Tim Corson
8 Uili Kolo'ofa'i
9 Liam Rhodes
10 Daniel Butler-Hawkes
11 Simon Johnson
12 Will Falle
13 Nathan Rogers
14 Adam Spencer
15 Scott McClurg

Replacements
16 David Felton
17 Ewan Davies
18 George Willmott
19 Harrison Berresford
20 Max Harrington
21 James Dufty
22 Dominic Henstridge

Match officials
Peter Crouch
Veryan Boscawen
Melanie Liley


Jersey Reds 2nd XV, Fallaize Cup (12.15pm, Garenne Stand)

1 Richard Vetier
2 Andrew Pitcher (capt)
3 George Thomas
4 Harry Bannister
5 Paul Rowe
6 Chris Thompson
7 Tom Tilstone
8 Dominic Mayo
9 Daniel Pozzo
10 Mark Boarer
11 Jamie Cook
12 Nick Scott
13 Henry Frost
14 Harrison Mitchell
15 Finley Laing

Replacements
16 Benjamin Church
17 Douglas McGovern
18 Craig Simeon
19 Frasier George
20 Zac Robinson
21 Ren Barons
22 Vusa Mtunzi


Jersey Reds Women, Ladies Siam (10.45am, Garenne Stand)

1 Beth Rosser
2 Elsa Rocha
3 Paris-Mia Ozouf
4 Kim Vallance
5 Kerry Bertram
6 Lucy Hart
7 Tracey DaCosta
8 Gissy Gsselin
9 Jayne Paterson
10 Lauren Lowe (capt)
11 Rosie Corbett
12 Margaret Malcolmson
13 Megan Hollyman
14 Roxy Rice
15 Emily Hart

Replacements
16 Amber Hopwood
17 Emma Bennetts
18 Bobbie Parris
19 Franky Vautier
20 Sapphire DeLaHaye
21 Tine Davies
22 Taye Boakye-Yiadom


Jersey Wanderers, Nash Cup (Veterans, 10.45am, rugby club pitch)

1 Daniel Curzons (capt)
2 Graham Stokes
3 Guy Holvey-Clark
4 Justin Hewgill
5 Ian Henderson
6 Craig Simeon
7 Adam Mansfield
8 Matthew Cook
9 Jerry Willis
10 Brendan O'Brien
11 Stuart Geddes
12 Christian Weald
13 Richard Stather
14 James Long
15 James Geldart

Replacements
16 Phil Walker
17 Jamie Crawford
18 Howard Phillips
19 Ed O'Brien
20 Matt Davenport-Brown
21 Peter Brewer
22 Rory Steel


History of the Siam Cup

According to a family history of the Forty family, the Siam Cup was presented by CH Forty, an officer based in Siam with the Durham Light Infantry, in 1912, however it was not used as a rugby trophy until 1920, and was first contested between Island sides in 1935. Further historical information can be found HERE


The Siam Cup this century

2000: Jersey 54 Guernsey 20. At the time, Jersey's second-highest points tally in Siam history, beaten only by the 69 registered in 1997

2001: Guernsey 12 Jersey 32

2002: Jersey 23 Guernsey 8

2003: Guernsey 0 Jersey 27

2004: Jersey 32 Guernsey 22

2005: Jersey 24 Guernsey 28. A second-successive home game for Jersey due to development work at Footes Lane in Guernsey. International referee Donal Courtney sends off Jersey's Roger Quirk, and sin-bins his colleague Steve O'Brien, in a fiery encounter, and a 74th-minute try by Tom Smit seals the win. The 4-point winning margin is the smallest in any Siam Cup since 1988 (Guernsey 12 Jersey 8) and before that the 3-3 draw in 1978

2006: Guernsey 13 Jersey 38. An easy win for Jersey, and another flurry of cards including a red for Matt Banahan in his second and final (to date) Siam appearance. One of Guernsey's water-boys invades the pitch, a move he quickly comes to regret. Oh, and the whole thing is captured on video and placed on Youtube

2007: Jersey 8 Guernsey 17. A gritty away win for the Sarnians in the lowest-scoring Siam since an 18-3 win for Jersey in 1991

2008: Guernsey 22 Jersey 13. Guernsey lead 10-8 at half-time and 15-13 with minutes to play before sealing the win through a late try

2009: Jersey 34 Guernsey 6. Two Tommy Turner tries help Jersey to an easy win in a game refereed by Luke Pearce, then aged 21, who has since gone on to the Premiership and multiple international appointments, including New Zealand v France next month

2010: Guernsey 0 Jersey 36. Ashley Maggs gets two tries, altho' Jersey's pack outdoes the backs with tries by Trower, Brownrigg and Kemp

2011: Jersey 73 Guernsey 5. An 11-try rout, with James Copsey and Donovan Sanders both claiming hat-tricks, sparks fears about the future of the Siam

2012: Guernsey 0 Jersey 29. The worst Siam weather in recent memory has an effect on the game, with scoring at one end of the ground virtually impossible all day. Jersey ground out a half-time lead through tries by Guy Thompson (2), Glenn Bryce and a penalty try, and that was also the final score

2013: Jersey 41 Guernsey 8. Jersey say goodbye to a host of players who were either leaving the Island or not graduating to full-time status: Glenn Bryce, Ashley Maggs, Mike Le Bourgeois, Dave McCormack, Brendan O'Brien, Richard Barrington, Nathan Hannay, Graham Bell, Kingsley Lang, Eoghan Nihill and Talite Vaioleti. A certain lack of focus in the early stages leaves Guernsey 0-8 up after half an hour, and even tries by McCormack, Felton and Maggs leave it poised at 17-8 at the break. Just one further try, by Leeds-bound Hannay, happens in the first 30 minutes of the second period, but the home crowd are sent home happy when wingers Dawson and Levesley (2) race over in the final 10 minutes

2014: Guernsey 7 Jersey 38. The visitors scored three tries and 19 points in each half: Nicky Griffiths, Ed Dawson and Mark Foster in the first half, and Joe Buckle, Sam Lockwood and Tom Brown in the second. Dale Rutledge scored a deserved consolation try for the Sarnians

2015: Jersey 48 Guernsey 3. 'Superman' Henry Cavill was in attendance to watch Jersey's Jon Brennan lift the Siam in his last appearance for the Reds. The home side scored eight tries, three of them by winger Ed Dawson in an eight-minute burst in the first half

2016: Guernsey 19 Jersey 33. In the first Siam since an eligibility agreement covering Jersey's professional players was brought in, the home side were ahead 19-18 with just over 10 minutes to play, but the Reds scored a penalty and two late tries to seize the moment and retain the Siam Cup

2017: Jersey 20 Guernsey 18. Agony for the Sarnians as they came within a conversion of drawing the match and ending a run of Siam defeats. Kenny Hellier was the man who couldn't quite land the touch-line conversion of Tom Ceillam's try with the final kick of the game. The Reds led 7-3 at the break thanks to Karl Haitana's try and it remained close at 13-6 going into the last 15 minutes. The home side thought they'd done enough when Sam Fuller raced 50 metres to score from Donovan Sanders' pass after a turnover, but late tries by Cameron Craine and Ceillam almost turned the tables

Overall tally (based on figures in the 2004 Siam Cup programme): Jersey 61 wins; Guernsey 13 wins; 3 games drawn


Guernsey RFC History

Guernsey Rugby Union Football Club was founded in January 1928. Although there are records of rugby union being played in the Island as far back as the 19th century. The game gave way to soccer until the Guernsey Rugby Club was formed. Initially the club only ran one side and had a membership of 20-30. The club now runs three senior sides, a youth team and a very active junior section.

The first team has competed in the English national leagues since 1987. Guernsey and Jersey were last in the same league when they competed in Hampshire One (Level 9) in 1994/95.

In the Siam-Cup winning season of 2004/05 Guernsey finished second in London 4 SW and were promoted to Level 7, at that stage just one level behind Jersey.

In subsequent seasons the Sarnians became a stronger presence at this level, finishing 10th, 5th, 4th and 7th before taking the runners-up spot in 2009/10, only to lose a play-off at Hove by 17-14.

But in 2010/11 they took the league title by a point from Trojans, thanks to a bonus point in defeat (15-16) on the final day of the season against their Hampshire rivals - their only home loss that season. In 2011/12 the Sarnians lost just three games - at Old Elthamians and Sidcup in September, and against Portsmouth the following month. They then won 18 straight matches, enabling them to win London 1 South at the first time of asking. The Greens finished with 111 points, three ahead of Old Elthamians (who subsequently won the play-off), and a F/A points record of 951/ 317.

Guernsey played six seasons in Level 5, gradually improving their standing up to this season as runners-up, which earned them the right to contest the promotion play-off.

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