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Another Archers episode presents tough test for Reds

07/12/2022

A chilly December evening at Lady Bay, facing opponents who’ve been in good form so far this season, will provide a stiff test for Jersey Reds in their ninth Championship outing of the current campaign.

The Reds are unbeaten in the league so far, maintaining this run thanks to a 34-19 home win over Richmond last Saturday, but will be wary of their opponents, who are currently fifth in the Championship table. Other than a heavy defeat to league leaders Ealing, the Archers’ three other losses have been by single-figure margins, most recently a 32-31 loss at Bedford last Saturday.

The Green-and-Whites will also be keen to gain revenge for their loss (by 12-38) on home turf to the Reds five weeks ago in the opening round of this season’s Championship Cup. The visitors made a fast start with tries by Dan Barnes, Ryan Hutler and Russell Bennett within the opening quarter of an hour, and led 5-31 at the break, with just a single converted try for each side during the second period.

Having given opportunities to all fit members of his playing personnel over the first three months of the season, Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon is able to freshen up the match-day squad and select a strong XXIII for the trip to Lady Bay.

A total of eight changes are made to the starting line-up from the XV which faced Richmond. Two players are brought into the back-line: Charlie Powell, a try-scoring replacement last Saturday, starts at outside centre in place of Alex McHenry, while James Mitchell assumes scrum-half duties from James Elliott.

Lock Sean O’Connor and flanker Max Argyle are the only starting forwards to retain their places. Sam Grahamslaw, TJ Harris and Monty Weatherby will make up the front row, while Tom Everard partners O’Connor in the engine room. Having returned from injury with a cameo off the bench last Saturday, Tim Grey is selected in the back row, which will also feature Macauley Cook, who captains the side in the absence of Lewis Wynne.

Scrum-half Jonny Law is the only one of the eight replacements involved last Saturday to retain his spot on the bench.

Last month’s encounter was the first time the clubs had met in either the Championship Cup or British & Irish Cup. Since the Reds arrived in the second tier a decade ago there have been 18 league meetings, with the Reds winning on 12 occasions, five Nottingham victories and a 19-all draw at the Bay in December 2017.

On their return from Nottingham, the Reds will set their sights on the final home game of 2022, with Bedford Blues the visitors to Stade Santander International on Saturday December 17th (k-o 2pm). Advance tickets available via THIS LINK

 

Jersey Reds squad v Nottingham (A) – 2022/23 RFU Championship, game 9/22, Lady Bay Sportsground, Friday December 9th, k-o 7.45pm

Backs (15-9)
Scott Van Breda; Ben Woollett, Charlie Powell, Jordan Holgate, Ryan Hutler; Russell Bennett, James Mitchell.
Forwards (1-8)
Sam Grahamslaw, TJ Harris, Monty Weatherby, Tom Everard, Sean O’Connor, Macauley Cook (capt), Max Argyle, Tim Grey.

Replacements (16-23)
Eoghan Clarke, Greg McGrath, Steve Longwell, Hamish Bain, Hallam Chapman; Jonny Law, Dan Barnes, Will Brown.

NEXT HOME GAME

4 Feb 2023

DAY - MONTH - YEAR

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THE WATERING HOLE

Why not come and chillout in the ‘Watering Hole’ before the game? A full-bar and food is available and you can enjoy some live music after the game.