Jersey renew rivalries against old foes Ealing Trailfinders on their 4G artificial surface
Matches against Ealing Trailfinders have seen the Islanders struggle to record positive results ever since the Reds won the ‘race to the championship’ back at the beginning of the decade. The Reds are hoping to buck the recent trend this Saturday, that has seen them come away empty handed more times than not.
The Reds faced Ealing four times last season. It started with an impressive Championship Cup win at Vallis Way, although two late bonus points for the hosts in the dying minutes – it finished 34-41 – were to prove crucial in topping the pool as they stayed on course to repeat their British & Irish Cup triumph from the previous season, with a final win over already promoted London Irish. The return cup match back in Jersey went the Londoners’ way winning 20-16. They were also victorious in both the league encounters, battling back to win 19-14 at home and then inflicting Jerseys heaviest defeat (14-45) of the season at the Stade Santander, which gave Ealing a finish of second, replicating their previous campaign.
The overall Championship record between the sides is weighed heavily in Ealing’s favour, having won nine of the ten matches between the sides. Jersey can claim an advantage in the National League era, from when the clubs first met in 2010/11 and the following season, winning three out of four contests, but overall, in all matches, Ealing have 11 wins to the Reds’ five.
Ealing started their 2019-20 season in the Championship cup by thumping Bedford 57-26, and then newbies Ampthill 43-5, following it up with victory in a tight affair against Jerseys visitors last week, Coventry 22-17. Their league campaign got off to a tough start at the home of Cornish Pirates, who underlined their credentials this season with a stunning 30-10 victory.
Unsurprisingly after the excellent win last week against Coventry, Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon keeps the nucleus of the side intact, making only four changes, two enforced due to injury.
Captain Max Argyle returns in place of Jake Upfield who drops to the bench, (Josh Bainbridge moving to 8). Nic Dolly starts after coming on for TJ Harris’ HIA last weekend.
In the backs, Tom Williams drops out, replaced by Jack Stapley, Luc Jones and Will Homer exchange places at scrum-half.
You can follow the action with us on our twitter feed, @jerseyrfc.
The Reds return to the Island the following weekend to take on the Doncaster Knights under the Friday Night Lights, October 25th, kick off is at 7.45pm.
Jersey Reds Athletic are also in weekend action at the Stade Santander this Saturday, taking on Bishops Stortford in the Zoo Sports Shield. Kick off is at 1.30pm
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v Ealing Trailfinders – Green King IPA Championship
Saturday October 19th, Vallis Way, k-o 2pm