Jersey head into the final stretch of the season this weekend
looking for a strong finish to 2014/15.
The Islanders may be set for a mid-table finish in the league
rankings - this would be the club's first since 2001/02 - but there
is still a huge amount to play for as Cornish Pirates arrive for
Saturday's Greene King IPA Championship encounter.
The home side will be looking to back up the tremendous win over
high-flying Worcester in their most recent outing at St Peter. The
triumph boosted a patchy record for Jersey in their own back
yard, and the aim is to round off the current campaign in style and
secure the highest-possible league finish with home wins over
Pirates and Moseley.
Rivalry between the Islanders and the visitors from Penzance is
strong - Jersey have a number of former Pirates among their playing
ranks and also recruited Head Coach Harvey Biljon from the coaching
team at the Mennaye Field 16 months ago.
Two ex-Pirates, Ben Maidment and Grant Pointer, are injured and
will miss the game, but Biljon still has four players in his squad
who formerly played for the Cornish side: Drew Locke, Aaron
Penberthy Joe Buckle and Jonny Bentley.
Locke and Penberthy are among a starting back division that is
unchanged from Jersey's previous outing, a 16-12 defeat at
Headingley against Yorkshire Carnegie. However there are changes up
front: Martin Garcia-Veiga comes back in at hooker for Buckle, who
switches to his alternative position in the back row, with Ryan
Hodson and Nick Haining missing out through injury. Paula Kaho will
play at number 8, while Nick Campbell is back in Dave Markham's
stead at lock.
Markham is one of the players on Jersey's bench, where Nick
Selway provides cover at both prop and hooker, alongside fellow
props Ignacio Lancuba and Danny Herriott. Ryan Glynn, David Bishop
and Bentley complete the bench, covering the back-line.
As well as the links between the clubs, Jersey have the
additional motivation of improving a poor record against the
Pirates. The two sides met in Jersey's first-ever Championship
match, the Islanders losing 6-20 at St Peter in
September, and have suffered four further defeats since then in
league and cup.
Jersey's only success over the Pirates was the
27-25 win in November 2013. Tries by Mark McCrea and Joe Buckle
gave the home side a platform, but they trailed until a 77th minute
try by Tom Brown provided hope. The deficit was still three points,
but Niall O'Connor kicked a conversion to narrow it and then added
a 45-metre penalty at the death.
The two sides met at the Mennaye Field on the opening weekend of
2015. Jersey led 11-12 at the break after a dogged first-half
effort, but once again a half-time lead slipped and 19 unanswered
points meant the final result was one of Jersey's most
disappointing of the season - a 30-12 reverse.
Jersey squad v Cornish Pirates 'H' - Greene King IPA
Championship, Saturday April 11th, St Peter - k-o
Alex Rae (capt)
The Greene King IPA Championship this
It's possible the relegation battle could be decided: should
Plymouth lose at home to leaders Bristol, Moseley could seal their
survival with a win at Bedford. But otherwise the two sides are set
for a crunch encounter at Billesley next weekend.
Another deal to be sealed would be London Scottish's place in
the Play-Offs, if they can defeat Nottingham at the RAG. This
result would give Rotherham the chance of consolidating fourth
place if they can beat Doncaster at Clifton Lane. It's not just
local rivalry that's at stake - the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy will
be at stake: Rotherham currently have 13 points in the county
'mini-league' ahead of their visitors' 10 (Yorkshire Carnegie trail
in third place). It could also be the Titans' last-ever match at
Clifton Lane given current wrangling over the future of their lease
and volatile relationship with their cricket club neighbours.
Worcester host Carnegie in the final match of the round, which
sees all games kicking off at 3pm, other than Jersey v Pirates,
brought forward to 2.30pm to accommodate the visitors' original
See HERE for full
Supporters' Player of the Year
All JRFC supporters will have the chance to have their say in a
new award for this season, the Supporters' Player of the Year.
Voting slips will be available at the Club Shop from 1pm on
Saturday April 11th, ahead of the Cornish Pirates game, and voting
will close on at 5pm on Saturday April 25th, after the Moseley
game. Votes can be cast on either match-day, or in between the two
games when the shop is open.
Supporters are permitted one vote per person for the player they
think has made the biggest contribution to the 1st XV season, and
all those who vote will be entered into a prize draw to win
selected items of JRFC merchandise. These prizes, and the 'SPOTY'
trophy itself, will be presented at the Awards Evening on April
There's no rugby for Jersey Athletic this weekend as the team
prepare for their last two away trips, to Cinderford and Richmond
over the next two weeks. But Jersey Buccaneers will take on Banks
at Grainville on Saturday morning at 11am.
He may not be as large in stature as during his playing days,
but the large-as-ever character of Ben Evans returned to Jersey
this week. The former Welsh international prop, who spent 18 months
on the Island as a player and coach, is set to marry his fiancée
Liz at St Brelade's Bay this afternoon (Friday) with a substantial
number of family and friends over for the occasion. We hope they
have a great day.
Enjoy your weekend's rugby!
17 Nov 2022
Old rivals both seek to stretch start-of-season winning run to 10 games