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News 2014-15

Preview to Nottingham (H) 31.1.15

30/01/2015

After snapping a two-month losing streak in their most recent
outing away to Doncaster, Jersey are looking to largely the same
personnel to keep the winning habit going.

The Islanders host fourth-placed Nottingham at St Peter this
weekend, and the 22-man squad selected by Head Coach Harvey Biljon
shows just two changes from the unit who won 19-26 at Castle
Park.

Alex Rae failed a fitness test ahead of the trip to Yorkshire,
but Jersey's skipper returns, taking the blindside flanker position
ahead of Michael Noone.

The other change is a welcome return for hooker Martin
Garcia-Veiga, who has recovered from the injury he sustained in the
pre-Christmas match against Yorkshire Carnegie six weeks ago. The
Argentine is back in place of Nick Selway, though Joe Buckle
retains the starting berth at hooker after demonstrating in recent
weeks his ability to switch between back and front rows.

There will be a home debut for new signing Sami Fisilau, the
Tongan scrum-half who impressed in his first outing for Jersey
against Doncaster.
Jersey registered their best result of the season so far in
visiting Nottingham's former home at Meadow Lane in September, from
where the Islanders came away with a stunning 12-39
win. The defeat is one of just three sustained by the
Green-and-Whites in the Greene King IPA Championship so far, the
others inflicted by table-toppers Bristol and Worcester. Martin
Haag's side are on a roll, having won five successive league
matches.

Jersey lost both their matches against Nottingham in their debut
Championship season, thrashed 48-16 at Meadow Lane, and then
losing out 13-20 in March in a game that
was rearranged after the St Peter surface was deemed unplayable
four weeks earlier. (click on the scorelines - and anything
else in red you fancy - for match reports or further
details)

Burroughs Try

Last season, the Islanders turned the tables, registering two
narrow victories: a 19-22 success at Meadow
Lane, and a thrilling 17-13 win at St Peter clinched
by Jack Burroughs' try (pictured above by Sue Trower) in
the last play of the game.

Match referee Andrew Small was at St Peter this morning (Friday)
after catching an earlier flight to the Island. A precautionary
inspection took place following wet weather during the previous 72
hours. The pitch was passed fit, and the host club were encouraged
to note no cause for concern in the weather forecast for the period
leading up to kick-off.

MATCH-DAY TRAVEL 'n' PARKING -
Spectators are advised that this week's rainfall has led to
difficult conditions in the car parking areas at St Peter. Parking
will be limited, and access may be challenging for those in
two-wheel drive vehicles. Spectators are urged to consider
alternative means of getting to the match, by Liberty Bus, taxi, obtaining a lift, bicycle or
on foot, or - if driving in their own vehicles is
essential/unavoidable - to allow extra time.

Jersey squad v Nottingham 'H' - Greene King IPA
Championship, Saturday January 31st, St Peter - k-o
3pm

Backs (15-9)
Grant Pointer
Mark Foster
Drew Locke
Lewis Robling
Mark McCrea
Jonny Bentley
Samisoni Fisilau

Forwards (1-8)
Sam Lockwood
Joe Buckle
Harry Williams
Pierce Phillips
Nick Campbell
Alex Rae (capt)
Ryan Hodson
Nick Haining

Replacements
Martin Garcia-Veiga
Ignacio Lancuba
Danny Herriott
Dave Markham
Paula Kaho
Ryan Glynn
Aaron Penberthy

Nottingham - a potted history

Formed: 1877

Nottingham rugby

Back in the day: the club were based at Ireland Avenue
in Beeston from 1904 until the ground was sold in 2006 [they
subsequently played at Meadow Lane, home of Notts County FC, until
this month when the move was made to a 'new' ground at their Lady
Bay training facility] .

Famous sons: VH Cartwright was Nottingham's first England
player, winning 14 caps in the early 1900s; In the 1980s, the club
had no less than five England caps: Gareth Rees, Rob Andrew, Brian
Moore, Chris 'Swing Low' Oti and Simon Hodgkinson, as well as the
Scotland lock Chris Gray. New Zealand lock Ali Williams
played a month of rugby with the Green-and-Whites as part of a
successful return from injury in early 2011. That's successful as
in he won the World Cup 10 months later...

Jersey connections: given the high volume of player
movements at this level, surprisingly few. Jersey tighthead Harry
Williams played 21 games for Notts last season and was
yellow-carded in the closing stages of the match at St Peter last
February as the home side pressed for victory.

Silverware: There doesn't look to have been much action
in the Green and White trophy cabinet of late, with the exception
of the Selkirk Sevens in 1991; the club were runners-up in the
National Merit Table in 1985/86 and finished second in the
Championship in 2012/13 before losing out to Bedford in the
play-offs

League history: Nottingham have spent most of the 27
completed seasons of the league era at level two, now the Greene
King IPA Championship - the club first entered this league in the
early 90s, and though relegated in 1996/97, they were back after
being promoted as runners-up at level three in 2003/04.

The Greene King IPA Championship this
weekend

Three other Saturday games see London Scottish seek to consolidate
third place with a win - no easy task - at Bedford, while Worcester
take on 11th-placed Doncaster at Sixways and Plymouth host
Rotherham. Two of the home sides have been in the news this week:
Albion announcing they have avoided going into
administration
, while Worcester received a RFU
censure
and suspended points deduction for a breach of the
regulations concerning GPS tracking devices in players' shirts.

On Sunday Bristol will look to break their Mennaye Field hoodoo,
having never won a league match against the Pirates there, while
Yorkshire Carnegie host Moseley.

See full GKIPAC preview HERE

And finally

Jersey Athletic have an away Zoo Shield match against Esher on
Saturday, an important top-end-of-the-table challenge. The
Buccaneers game against Quennevais on Sunday has been
cancelled.

Dean Williams

It was announced this week that Macclesfield lock Dean Williams
(pictured above) was leaving the club for a playing
opportunity in New Zealand. It's not clear whether Williams is the
tallest player in British rugby history, at national league level
anyway, but he's certainly the tallest to have played at St Peter,
when
Macc visited Jersey in April 2012
. The poor bloke, who stands 7
foot 1 inch tall (that's 16 centimetres and two metres in new
money), was bent double trying to get a shower after the game, and
apparently Flybe's leg-room was a bit on the cramped side
too!

Enjoy your weekend's rugby!

Tom Innes

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