Raiders’ focus switches to Siam
THE mountain became just too big to climb for Raiders.
Despite an impressive run in March that saw Guernsey register three successive National Two South victories for the first time, their 60-28 defeat at promotion-chasing Henley Hawks on Saturday and results elsewhere confirmed that Jordan Reynolds’ men will be relegated at the end of the season.
Having been in a perilous position for many weeks, the Raiders head coach admitted that while they would always fight on when there was any hope of survival, the club were well prepared for this eventuality.
‘Dings picked up both bonus points late on at Taunton on Saturday and it sunk us, but I don’t think it will have a sobering effect on us this week,’ he said.
‘It was always going to be a tough ask anyway – we knew we needed a bit of a miracle to get out of it.’
Guernsey still have their Siam Cup defence to look forward to next month in Jersey and Reynolds revealed that he will use their final two home league games – against Taunton Titans this Saturday and Old Albanians on Saturday 27 April – to prepare as best they can.
He also has his fingers crossed that some current absentees will be fit in time to return for the Jersey game.
‘I have been having some discussions with Malcolm Barnes and Steve Melbourne [his backs and forwards coaches respectively] about what we are going to do in the next couple of games,’ he said.
‘We are very keen to rest a couple of guys before the Siam and even with one eye on next season because if we can get more minutes into some other guys leading up to the Siam and beyond, it will only benefit us.
‘In my eyes, every minute of rugby at National Two level is as valuable as a game or two at National Three.
‘So for the Old Albanians game, we will probably look at getting back up to strength in readiness for the Siam, but this week against Taunton we are thinking let’s have a look at some players and see where we are for next season.’
- More in Tuesday's Guernsey Press.