‘All-stars’ collide in eight-try ‘Test Fest’

THE sight of the team in green-and-white winning at Footes Lane is nothing new.

Corsairs prop Charlie Currie is the meat in a Buccaneers sandwich at Footes Lane. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28733629)
Corsairs prop Charlie Currie is the meat in a Buccaneers sandwich at Footes Lane. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28733629)

However, the atmosphere on Saturday definitely was as Corsairs took a 1-0 lead in their three-match ‘Test’ series against the Buccaneers thanks to a 35-19 win.

As Raiders’ finest went head-to-head, a good crowd well into the hundreds was not really sure who to cheer for, instead polite applause met each of the eight tries, and the big hits that the Garenne Stand faithful usually relish from Guernsey players were met with winces as their favourites were on the receiving end as well as dishing them out.

One thing is for sure – there was no going easy on each other from either side and the amount of work the medics were put through during the 80 minutes was evidence of that.

Guernsey’s director of rugby Jordan Reynolds, who has a watching brief while Malcolm Barnes and Luke Jones take over coaching duties for this series, had predicted fireworks and we got them.

‘In the second half when the injuries started taking their toll and we were making wholesale changes, obviously that slowed the game down a lot, but that was a strong hit out,’ he said, with a definite twinkle in his eye.

‘That first half, the speed of the game was very quick. You’ve basically got an all-star game going on there from Guernsey.

‘All the injuries were actually from collisions. Normally our injuries are from getting ourselves in bad positions, but all the big collisions were happening and guys were just coming off with knee problems, shoulder problems, all sorts.

‘That’s what you are going to get. Like I said [beforehand], these guys are so competitive and we saw that today, which was brilliant.

‘I thought there were some good contests between the packs and the backs.

‘The value for us? When we played the Isle of Man [Douglas RFC], 80 points was not much value to us, but I think we got a lot out of this.

‘We got to see a lot out of players which we don’t normally see as well. It’s easy when you’re playing against sides and beating them by 70, but here you’re playing a game between two quality sides and it’s tough.’

  • More in Monday's Guernsey Press.

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