New forwards Hugo Culverhouse, Jordan Cranton and Toby Brook all played their part in the Corsairs’ 35-19 victory while wing Callum Roberts showed good instincts, power and pace to score a try for Buccaneers on his first appearance at Footes Lane.
Guernsey’s director of rugby Jordan Reynolds took a lot of positives from the performances of all the newcomers.
‘Callum had a pretty good game on the wing, he seems like a real handful. You just start thinking about your back three now and who you get to select from and it gets quite interesting,’ said the Raiders head coach with a wry grin.
‘I thought Jordan Cranton was playing really well, too, until he got injured.
‘It was great to see these new guys coming in – Hugo had a big game in the second row, he’s a big beast, particularly when he is running down the pitch with people to pass to at 6ft 6in.
‘There was good quality there across the park, which was fantastic, and I think they all played pretty well.’
Reynolds added that he thought the match was ‘more physical than some Siam Cups’ and believes there is a good chance Buccaneers will strike back in game two to force a decider.
‘I’m in a unbiased situation here, I don’t have an affiliation to either side, but I believe Buccaneers had four attempts in the first half where they got into the 22 and only came away with one try, Corsairs went in three times and scored three times – that was it. If you look at the scoreboard at the end of the game, that’s what’s on the scoreboard.
‘When [Buccaneers] got into the scoring zones, they just didn’t come away with the points, Corsairs did every time and that was literally the difference between the sides.
‘One team definitely did not dominate the other,’ Reynolds added.