Raiders are expecting a Redruth backlash
FIRST welcomes third tomorrow as a gripping National Two South season ramps up to another level.
As soon as the fixture list was published, Redruth’s visit to Footes Lane was earmarked as a mouthwatering clash and the fact that the visitors and their hosts are the only two sides to have lost just a single game so far this campaign makes this weekend’s contest all the more enthralling.
Guernsey director of rugby Jordan Reynolds admitted yesterday that if someone had told him before the season started that this would turn out to be first against third, the only way he could have envisaged it is ‘maybe if we were third’.
However, Raiders are flying high at the top having won seven games in a row as they prepare to host one of the powerhouse clubs at level four in the English league ladder.
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‘There is always that excitement around playing Redruth,’ Reynolds said.
‘When we first got the opportunity a couple of years ago, we had a really great, well-fought battle at our place and it ended 15-16. Unfortunately we were in the midst of an injury crisis when we went there later that season.
‘The way it has panned out this time, with us picking up a string of wins, it is a big game for us for a couple of reasons and not just because Redruth are one of the biggest teams in National Two.’
Having started the season as one of the title favourites, the Cornish club lived up to that billing by winning their first six games until their unbeaten run came to an abrupt end with a 34-26 home defeat against Esher.
Reynolds knows to expect a backlash from Redruth tomorrow.
‘Just as much as we were surprised they lost at home last week, they were probably more shocked with their first-half performance and after something like that there is nothing better than playing again the next week and putting it right.
‘Last week they probably underperformed, they will know that, so they are going to raise their bar again.
‘Our string of wins has probably put more of a target on us and we are not catching teams unawares now.
‘Redruth have been here before and know what to expect from playing at Footes Lane, but our run probably motivates them even more.’