Creber shines on return to the Raiders starting team

HE IS never one to take defeat lightly, but Jordan Reynolds took ‘some really good positives’ from Raiders trip to Old Albanian on Saturday.

Dan Morgan, pictured against Old Albanians earlier in the season, scored a try for Guernsey in the reverse fixture. (Picture by Martin Gray, 30708068)
Dan Morgan, pictured against Old Albanians earlier in the season, scored a try for Guernsey in the reverse fixture. (Picture by Martin Gray, 30708068)

Having made a whole host of changes to his squad, the Guernsey director of rugby saw his side go down to a narrow 36-28 loss having been in the game throughout and they managed to pick up a bonus point for having scored four tries.

It left the head coach in a fairly buoyant mood.

‘Most of the time when you do bring new people in, it is one person within the group of 20 so usually you have 19 with a good understanding of their roles,’ Reynolds said.

‘We made in excess of nine changes for this game, so we are not too disappointed with the performance. What we would be disappointed with is if we make the same mistakes in our next game that we did in this.

‘We still had faith in this group because we took over some quality players and some future players for the club and we probably felt we were in a good place to win the game, but fatigue set in in the last 10 minutes and that led to a couple of mistakes.’

Guernsey’s first try came via a driving maul with hooker Dan Morgan getting score.

Centre Ciaran McGann also touched down while there was a penalty try for the visitors and university student Matt Creber marked his return to the side with a try.

‘Matt Creber was our man of the match for sure – he made gain-line successes and his tackling was really good.

‘He is not the biggest forward, but pound-for-pound he is one of the strongest out there and he has got a mental fortitude that makes him stronger. His explosive power is something a lot of people wish they could have and he will be a good player to come back into the squad when he is back full-time in the summer.

‘Michael Jamieson also had a really strong game at fullback. He was constantly threatening the line and probably had the most tackle-breaks for the game.’

Reynolds was also pleased to report that Matt Armstrong got the full 80 minutes under his belt on his return from injury against an Old Albanian who had several changes themselves from the side who won at Footes Lane in December.

‘They scored some good tries, although we gifted them some because there were parts of our defence where we fell asleep a little bit.

‘They were a strong side and I don’t think anyone can begrudge them their victory, although as Malcolm [Barnes, assistant coach] said afterwards we were probably just an experienced player short on the day – someone organising some of our defensive structures would have made a difference.

‘But we have not got our heads down about loss. If anything, we are positive about a lot of the stuff we did.’

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