2022 Siam Cup: ‘This one’s about home redemption’

A sunday of celebration was quickly followed by a Monday of motivation to retain the Siam Cup for Raiders.

Guernsey fullback Callum Roberts will undergo a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow's 2022 Siam Cup match at Footes Lane after coming off the pitch last weekend in Jersey due to a tight calf muscle. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30749017)
Guernsey fullback Callum Roberts will undergo a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow's 2022 Siam Cup match at Footes Lane after coming off the pitch last weekend in Jersey due to a tight calf muscle. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30749017)

A unique set of circumstances caused by the pandemic means that the 2021 and 2022 editions of the historic inter-club clash between Guernsey and Jersey are being played back-to-back with Raiders, who regained the second oldest trophy in rugby in magnificent style last Saturday, putting it on the line again tomorrow at Footes Lane.

Jordan Reynolds revealed yesterday that his players had needed no encouragement in refocusing following their 62-26 victory at St Peter.

‘We were back into some training on Monday and, if anything, they were the ones pushing for a session,’ said Guernsey’s director of rugby.

‘The boys look fresh from the weekend, which is great. They are enthusiastic again.

‘Motivation-wise, I think last week was about understanding who we are as a club again and reaffirming our belief in ourselves. This week is more about redemption from November,’ he added, referring to the 14-13 defeat they suffered to Jersey in what was the delayed 2020 Siam.

Reynolds also admitted that having possession of the prestigious silverware for just one week does ‘not have the same feel’ as usual, which is driving Raiders’ attempt to retain it even more.

‘That was the 2021 game and a week later, whoever comes out on top gets it for a year,’ he said.

‘Whenever you win a Siam usually, being able to see that trophy for the next year is special, so last week was numbers to put on a board, but for us we want to hold it for the next year and we have got to perform well again to do that.’

The teams do not have to be finalised until this morning and, unsurprisingly, Reynolds is looking to keep faith with largely the same squad who triumphed last week, pending a couple of late fitness tests.

One definite change to the starting team, though, will see Matt Creber coming into the back row to replace Oscar Baird, who has played his last game for Guernsey.

‘I thought Oscar was a great addition. He always felt he was probably too light to play at this level, but I think what he may have lacked in size he made up for speed and in skill-set around the park – he is the type of player who suits us because we like a dynamic back row and he gave us that.

‘In all fairness, though, we have got guys on the ground to fill this position and Matt Creber has played a fair few games for us this season and done well.’

Reynolds hopes that Callum Roberts will come through a late fitness test to take his place in the side after coming off during the second half last week due to a tight calf.

However, fit-again Joe Andresen has been added to group and could be involved on match day.

‘We know there will be a response from Jersey,’ said Reynolds, looking forward to the game.

‘We performed well through our transitions last week and were good in loose play, but we also identified that we want to improve around our defensive structures.

‘We want to be better than last week. That does not necessarily have to reflect on the scoreboard, just in our performance.’

  • Saturday's Siam Cup match kicks off at 3pm at Footes Lane, preceded by the women’s Siam Trophy at noon. Watch live streams of both via the Guernsey Press Sport Facebook page.

Guernsey Raiders squad: Sam Steventon, Tom Ceillam, Jacob Pinkney, Lewis Hillier (captain), Brad Webb, Matt Creber, Dom Rice, Doug Horrocks, Charlie Simmonds, Owen Thomas, Matt Armstrong, Charlie Davies, Ciaran McGann, Anthony Armstrong, Callum Roberts, Dan Morgan, Darrin Bellingham, Matt Thomas, Liam Welch, Dale Rutledge, Michael Jamieson, Ethan Smith, Joe Andresen.

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