Reynolds wants performance to be proud of from Friday night outing
A Friday night outing might be just what Raiders need.
They face a particularly tough examination this evening as Bury St Edmunds visit Footes Lane, having lost just twice this campaign so far, but the quality of the opposition and the novelty of the irregular scheduling for the final home game of 2023 could help Guernsey rise to the occasion.
However, Jordan Reynolds emphasised that his troops have another big reason to leave their all on the pitch tonight.
‘We were extremely disappointed with our Canterbury performance – we were very flat and just did not get into the game,’ said the Guernsey director of rugby of his side’s last home match, which ended in a 34-10 defeat.
‘Our driving force this week is for us to be proud with how we play. Regardless of the score, we want to be competing for the whole game.
‘We owe ourselves and our supporters that much because Canterbury was just not good enough.
‘It is a long season and a Friday game under the lights breaks it up a bit, so we are looking forward to it.’
Hear a full interview with Jordan Reynolds and departing assistant coach Malcolm Barnes on the latest Guernsey Press Sport Podcast
Guernsey’s immediate response to the Canterbury defeat was a much-needed win on the road at North Walsham a week later, since when they have had an unscheduled rest due to the postponement of last week’s trip to Old Albanians due to a frozen pitch.
In fact, the weather did Raiders a favour after their squad had been hit by a sickness bug and Reynolds was pleased to report the return of several regulars who would have been unavailable to face OAs.
Co-captain Lewis Hillier is also back in the mix after injury.
‘We have not had a huge amount of training time since the last game, but it is good to have some of those guys back and on the bench we have gone for an extra forward,’ he said.
‘It is always a risk, but if we have four quality props who can give you a 50min/30min split, we can apply a lot of pressure and we have created problems for other teams when we have gone that way before.
‘Lewis is coming back in and it is rare for him not to be in the starting team when available, but it shows we have some real quality options.
‘Burys are a really tough side, they have been travelling well as well as winning at home and I can’t remember the last time we turned them over, but there will be a really big effort from us and we know we have to be very physical.
‘It will be interesting to see where we are now from our performance at North Walsham, which was encouraging.’
Today’s game kicks off at 7.30pm.
Guernsey Raiders team
Jamie Dunn, Tom Ceillam, Charlie Currie, Brad Webb, Hugo Culverhouse, Matt Creber, Dom Rice, Carter Hackett, Dale Rutledge, Owen Thomas, Ethan Smith, Tom Teasdale, Ciaran McGann, Callum Roberts, Charlie Simmonds. Replacements: James Burger, Sam Steventon, JP Phelan, Lewis Hillier, Sam Boyland.