Unable to call upon any of the club’s professionals this weekend, Reds Athletic coach Myles Landick cut a subdued figure as his team edged a 25-21 home win over Richmond Saxons in the Raging Bull Shield.
Five players picked up injuries which could keep them out of the first ever floodlit Siam and the situation became so bad at St Peter that Landick, who retired due to injury six years ago, considered taking to the pitch himself.
Ultimately he opted to play with three hookers in the scrum.
‘I got one of the players to run in and get me a shirt, some shorts and socks,’ said Landick, who oversaw the home Jersey win in 2019, the last occasion the fixture was played.
‘We had three hookers playing in the front row towards the end, which was obviously dangerous so we had to go with uncontested scrums. We picked up five injuries and and we have got eight needing physio, so we’ve got to see where we are going into the Siam,’ he told the Jersey Evening Post.
Back Mungo Rioda is among those definitely ruled out, having been knocked out cold just seconds after coming off the bench. There are also doubts over Charlie Hubert and forwards Marc Davies, Andrew Pitcher and Harrison Beresford.
Unable to call on the services of the 2019 star man Aaron Penberthy, who is unavailable, Landick said he might ‘be crying himself to sleep’ at some stage this week.
Whether it is a case of big-match mind games or real honesty, time will tell but, undoubtedly, unhindered by eligibility issues like their Caesarean counterparts Raiders find themselves in the very rare situation of being firm favourites going into the clash.
Raiders will announce their team officially this evening but head coach Reynolds, who has a couple of fitness issues, is clear in his mind as to what it will be.
‘We are only waiting on Sam Steventon and Oscar Baird.
‘They will need fitness tests but, realistically, it will be a similar story to last weekend,’ he said.