Raiders still have a reason to fight for 14th position
COULD there still be a stay of execution for Raiders at National Two level?
As things stand, Guernsey’s defeat at Henley Hawks last week made it impossible for them to get out of the bottom three this season, but there still might be something to aim for due to the financial difficulties faced by Championship outfit Yorkshire Carnegie, who this week announced that the club would be returning to part-time status next season.
‘There is still an outside chance – allbeit a big one – that finishing third from bottom could scrape us into the division next year depending on what happens with Yorkshire Carnegie,’ said Raiders coach Jordan Reynolds, outlining the motivation his side have when they host Taunton Titans this evening.
‘We have seen it before with clubs up there like London Welsh and Richmond when they went bust. It could mean that only five clubs rather than six go down from National Two [North and South] so we are still aiming to get up to 14th in case.
‘Also, we also have the motivation that we have not been able to beat a top-six side yet and those little things can prove vital moving into next season.
‘We have to make sure we are constantly competing in these home games, too, because we have been so well supported by the community that we want to give something back. The fans have not been giving up on us, they have not wavered at all this year, so we want to give something back by competing hard no matter what’s on the scoreboard.’
Reynolds will rest both Tom Ceillam and Owen Thomas today, with Harry Baron starting at hooker while Tom Teasdale will slot into fly-half as Malcolm Barnes returns at nine.
‘We have made some changes, but I am excited by some of the prospects, particularly Tom Teasdale at 10 because he has got a good skillset, a much better understanding of the game now and he does not lack in confidence,’ said the coach.
Guernsey lost 60-14 at Taunton in December, but Reynolds is taking heart from the way his side have beaten both Old Redcliffians and Dings Crusaders at Footes Lane after suffering big defeats away to them previously.
. Raiders v. Taunton Titans kicks off at 5.30pm today at Footes Lane. It will be preceded at 3pm by a match between the Vikings and the Vets as part of the Siam preparations.