Raiders’ positive self-review

INTROSPECTION is seldom a bad thing in a relentless team sport such as National Two rugby – and Raiders have undergone plenty of it this week.

Oscar Baird, being tackled in the Raiders' match against Leicester Lions, will come into the side against Bury St Edmounds. (Picture by www.guernseysportphotography.com)
Oscar Baird, being tackled in the Raiders' match against Leicester Lions, will come into the side against Bury St Edmounds. (Picture by www.guernseysportphotography.com)

After a big home loss against Old Albanian, director of rugby Jordan Reynolds slammed his team for lacking heart.

Subsequently and over two sessions this week the Raiders squad talked over the game and Reynolds is confident those talks will be beneficial.

‘We made it fairly open,’ he said.

‘It was good and we got some positive stuff out of it,’ said a coach who has made a string of changes for tomorrow’s visit of Bury St Edmunds.

‘The frustration of last week was that we gave up – and that is not part of our DNA. Regardless of the result this weekend, we just want to see the right attitude.’

Reynolds says the one-point Siam heartbreak during a winning spell for the Raiders is not a contributing reason for the side’s recent form although he admits he did, for a spell, wonder if it was.

‘To be honest it is difficult to know but speaking to the players, a lot of them said they had not thought about it since.

‘We were always winning or losing by small margins. We are just in one of those little slumps at the moment.’

Bury St Edmunds edged a very tight game at Footes Lane two years ago and for the 2021 clash Reynolds has left regular fly-half Owen Thomas on the bench alongside back-rower Dom Rice, who is recovering from having Covid.

Scotsman Oscar Baird returns in the No. 6 shirt, Matt Thomas is in alongside him and Ethan Smith switches to the wing, with Charlie Davies joining Ciaran McGann in the centres.

Team: Darrin Bellingham, Dan Morgan, Jacob Pinkney, Lewis Hillier (capt.), Matt Thomas, Oscar Baird, James Burger, Doug Horrocks; Charlie Simmonds, Dan Rice, Ethan Smith, Charlie Davies, Ciaran McGann, Anthony Armstrong, Joe Andresen.

Replacements: Tom Bray, Charlie Currie, Dom Rice, Owen Thomas, Matt Armstrong.

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