OLD FACES FOR OLD FOES
Old foes renew acquaintances at the Slade ground on Saturday, but Jordan Reynolds does not expect ‘TJs’ to be any easier opponents since the last time they met at London & SE Premier level.
Raiders’ head coach has again rung the changes in a bid to get back on track after last weekend’s big disappointment at home to Birmingham & Solihull Bees.
Old faces Cameron Craine and Robin Le Cocq return to the pack where Dave Anderson also slots into the front row, Douglas Horrocks moves to No. 8, while on the wing summer signing Daley Aremu is expected to finally make his return after a lengthy injury.
Henry Greenhalgh, who played the second 40 last weekend, starts at fly half allowing Elia Morisio to move to the centres.
Reynolds’ disappointment at last week’s effort has subsided somewhat but, understandably, he is looking for a big reaction at Tonbridge.
As for the changes, he said: ‘Some have been forced on us due to injury or unavailability and some are based on last week’s performance.
‘We are rattling the cage so to speak.’
Reynolds has totalled that Raiders made 19 unforced errors against the Bees and 12 of those were in the 22.
‘We want to make sure we don’t do the same as last week,’ he said.
But the changes have also been made due to having 19 unavailable this weekend against a side who have the same coaching staff from the time they last met.
‘It’s been two years since we last met and there will be some familiar faces.
‘But it will be another tough encounter.
‘Last week was a big backward step and we’ve got to stay in the hunt (at the bottom)’, said a man who expected his team to be a little higher in the table at this stage.
‘To be honest, I thought we could be in the middle of the pack, not where we are.’
As for our opponents after winning three successive promotions between 2008 and 2011 and winning promotion as champions of London & SE Premier in 2016-17, they have settled well at National 2 South level.
This season has seen them start well and wobble a little to sit seventh in the table.
Craine, Ceillam, Anderson, Hillier (c), Merrien, Le Cocq, Rice, Horrocks; Clemett, Greenhalgh, Aremu, Morisio, Ahne, Gow, Sayer.
Replacements: L. Batiste, Baron, Shannon, Gladstone, Bolton.