IN-FORM ‘TJs’ COME TO TOWN
We used to be old adversaries.
Then, for a while, we went separate ways on the league pyramid.
But Guernsey RFC and Tonbridge Juddians are back on the same level and we welcome back our old friends to Footes Lane on Saturday for a game where the home team celebrate landmarks for a couple of players and give our loyal Garenne Stand crowd a first peak at our new loanee, the exciting Exeter Chief Academy player Patrick Schickerling.
It would be nice to think this is one we could win and climb off the foot of the table, but TJs are in good nick these days. In fact they are flying.
If you had not heard they even managed to beat league leaders Rams last week.
It was a proud day at The Slade last Saturday when the final whistle brought to an end one of the finest games of rugby that TJs had ever played.
They had just beaten top-of-the-table Rams by 25 points to 19 and ended the visitors' run of 17 consecutive victories.
That unexpected win lifts them into third in the table, so it promises to be a potentially tough 80 minutes for Raiders who give Douglas Horrock the captaincy as usual skipper Lewis Hillier is given another fortnight’s recovery time for his knee.
Hillier's absence would normally see Tom Ceillam step into the role, but the hooker is also in need of some rest and drops down to the bench this week for what will be the 28-year-old's 250th league appearance for Guernsey.
‘To play 200 is almost unheard of for us, so notching up 250 means you have missed very few games throughout basically a decade and in a game like rugby, which can be brutal at times, that is a feat that does not often happen,’ said the head coach of Tommy Rae’s achievement, only bettered by Layton Batiste.
Fullback Anthony Armstrong also brings up a milestone tomorrow as he makes his 50th appearance.
Jason Batiste returns to the centres, Sam Steventon returns to the front row and loanee-prop Patrick Schickerling is named on the bench to give some impetus at some stage.
Kick off 2pm, Garenne Stand - Footes Lane.
Free entry for members and under 16. £9 entry for non-members.
Sam Steventon, Harry Baron, Layton Batiste, Brad Webb, Nick Merrien, George Shannon, Dom Rice, Douglas Horrocks (c); Tom Teasdale, Owen Thomas, Daley Aremu, Blair Campbell, Jason Batiste, Chris Ahne, Anthony Armstrong.
Replacements: Patrick Schickerling, Tom Ceillam, Matt Creber, Matt Thomas & Taylor Quate,