DON’T MESS AROUND WITH STAGS
WE DON’T take them lightly. We don’t under-estimate them.
That’s the message Jordan Reynolds has been ramming home to his squad all week ahead of a crucial game at home to CS Stags 1863 on Saturday.
Reynolds knows full well that with Wimbledon and Rochford Hundred clashing on the same day - how about a 0-0 draw fellas - that one of the pacesetters is likely to lose their first points of the campaign and a good, bonus point win at home against the Stags, will do Raiders’ promotion push a world of good and all but wipe out the gap to at least one of those pacesetting sides.
Reynolds may not be up to scratch with his island history but the last time a Guernseyman messed with a Stag - venue Fort George in the mid 19th century - the Stag won. Comprehensively. More than on points and there was no coming back for the poor old soldier, trapped by the animal.
So much for the history lesson.
This is a game of rugby and CS Stags arrive on a high having edged out Hertford 8-7 last week.
Any team that gets the better of Hertford is a decent one and having won that clash of muscle power Stags have proven they have a pack not to be trifled with.
Reynolds says he doesn’t want his team to get in a wrestling match with the visitors and he is hopeful that his new-look backline can pull the visitors all over the park and Raiders win well.
The coach has had some difficult selections to make, but they are picks that come from a position of strength.
Skipper Lewis Hillier is back, so too is Layton Batiste and also Owen Thomas.
The coach is pleased to have them all back, but particularly the skipper.
‘There was a chance we could have had him last week, but we decided to play safe.
‘This week he came through training fine and it turns out it was only a slight muscle pull.
‘It is always important to have leaders out there.’
On the challenge that CS Stags offer, Reynolds said their win over Hertford was ‘ big eye opener’.
They are of banana skin material and the coach added: ‘That result was an open sign that we can’t be complacent.
‘We have got to make sure we are focused and we have talked as a group that a lack of focus mustn’t happen.’
The weather forecast is far from great - weather man Reynolds predicting heavy rain - but even if that is the case he wants his team to utilize the ball better than they did in the wet at London Irish when they tended to kick away possession.
‘Our pitch will be a lot better than last week so we will try and hold onto it a little more than last week.
‘We want to kick on our terms.’
Kick off is at 2.30. Free entry for members and under 16. £9 entry for non-members.
Get along and there is the opportunity to watch the U12s take on the Brighton U12s beforehand.
Steventon, Ceillam, Pinkney, Hillier, Webb, Raymond, Rice, Horrocks, O’Connor, Andresen, Amanaki Veamatahau, Asher Veamatahau, M. Armstrong, Sayer, A. Armstrong. Replacements: Batiste, Gardner, O. Thomas.