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Jersey Reds v Nottingham Saturday 12th January 2019, 3:00pm

Chairman's Welcome

It's great to welcome back Championship rugby to Stade Santander International after our first real Christmas break for many years. I hope everybody had a wonderful festive period and that you are ready for some great rugby in 2019!

We are delighted to welcome back to the island our old friends and rivals from Nottingham Rugby. Nottingham's season so far is almost a mirror image of our own. We are fifth against Nottingham's sixth and each with the same number of wins. The Reds are one point ahead by dint of a few more bonus points so far. Both teams have also made it through to the quarter final stages of the Championship Cup

The highlight of the season to date for the visitors was surely the 42-27 demolition of Ealing Trailfinders at Lady Bay under the lights back in October. Ironically, Nottingham will visit Ealing for their quarter final game in early February.

The Reds meantime have hit a rich vein of form, after a tough start to the campaign. And of course we were recently awarded "Sky Sports' International Try of the Year" for Auguy's finish of a great team try scored in the outstanding win over London Irish. (His second in that game was none too shabby either!)

However, as we all know, the past counts for nought in sport and the game this weekend will be like starting anew. I know the boys are chomping at the bit and want to put in a great performance in front of the Reds' supporters.

By the way, we have a new stock of cowbells in the shop. Make sure you have yours ready for the game!

Come on you Reds!

Mark Morgan, Chairman

Harvey's pre-match thoughts...

Nottingham Line-Up

Ealing 19 - 14 Jersey Reds

The Reds finished narrowly beaten in their final game of 2018, succumbing to a late winning score against Ealing Trailfinders.

The Reds may have comfortably survived four yellow cards in beating Richmond in a recent Championship Cup encounter, but having three players banished to the sin-bin at Vallis Way was bound to take its toll against the division's second-placed side.

Today's Opposition

An impressive first half of the season has left Nottingham well-placed to achieve their best finish in the Greene King IPA Championship since 2012-13.

Since finishing second behind Newcastle Falcons in the league table in the first season that Jersey Reds were a Championship club, and losing out to Bedford in the play-off semi-final, the Green and Whites have been ranked between fifth and 10th at the end of the season.

The season may have begun on a losing note, with defeats to Bedford and London Irish, but since then Nottingham have found their stride, with just one further league defeat in eight outings. The stand-out result was the 42-27 home win over Ealing Trailfinders; most recently they drew 15-all with Midlands' rivals Coventry just before Christmas.

Although they lost four out of six matches in the pool stage of the Championship Cup, an away win at Doncaster in the final round was enough to see them reach the quarter-finals thanks to a higher tally of tries to the Knights after both teams finished with 12 points.

Last season, Nottingham and the Reds drew 19-apiece at Lady Bay in December and then contested a see-saw game at Stade Santander International in April. The visitors led 7-29 after half an hour, but thereafter failed to trouble the scorers again, while the Reds racked up no fewer than eight tries to finish the end-of-season frolic winners by 50-29.

In total, Jersey have seven wins to Nottingham's four in the 12 encounters to date, with one draw. Only four of the 12 games have been won by the home side.

Nottingham RFC was formed in 1877 by former Rugby School pupil Alick Birkin, who returned to his home city and recruited some friends to play the game he'd enjoyed at the school where William Webb Ellis invented it some 50 years previously.

The Birkin family were involved in Nottingham rugby until the mid 1950s, including the donation of land at Ireland Avenue, Beeston, in 1904 by Alick's brother Leslie - this was the club's home for more than a century until it was sold in 2006.

Nottingham are now in their 15th straight season at tier two - only Bedford (19 seasons) and Cornish Pirates (16) have been Championship-level clubs for longer.

The 1980s was a golden era, with Nottingham runners-up in the National Merit Table in 1985/86 and having no less than five England caps during the decade: Gareth Rees, Rob Andrew, Brian Moore, Chris 'Swing Low' Oti and Simon Hodgkinson, as well as the Scotland lock Chris Gray.

Meet the opposition

Neil Fowkes

Green and Whites’ Head Coach, Neil Fowkes devoted his entire playing career - around 200 senior appearances - to Nottingham Rugby, and in total has been part of the club for more than 30 years having first joined as a mini rugby player. The 2018/19 Greene King IPA Championship is Fowkes’ inaugural season at the helm of the Green and Whites, and Nottingham supporters will be hoping for a long and successful reign for the club legend.

Joining the coaching set up at Nottingham upon his retirement in 2011, the 38-year-old former prop has worked his way up the ranks to leading the team. Having learned his craft from fantastic coaches before him, he has implemented his own methods at the club. Joined by Andi Kyriacou (forwards) and Alex O’Dowd (backs), the team has made a positive start to the season.

Llewelyn Jones

Jones joined the Green and Whites in the summer of 2018. Having played for Ealing Trailfinders since 2014, he was a key player for the London club as they ascended to the Championship in 2015.

At 6 ft 5 ins tall and just over 18 stone in weight, 24-year-old Jones is a huge physical presence in the Green and Whites' forwards. He has established himself as a key member of the Nottingham pack playing at second row. A fantastic defensive player and strong going forward, his versatility is a real benefit to Neil Fowkes’ first team.

Jones' twin brother Carwyn also formerly played for Ealing, but now plies his trade in Brittany with RC Vannes in the second tier of the French leagues, and has twice played against the Reds in pre-season matches.

Darryl Veenendaal

Veenendaal signed from Bedford Blues in the summer of 2015 and was brought in to replace the now-retired scrum-half Sean Romans. The South African-born 28-year-old played 150-plus games for the Blues dating from 2010 and has a wealth of experience.

Veenendaal originally began playing in the Northampton Saints academy system before moving to Bedford, which led to him being offered a professional contract. He has a good turn of pace, superb passing ability and an excellent eye for the line. As one of the more senior members of the team, and a vice-captain, his influence across the club, on and off the field, has contributed significantly to the success Nottingham have had so far this season

Leroy Van Dam

Position: Wing/Centre

Position: Wing/Centre

Date of birth: 7/11/1993

Place of birth: Morrinsville New Zealand

Height: 6'2"

Weight - kg: 94

Weight - st: 14st 8lbs

Previous clubs: Societe Genevale Valley, Otago

Honours: NZ u20's

Sponsors: Randalls

Another first for Jersey Reds!

Jersey Reds have become the first professional rugby club to produce a sticker pack on the App store and they are still available to buy! Please support the club!

Support your Jersey Reds with this winning sticker pack! The profits from all purchases of this sticker pack go directly to the Reds to support their Professional, Athletic, Women and Minis and Juniors teams.

Guard of Honour

Jersey Reds U7's

The Under7’s have made a really good start this season back up at the club, have learned many new skills and developed further after starting off in the newly formed U6’s last season.

They are all looking forward to showing off what they have learnt so far and supporting Jersey Reds when they come out onto the pitch today.

The U7’s are a great team to manage, they are all eager to learn and have fun playing rugby.

Kerry Carruthers, Under 7's Manager

Happy New Year from the Minis & Juniors

It has been a quiet start to the year with no league games so far. However, there were many great performances from a number of our squads in the run up to Christmas.

The U12s

The U12s were away to Brighton on 16th December 2018. It was always going to be a challenging game in Division 1 playing against a team who have the opportunity to play regular competitive rugby. The play was intense from the start, Jersey held their defence well against a strong Brighton side.

Brighton were quick into the ruck allowing them to take possession but the Jersey defence never gave up. Some lovely passing by the Reds saw James Thornton run in their first try. Brighton however, came back quickly ending the first half 6-1.

Both teams threw their all into the second half with some lovely running by Hector Somay who managed to use his strength to push through the Brighton defence on a number of occasions supported by Jayden Hosty. Lance Armstrong used his speed advantage to make some great runs down the wing. The combined strength of Hector, Jayden and Harrison Butler saw us score a second try.

Jersey were captained well by Charlie Pallot who never stopped encouraging the team and kept them going. Charlie himself put in some fantastic tackles and covered much ground on the pitch this allowed him to score our third and final try of the game. Each of our tried seemed to propel Brighton on to score back and they managed to score another 3 in very quick succession. However the strength, courage and determination that Jersey showed never giving up and the intensity of the whole game has to be commended and the score does not reflect the play of the game at all. However final score Brighton 50 – Jersey 15.

The U13s

The U13s were away to Bognor on 16th December 2018. Jersey were fired up from the start as Drew Boylan crossed the line on his birthday to score 5 points for the Reds.

With heads up and an understanding that first tackles really do count Jersey met an early carry from Bognor’s biggest player with a textbook tackle from Ethan Huish. This set the home side back on their heels and Charlie Brennan capitalised by running in a well-won try supported by Lars Tharme.

A well-drilled defence thwarted the Bognor forwards attempts to power through into Jersey territory. Will Hodgson picked up and ran over for a try following some admirable rucking setting a solid platform for “man of the match” Nathan Witherington who’s bravery at the breakdown and accurate distribution was crucial to much of the Jersey performance. Jersey tries then rained down with Joe Stoten speeding down the right wing to score followed by fellow forward Lewis Ham Howes who had a solid game. The first half saw Jersey up 20 : 0 which was more testament to Jersey’s robust game plan than any failures from the opposition, and captain Magnus van Ordt’s words of encouragement kept spirits high moving into the second period. Van Ordt was replaced at Hooker by new player Noah Smith who played a blinding first away fixture for the club demonstrating courage in the tackle and breakdown particularly. Captaincy then passed to Callum Cuthbert on the wing who directed operations in the second half.

After the restart a mighty charge up the left wing saw a well timed off load to Jonah Price who got over the line for his first mainland try for the team, His confidence levels justifiably up due to his own performance and the team spirit of the boys around him.

A fast try from Zac Simpson was followed by a second for Brennan, the pair of them putting their power and speed to great effect in combination with Anthony Vinrance and Saif Nayel’s powerful carrying.

Tries were coming from all over the park due to excellent ball retention and solid handling. James Courtness crossed the line for a well-burrowed front row score. Possession at the breakdown and distribution continued to deliver as with 6 minutes till full time Cuthbert crossed the line twice from the right wing, cementing his status as a true utility player.

Forwards then dominated with a second try to the delighted Courtness and shortly after the final whistle blew at 55:0 to Jersey. This means they top Division 3 and having conceded only one try this season they head for division 2 after their well earned Christmas break.

The U16s

T'was the game before Christmas and a win was needed after recent narrow defeats at home to Ealing and away to St Pere in Britanny.

A brief warm up and the game began. Crawley looking stronger than in previous years started well, testing the Jersey defence around the fringes and finding some gaps. Scrum, Jersey 10m line, just off centre instigated a pick up from the base, some poor tackling and a good solo effort for Crawley to get off the mark. Conversion ended up in Horley. 5-0.

Jersey came back, showing ambition however the final pass falling foul and no reward. Back to basics with Dawson sticking one up the jumper and busting through. A superb break showing strength and balance. Walton converted to put Jersey 7-5 in the lead. A classic arm wrestle ensued with Crawley only being in the game through poor Jersey play but yet the scored remained unchanged.

Much like the Ferguson/Beckham boot-gate incident, the HT team talk was understated but effective. A moment to gather the thoughts and then back into it.

Back to basics was the theme and it worked. Jersey began to have a lot more possession and looked threatening. Structure was dominating and Crawley's resilience faltered. Dawson up the middle again and another 7-pointer.

A momentum shift and two quick fire tries from Stuart and Bouchard put the game out of reach for Crawley but pride was on the table. Walton sharp from the tee making it 28-5. The final blow was a deft combination with Quinn connecting with Clark, cross-field kick and finished in the corner. Walton again making it look easy from the tee and the final whistle blew.

Score - Jersey 35-5 Crawley

Today's Match Sponsor

Carey Olsen is a leading offshore law firm advising financial institutions, corporations and private clients on Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law from a network of nine international offices.

Carey Olsen is the largest law firm in Jersey with 20 partners and 92 associates. They offer a full range of corporate and finance, investment funds, dispute resolution and litigation, trust and private wealth as well as property legal advice.

The next one...

Jersey Reds v Bedford

Saturday 19th January 2019, Kick-off 2pm

Tunnah agrees new deal to stay a Red

Jersey Reds have confirmed that Assistant Coach Neil Tunnah will remain with the club into next season.

The 39-year-old Scotsman, who arrived on the Island in May 2017, has agreed a new contract with the Reds and will start his third season on the Island this summer.

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Richard Chapman Jacquie Ranieri

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