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Reds head for Headingley

Reds head for Headingley

Friday 28 October 2016

Reds head for Headingley

Friday 28 October 2016

It is arguably their most daunting trip of the season, but at least Harvey's Biljon's side will head up to Yorkshire Carnegie tonight on the back of their best performance of the current campaign.

Last Friday's 49-12 thumping of Cardiff Blues Select has brought the spring back into the Reds' step as they not only snapped a five-match losing streak, but their seven-try display means they go to Yorkshire in buoyant mood.

Despite their Cardiff success, the Reds will still start the clash at Headingley tonight as heavy underdogs as Yorkshire have won all their six league matches this season, racking up 190 points in the process.

Yorkshire are just a point behind league leaders London Irish and their outstanding form this season will mean Jersey face a stern test following four league defeats in a row.

But Biljon's side came agonisingly close to beating Yorkshire last season, going down 33-32 in the British and Irish Cup semi-final in March.

The Reds coach said: "We got back to doing the basics very well against a very strong, very determined Cardiff side and we have to do the same again, in a very testing game.

"We know what Yorkshire Carnegie are all about and we will go there in very confident mood after a terrific win in the B and I Cup. We have to do the same again. Keep the mistakes to a bare minimum and play our type of rugby." 

The Reds suffered one defeat after another in a disastrous month from mid-September to mid-October. Tight losses to Ealing, Nottingham and London Welsh were followed by a 26-point stuffing by London Scottish in their last Championship outing. A British and Irish Cup loss to Ulster 'A' 19-6 was followed by the thumping win over Cardiff which has lifted the mood at St Peter.

Biljon knows his side will be up against it at Headingley against a Yorkshire side they have come second best to in each of their last eight fixtures, but at least the Cardiff win has raised sagging spirits and his team head north with everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Biljon's injury list has meant he has been left with precious few options, but Yorkshire have shown this season they are vulnerable. They only beat Nottingham by two points at home - Jersey lost to the East Midlanders by a single point earlier this season - so it is far from a hopeless cause at Headingley. They need Yorkshire, who finished third last season in the Championship, to have an off day and then maybe, just maybe, they may be able to pull off a surprise by becoming the first side to beat Carnegie in the league.

With injury worries still at the fore, Biljon has kept coach Alex Rae in his starting line-up after his fine display against Cardiff, even though he hung up his boots last summer.  

Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey Reds KO 20:00 tonight at Headingley.   

Jersey Reds: Sam Katz, Jordan Davies, Megan King, George Eastwell, Ross Adair, Brendan Cope, Joel Dudley, Marc Thomas, Jack Macfarlane, Simon Kerrod, Dave McKern, James Voss, Alex Rae, James Freeman (cast), Nick Haining. Subs: Sean McCarthy, Jake Woolmore, Jake Armstrong, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Max Argyle; Kieran Hardy, George Watkins. 

Yorkshire Carnegie: McColl; Holmes, Forsyth, Lucock, Stegmann; Ford, Davies; Boyce, Mayhew, O'Donnell, Schofield, Smith, Burrows (capt), Beck, Stedman. Subs: Nilsen, Beech, Cusack, Whetton, Saull, Green, Wright.







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