By Tom Little.
April 16 2012
previews including Coventry Rugby v Jersey.
Match results week 28 - 14th April
Blackheath 59 22 Fylde
Cinderford 43 14 Tynedale
Ealing Tfs 55 33 Coventry
Jersey 39 0 Macclesfield
Rosslyn Park 34 19 Birmingham Solihull
Sedgley Park 19 41 Blaydon
Stourbridge 29 22 Barking
Wharfedale 31 24 Cambridge
A series of high scoring results this week: The expected win of the fast improving Blackheath over Fylde, put paid to Fylde’s slim promotion hopes, and at last gave Blackheath a win over a top three side, perhaps a portent for next season.
Pack power from Jersey helped them nil Macclesfield, and they are still 6 points ahead of the only remaining promotion candidate Ealing, who put 9 tries past Coventry, although in the process leaked 5 tries themselves, with Coventry remaining in 9th place. It would now need an unusual set of circumstances to deny Jersey their promotion.
Rosslyn Park consolidate 5th place with an expected victory over Birmingham Solihull, whilst Stourbridge won the battle of the basement clubs with their win over Barking.
Tynedale’s poor run continued with a heavy away loss at Cinderford, who are chasing the improving Blaydon over 7th place.
Week 29 - 21st April match previews
Barking v Sedgley Park
Birmingham Solihull v Blackheath
Blaydon v Rosslyn Park
Cambridge v Stourbridge
Coventry v Jersey
Fylde v Ealing Tfs
Macclesfield v Cinderford
Tynedale v Wharfedale
The penultimate round of fixtures which could see Jersey crowned champions. With Jersey travelling to Coventry, any sort of victory over them would see them crowned champions, despite what might happen to Ealing as they face Fylde away. Jersey are 6 points ahead of Ealing, with a better points difference and larger number of wins.
In the chase over the lesser places, an expected win by Blackheath away at Birmingham Solihull, with say Fylde losing at home to Ealing, would see Blackheath go into 3rd place.
In the chase over 7th place, there are difficult games for both Blaydon and Cinderford, with probably Blaydon the favourite to maintain 7th spot.
Coventry Rugby v Jersey match preview:
Butts Park Arena, this Saturday 21st April, sees Coventry Rugby’s last home game of the season, as they face Champions elect Jersey, kick off 3pm. In what is expected to be before the highest attendance of the past two seasons at BPA, a crucial game for Jersey, as any sort of win for them would see them, crowned champions and promoted to the Championship, after their first season in National League 1.
Under Director of Rugby Ben Harvey, Jersey have seen back to back promotions, and are currently leading the league on 110 points, 6 ahead of their only remaining challengers Ealing. Jersey, in view of their superior points difference and number of wins, only require 4 points from their remaining 2 games to be promoted. Jersey are believed to have a nucleus of 7 full-time players, with a mixture of local players and some high profile imports.
They have the best defensive record in the league, having won 24 games and lost only 4. They lost to Fylde on the opening day of the season, and Ealing took away their home record. Their two remaining losses, somewhat surprisingly have come at Cinderford and Barking.
Of the top three sides in this league, Jersey arguably have the most all round game and pragmatic approach. Based around a strong pack, especially a back row of local lad No 8 Nick Trower, and a try machine No 7 of Guy Thompson, who signed from Richmond and is currently leading try scorer on 18, they have a penchant for pressuring their opponents late on in the game, as Coventry found to their cost when they lost 29-3 in December.
There still remain some Coventry connections with the club, as former Coventry players prop Dai Maddocks and centre Donovan Sanders are expected to play, and of course DOR Ben Harvey and Phil Maynard have worked together at more than one club. Back row forward Jethro Rawling has recently come in from Leicester Academy on loan, after a short spell earlier in the season at Coventry.
Experienced lock Jim Brownrigg is part of an abrasive pack.
In the backs, Jersey have two of the league’s top 10 leading kickers with full back Michael Le Bourgeois and No 10 Ross Broadfoot. Winger James Copsey is leading backs try scorer at the club on 16, and in David Bishop, signed from Newport-Gwent Dragons, they have another experienced centre.
In what is expected to be a match of great intensity and excitement Jersey will be going all out for that promotion win, whilst Coventry need to play to their full potential, before an expected record BPA crowd, to put a marker down for next season.
As usual kick off is at 3pm, at the Butts Park Arena on Saturday 21st April. In view of the expected crowds please be there as early as possible, this will be the last chance for Coventry supporters to see their team at home this season.
Coventry Rugby press office