JERSEY REDS chief Harvey Biljon believes Saturday’s trip to Doncaster presents a ‘whole new challenge’ for his record-busting side.
Coming off the back of a strong three-week period, which has seen the RFU Championship outfit secure a cup semi-final place – and rack up their highest ever points tally in a tier-two fixture – Biljon knows the bubble could burst very quickly.
While admitting that confidence in camp is sky-high, it has been crucial for Reds to ignore the plaudits and stay grounded, after ruthlessly scoring 11 tries in a 71-14 win over Caldy at St Peter last Saturday.
‘The players are coming off a fair bit of confidence, having secured a place in the final four in the cup, and getting a great result at Caldy after a week off,’ said Biljon.
‘But Doncaster presents a different challenge and it will be huge for us. We know that and the players have recognised that.
‘Doncaster have, by their own standards, had an indifferent season, but they’re a dangerous outfit – the kind of team that can turn over anyone.
‘If you asked me at the beginning of the season where Doncaster would be, they would have been up there. It’s uncharacteristic for them to be where they are, if you look across their set-up – squad, coaches, facilities – they are a serious outfit.’
Biljon is going for an almost unchanged line-up, with only changes to the bench. Back-row forward Max Argyle comes in for Josh Gray and winger Will Brown replaces fly-half Ben Burnell.
While you might expect that due to last week’s win, Biljon is clear: ‘It’s more that we’re waiting for the likes of TJ Harris, Scott Van Breda, Harry Doolan and others to come back fit before we can rotate as we’d like to.’
While stating the huge respect the Islanders have for their northern foes, Biljon is aiming for his side to get everything right and claim a first win in South Yorkshire for five years.
‘I could run through their whole squad highlighting danger men,’ he explained. ‘George Edgson [former Reds hooker] will be pretty motivated; they’ve got the likes of Tom Smith in their back-row and Doncaster’s nine-ten partnership with [Alex] Dolly and [Sam] Olver can really control a game. Across the board they’ve got real calibre and are working hard to be back at the top of the league.
‘They’ve beaten Ealing, their draw against Bedford shows the character they’ve got to come from behind and turn games around … make no mistake, this will be very tough.’