Against bottom of the table Old Blues RFC, who have conceded 364 points from eight games played in the London Southwest League, Division III, an impartial observer might think that all Jersey have to do is to turn up to win the game.Burton, however, sees it otherwise.’Old Blues are going through a bad time and as other teams have scored 60 or more points against them, I’m on a loser straight away if we don’t do the same.
But I’m not so much concerned as to how many points we score, I’m more worried about how we play the game.’He is right to be worried – Jersey are perilously close to the bottom of the table themselves, with only seven points from eight games played, and in their last home game, against Tottonians, they were awful.However, Jersey aren’t a bad team.
Their pack is one of the best in the league, they win more possession than most sides they play against yet, this season, compared to last, there seems to be no killer instinct, to turn possession into points.And, as well as never having the same side, week in, week out, Jersey seems to have lost that sense of enjoyment.’The desire doesn’t seem to be there,’ said Burton.’One of the players asked me at training when we were going to have a consistent game plan.
I had to say that we’ll have that consistency when we have a consistent team.’We had more players for pre-season training than now.’After a seminar on Tuesday, when other South of England and Hampshire coaches were briefed by former Welsh coach Kevin Bowring, Burton recognised that it might be a good idea to go back to core skills – basics – in training.’Maybe I’ve been expecting too much from my players this year, compared to last,’ he said.
‘But it’s time we gave our spectators a feast.
I’m expecting tries to come from wide play tomorrow – that is, if we let the steam out of the system.’He is also expecting to give everyone in the 18-man squad a game, with the away game against Tottonians in two weeks’ time, his next priority.Josh Chamier keeps his place in the front row with fellow teenager Nick Trower on the subs’ bench.
Ian Troy and Gary Hurst, two experienced centres, shore up midfield with Steve O’Brien returning to the pack as flanker.Tomorrow, at St Peter’s at 2.30 pm, Jersey will be expected to win, and to win comfortably; and Burton is already looking at this game as a gauge to see which players he can select for the rest of December and, hopefully, happier days after the Christmas break.Defeat isn’t on the agenda; anything close to it, and the 1st XV will be looking down the table, rather than up.JRFC 1st XV: Ken More, Josh Chamier, Jon Brennan, Dan McAlister, Roger Quirk, John Allo, Ian Henderson, Steve O’Brien, Paul Nayar, Phil Walker, Ross Allan, Ian Troy, Gary Hurst, Mark Le Mottée, Mark White.Replacements: Marcus Nobes, Steve Mee, Nick Trower.