'No retreat' for Jersey Reds against Ampthill

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HARVEY BILJON described his experience away from the dugout last Saturday as ‘terrible’, as he helplessly watched Jersey Reds slump to defeat against Doncaster Knights.

The director of rugby served a one-match touchline ban at Stade Santander, following comments made about a matchday referee’s performance on Boxing Day, and he admits he struggled with the inability to influence decision-making.

However, the South African returns to the fold this weekend as the Reds travel to Ampthill, seeking to recover from back-to-back losses.

‘It’s not an experience I would want to have again,’ he said.

‘Being absent from key discussions throughout the game is hard. You feel so far removed from the inner workings of the team during the build-up play.

‘Rugby is a highly technical game, with many momentum shifts. I’m excited to be a part of that again this weekend.’

Ampthill held Jersey to a 17-17 draw when the sides met at St Peter in October but Biljon says his charges are buoyant ahead of the reverse fixture.

‘The lads have been very sharp in practice this week,’ he said. ‘When you are facing a top side like Doncaster, it is usually a couple of small errors that will be costly.

‘It was a disappointing result. You cannot give away 17 penalties against a good side and expect to get anything from the game. We have been brilliant in recent games with our discipline, so that will be a key focus this weekend.’

Full preview in Friday’s JEP.

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