That is the conclusion Jersey RFC’s head coach, Dai Burton, has come to after last week’s 55-33 defeat away to Beckenham.
‘It was noticeable during the game that the players who travelled on Saturday, which included two props and two second rows, weren’t at their best; they weren’t as effective as they ought to be.
Getting up at 5 or 5.30, travelling to the match and not playing until ten hours later, at 3pm, isn’t anyone’s ideal way of preparing for a match.
‘It’s always been like that.
But at this level the effect is noticeable.
Jim Brimelow, for example, has a good future as a scrummager, but because he works on the door at Liquid, he only had two or two and a half hours’ sleep.
I do understand the problems players have; they have families or work commitments, so I accept that they can’t travel on Friday and I’ll simply have to live with the problem.
‘What it does mean, however, is that when we play teams at home, I except all of the players to play out of their skins.
We must make home advantage count.’ So the importance of this afternoon’s game against Sevenoaks at St Peter (kick-off 3pm) takes on a new dimension.
If Jersey can’t make home advantage count, knowing that the opposition have to do all of the travelling, while they can prepare both mentally and physically on their own terms, and not on the vagaries of an airline timetable or a coach driver in the UK, they won’t survive in this league.
As it is, Burton already recognises that London South-West League Division II is a big step up following last year’s promotion.
‘Last week we should have scored at least 40 points.
We didn’t, because we didn’t take our chances.
In previous years in lower divisions you could get away with missing chances but at this level you can’t let chances go begging.
If there is an opportunity to score, you have to take it.’ Full preview in today’s JEP.