Rugby: ‘Reds forwards must step up’

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The Islanders enter their third match of 2018/19 with just two losing bonus points to their name, with defeats to Coventry and Bedford leaving them at the foot of an embryonic league table before tomorrow’s trip to London Scottish.

Scottish, too, have struggled early – picking up three losses from three – and Tunnah is backing his men to make the most of a pressure situation at the Athletic Ground.

‘There is pressure, absolutely there is,’ he said. ‘I think that’s exciting, though.

‘There’s pressure mounting because of our first two results, but we want to make a positive of that. It means we have to perform this week … pressure forces you to perform.

‘The Bedford and Coventry games … on personal level I was really disappointed with how we played physically. We have got a reputation for having a pack that bullies teams but we haven’t lived up to that yet. We will be going for it this weekend and I expect the front row – Roy Godfrey, Salad [Nick Selway] and Leeroy Atalifo – to step up physically as a cohesive unit and really go after the Scottish pack.’

That Jersey’s two losses were by such narrow margins [five and four points] does provide Tunnah with some level of comfort, though.

‘We missed a lot of opportunities against Coventry and Bedford, and it can be seen as a positive in that we’re not looking at us not creating opportunities at all,’ he explained. ‘They’re opportunities we’ve missed, and that’s an indicator that we’re heading in the right direction.’

He added: ‘It’s another game where we have to push ourselves to the limit to get a result.

‘A win this weekend gets us on track.’

All 15 players who started at Bedford two weeks ago have retained their shirts for the Reds’ latest visit to west London, although that is subject to late fitness tests.

Jersey Reds probable line-up *subject to fitness tests (1-15): Roy Godfrey, Nick Selway, Leeroy Atalifo, Jerry Sexton, Dave McKern, Janco Venter, Conor Joyce, Max Argyle; Will Homer, Brett Herron; Leroy Van Dam, Mark Best, Apakuki Ma’afu; Koch Marx, Auguy Slowik.

Replacements: Harry Morley, Charlie Maddison, Sam Rodman, Charlie Beckett, Rory Bartle, Calum Waters, James Newey.

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