Doncaster Knights will fly out to Jersey knowing that their trip to the Channel Islands will be no holiday.
The Castle Park club know only too well what to expect in tonight’s game against fourth-placed Jersey Reds at St Peter having lost 47-22 at home when the sides met earlier in the season.
It was the biggest win by either team in their 11 Championship meetings which had all previously been decided by seven points or less.
Eighth-placed Knights won at St Peter on the opening day of last season but, prior to their recent defeat by London Scottish, Jersey had not lost at home in the league since last March.
“It’s obviously a tough place to go but I’ve always enjoyed playing over there whatever the time of year and there have been some good battles between the two sides in recent years,” said second-rower Morgan Eames, who recently signed a new one-year deal.
“They are always strong in the forwards and are well drilled in the set-pieces so we know what to expect.
“The weather can be a big factor when you play over there and I suppose it does favour them if it is very windy as they are more used to playing in those conditions. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like being too bad.”
Knights go into the game on the back of successive defeats against Ealing Trailfinders and Nottingham.
“We know we’ve got to be better than we were against Nottingham in certain areas of the game and we’ve got to get back to the form which brought us three successive wins in January,” said Eames.
Although not involved in any of the games played this year due to a shoulder/neck injury, Eames said: “We sat down as a group at the end of last year and agreed we needed to be better and something just clicked at the turn of the year and our game management has generally been a lot better than in the first half of the season.
“It was good performance in defeat away at Ealing and I felt that we were unfortunate to come away empty-handed.
“We took a lot of positives from that going into the Nottingham game which made the result even more disappointing.”
The imminent return of Eames will be massive boost to the Knights given his form in the first half of the season.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up in March and if we could pick up a win against Jersey it would obviously give us a confidence boost going forward,” said Eames, who remains confident of a top-half finish.
“We still view it as a realistic target as it is still very close between Nottingham, who are sixth, and London Scottish who are ninth.” he said.