Jury sure Club can be sentenced to cup defeat
As coach of DeA Tigers, Kane Jury can also play the role of judge. But he will have to depend on his players to be the executioners as they attempt to stop double-seeking Newedge Club in the G4S Grand Championship semi-final at Hong Kong Football Club today.
To stop the Club juggernaut, Jury has pinned his hopes on the DeA Tigers tight five of props Dane Maraki and James Cooper, hooker Rory Godman and locks Graham Manchester and Mike Waller to come up trumps.
'Possession and retaining it is going to be the key and a lot will depend on our tight five,' Jury said yesterday. 'If we can win good front football, we have the backs who can create some damage.'
Easier said than done as Club have probably the best tight five in the business, which paved the way for league glory. Now they want to finish it off with the knockout silverware.
With skipper and loosehead prop Steve 'Horse' Nolan leading the way, Club have been all but unstoppable this season. Nolan, hooker Tom Bolland and tighthead Ian Ridgway present a formidable front row, along with locks Charles French and Dan Watson.
'Yes, it will be a tough task,' Jury said. 'They have been dominant all season. The trick will be to stay in touch and not give away too many points in the first 20 minutes. We can't give them a head start.'
Any hopes DeA Tigers will have will also fall on the shoulders of their backs led by sevens international stars Keith Robertson and Rowan Varty.
'DeA are one team who play 80 minutes and always make us work hard for a win,' Club coach Rob Naylor (pictured) said. 'They have players in the backs who can be dangerous and we are aware of that. But I am quietly confident.'
In the other game at Happy Valley, Tradition Valley come up against Altus Kowloon. Valley will be at full strength with the return of centre Lee Jones and fullback Ross Armour, while Kowloon will be missing scrumhalf Jeff Wong Chun-kiu who dislocated his shoulder last week.
'There is loads of enthusiasm sweeping through the club and I'm confident we will win,' Valley coach Brian Higgins said.
Valley ran in 12 tries last week past Leighton Asia HKCC with their backs accounting for 10. The return of Jones and Armour will make them even more dangerous, but Kowloon are unworried.
'Gone are the days when people used to be scared of Valley,' Kowloon coach Joe Shaw said. 'They are a good honest side and we are respectful of them, but we will be going for it.'