Siam Cup 2023: "Pure grit and determination got us through"

Siam Cup 2023: "Pure grit and determination got us through"
Myles Landick's side scored five tries on their way to victory over Guernsey

Jersey head coach Myles Landick has praised the unity and togetherness of his squad after their 42-25 win over rivals Guernsey in the 2023 men's Siam Cup.

Tries from Roy Godfrey, Mark Boarer (2), Jack MacFarlane and Charlie Hubert, along with 17 points from the boot of fly half Aaron Penberthy, helped Jersey to the victory in front of 2,500 at the Stade Santander International.

A trio of post-Covid men's Siams were played out last season, with the Raiders winning the latter two clashes in May 2022 with ease (62-26 in Jersey, and 52-0 at Footes Lane).

But this was a different story. If this was a revenge mission, it was mission accomplished.

"Pure grit and determination got us through," said Landick. "I couldn’t be happier. We worked so hard. Losing back-to-back Siams, one at home and one away quite convincingly, was really tough for the guys.

"We had a good league campaign, but level four and level seven are very different, so we had to get a couple of fixtures in [warm up friendlies]. We’ve prepped and planned well, and it’s paid off today."

The hosts were 17-3 ahead midway through the first half, thanks to Godfrey's early try and Boarer's interception score.

Jersey lift the Siam Cup in 2023
Jersey's win stopped Guernsey from making it three consecutive Siam Cup successes

Guernsey were up for the fight though, and two tries in quick succession ended any thoughts that Landick's men would run away with things. First, Ciaran McGann with an interception of his own eased in between the posts, and then moments later Callum Roberts cantered into the corner to reduce the gap to two points on the half hour mark.

Penberthy's penalty on the stroke of half time saw Jersey go in 20-15 in front at the break.

The Guernsey deficit was briefly back to two points when Owen Thomas dispatched a penalty between the posts early in the second half, but the home side hit back through hooker MacFarlane and full back Hubert, the latter leaping for the line in the corner, to open up a 32-18 lead.

The greens weren't done yet though, and McGann bounced off the tackles to score his second try of the afternoon, with quarter of an hour still on the clock.

With Guernsey down to 14 men , Boarer went over in the corner and Penberthy superbly converted from out wide to re-establish a 14-point lead. Penberthy's penalty took the advantage beyond two converted tries and Jersey could celebrate getting their hands back on the Siam Cup.

The Siam Cup is the second oldest rugby trophy in the world, behind the Calcutta Cup. The cup winner's names date back as far as 1920.

"We made it hard for ourselves, at times we didn’t play in the right areas, but ultimately we came away with a win and we closed it out well at the end," said Landick, speaking to soon after the final whistle.

"We've got plumbers, electricians, finance workers. Bar Guy [Thompson] we’ve been together the whole season. Last season we only had 12 games, this season we had about 24, so that’s a huge difference. There's unity and togetherness in the squad, we know how to win and I think that carried us through today - the belief was amazing."

Aaron Penberthy
Former Jersey Reds fly half Aaron Penberthy kicked 17 points for the hosts

The triumph was one of four Jersey wins in a clean sweep over Guernsey on the day.

Nash Cup: Jersey 31-24 Guernsey

Women's Siam: Jersey 31-5 Guernsey

Fallaize Cup: Jersey 41-26 Guernsey

Jersey RFC: Roy Godfrey, Jack MacFarlane, Ewan Davies, Euan Spencer, Jerry Sexton, Evan Whitson (c), Tim Corson, George Willmott, Liam Rhodes, Aaron Penberthy, Nathan Rogers, Guy Thompson, Dom Mayo, Mark Boarer, Charlie Hubert. Replacements: Joe Ridgway, Tom Wilson, Bryn Edwards, Harrison Berresford, Tom Tilstone, Max Harrington, Dan Hawkes, Michael Harman.

Guernsey Raiders: Sam Steventon, Tom Ceillam, Jacob Pinkney, Lewis Hillier, Brad Webb, Matt Creber, Dom Rice, Jordan Smiler, Malcolm Barnes, Owen Thomas, Callum Roberts, Tom Teasdale, Ciaran McGann, Anthony Armstrong, Luke Sayer. Replacements: Dan Morgan, Charlie Currie, Darrin Bellingham, Tom Creed, James Burger, Sam Boyland, Charlie Davies, Ethan Smith.

Attendance: 2,563

Star Player: Aaron Penberthy (Jersey)