This Saturday we welcome Douglas for our second fixture against their islanders.
Those Saints’ supporters who travelled to Douglas last November do not need reminding of our biggest and most comprehensive defeat this season when we conceded 52 points and replied with just two penalties.
Douglas are currently fifth, having won twelve and lost nine one of their 21 games. Traditionally strong at home, they have lost only twice at Port-E-Chee this term, to Northwich and, surprisingly, last week, to a resurgent Broughton Park. They have lost their last three games and have only won three of their ten games on the road.
The Manxmen won their first six home games, the highlight of which was a 58-13 humbling of Penrith, Anselmians’ nemesis last week.
Douglas are having their best season since they were promoted from South Lancashire/Cheshire 1 with Manchester in 2016-17. Last season they finished a respectable ninth in North One West.
The season they were promoted, Anselmians were thrashed 0-47 at Eastham and lost 36-15 on the island. In 2015-16, when we finished eighth and Douglas were sixth, we lost away 31-12, but won at Malone Field, 40-20.
In 2014-15, we again won at home 37-16, but lost away, 45-32. Once again, we finished two places ahead in the final league, table ending up eighth when Douglas were tenth.
In fact, we must go back to 2014 to find the last time Anselmians left the island with a victory. In the March, we triumphed 22-26 to complete a rare double, having won at home the previous November, 33-27.
There were glimpses against Penrith of what this Saints’ side is capable of, but they cannot afford the lapses of concentration and avoidable errors which have characterised this campaign thus far.
Anselmians and their supporters feel there is sufficient quality and resolve in the team to overcome their inconsistent form and periodic lapses of concentration and register a morale boosting victory.