Somerset v Comets (KOC) Preview!
Photo by Dave PayneFri 06 May 2016
The Comets make the long journey down the M5 to Somerset today in order to take on the Somerset Rebels in the first round, first leg of this year's Knockout Cup.
The second leg takes place a week tomorrow (Saturday 14th May) at Derwent Park, with Peterborough awaiting the winners of this two-legged tie in the second round.
This is the third time in four seasons that the Comets have met the Rebels in the early rounds of the KO Cup, with the Rebels being victorious on each occasion.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: "We met the Rebels in 2013 and 2014, had a year off from them last year and now we have them once again in 2016, which is quite unbelievable really when you think that there are another eleven teams that we could have met!
"Typically those years have coincided with arguably the best spell in the Rebels history, as they reached the play-off Grand Final in 2012, 2013 and 2014, so you can see why they were always tough to beat over two legs.
"Many people wrote the Rebels off at the start of this season; but having won convincingly at Peterborough just under two weeks ago and then won at Ipswich on Thursday of last week before demolishing the Witches at the Oak Tree Arena last Friday, you could argue that the Rebels are the league's in form team right now - which certainly doesn't make our task any easier.
"But we are going there in a very determined frame of mind, especially after our draw at Rye House on Monday when once again everybody scored vital points in another very solid team performance.
"From one to seven we are more than capable of holding our own against anyone and once again I will be emphasising to everyone the importance of avoiding last places, and the more points we can pick up tonight the less we need in the return leg at Derwent Park in 8 days time.
"There are no TR's in the KO Cup so it is basically a race to 91 points and whoever reaches that aggregate total first goes through to the next round where they will meet the Peterborough Panthers.
"Both clubs have riders in their side that have ridden for the other in the recent past. The Rebels include former Comets Josh Grajczonek and Charles Wright in their 1 to 7 while the Comets include former Rebels Claus Vissing and Rasmus Jensen, which always adds a bit of interest.
"Additionally, Somerset have their winter signing Rohan Tungate missing as he is travelling to Denmark for Saturday's World Championship Qualifying Round, and in his place the Rebels have booked Comets asset (and current Sheffield rider) Kyle Howarth as a guest replacement."
The action gets underway this evening at 7:30pm at the Oak Tree Arena and the sides line up as follows:
'Cases' Somerset Rebels
1 Josh Grajczonek [c], 2 Jake Allen, 3 Kyle Howarth (guest for Rohan Tungate), 4 Paul Starke, 5 Charles Wright, 6 Bradley Wilson-Dean, 7 Zach Wajtknecht.
Workington 'Thomas Armstrong' Comets
1 Ricky Wells [c], 2 Rasmus Jensen, 3 Kenneth Hansen, 4 Mason Campton, 5 Claus Vissing, 6 Adam Roynon, 7 Matt Williamson.
Referee: Mick Posselwhite.
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Last Updated : Fri 06 May 2016, 00:13 UK