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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

JONES VS JONES IN HAMILTON

Chris Jones and June Jones on Wednesday
HAMILTON - At the pregame walkthroughs before Thursday's Week 6 battle between Saskatchewan and Hamilton at Tim Hortons Field, a lot was made of Rider coach Chris Jones stopping practice on Tuesday to lay into his team for shoddy practice habits.

The message was received, and we'll know Thursday night if Jones' riot act had the desired effect.

"When you have a bad day like that you have to figure out what it is and find a way to bounce back," said Rider defensive end Charleston Hughes on Wednesday. "We had a good practice the day before but when you follow it up with a bad practice, somebody has to say something or spark something where everybody needs to get it together.

"I don't think we've been practicing like champions 100% every single week so far but I think we've had some championship practices where we know what level we need to practice at."

Chris Jones said there's only one telltale sign to show if his team got the message.

"You gotta win games," Jones observed. "You gotta win games. We gotta show up, be more consistent. That's what we gotta do."

I asked Hughes if Jones' one-way address was simply a way to light a fire under his club for a huge contest against a team they beat in their last encounter, 18-13 two weeks ago in Regina.

"This is a big game," Hughes nodded. "They're one of the hot teams in the league right now in the power rankings. We gotta win this game just as well as we had to win the last game. It takes championship practices to win a game like that."

Chris Jones was asked what challenges a back-to-back set like this one versus the Ticats presents.

"Certainly we have to have some things that they haven't seen. It's an outstanding coaching staff here with some veteran players too, so I'm sure they're going to have some wrinkles for us, and vice versa. We just gotta react to what they give us and make good football plays when they arrive."

In a battle of Jones vs Jones, Ticats Head Coach June Jones said they've left nothing to chance in this second-straight meeting with Saskatchewan.

"Well, as a coach, I'm sitting there looking at the things they did three years ago," June said. "You've gotta over-examine. We practiced against them today. They did a lot of different dogs a couple of years ago that Chris isn't doing now. So we practiced against those this week. We looked closely, they're going to tweak what they've done. And Chris does a good job of that. The kids play hard for him."

June Jones is a considered to be an offensive mastermind while his counterpart Chris Jones is considered a defensive guru. The Hamilton Jones was asked if he finds that match-up intriguing.

"Not really," Jones shrugged. "Once the game starts, probably, you do get a little bit of, 'Oh, they're changing and doing this now'. You get into a little bit of that. But I don't ever do that really."

Kickoff on Thursday is 5:30 pm Sask Time on the 620 CKRM Rider Network and TSN.

RP
@rodpedersen

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