Jersey RFC too strong for promotion hopefuls

- Advertisement -

Despite having two points deducted for fielding an unregistered player a month ago, Jersey finished on a high; beating a Guildford team whose coach, Ian Fry, believes that the club’s 1st XV are a better side than third place might suggest.

‘We’ve played three 1st division sides this season, and on today’s performance Jersey are easily on a par with them.

‘They play right on the edge, with a real intensity in their pack.

I still think we took enough ball to win the game through our backs, but if I had just been a disinterested observer, this was a great game to watch.’ Jersey, 8-15 down at half-time, could easily have lost.

After a tremendous conversion wide out on the left following Luke Sayer’s kick for the line, touched down by flying winger Anthony Wilde in the eighth minute, centre Brad Steele missed two easy penalty chances in as many minutes.

Then both wingers, Wilde on the left and Stuart Turton on the right, could have given Guildford a two-try cushion, but Wilde knocked on with no-one to beat and Turton was shunted, marginally, into the no-goal area.

At the time the score had moved on to 15-8 to the visitors thanks to two catch and drive tries; the first by Jersey’s John Allo after 22 minutes, the second by the Guildford No 6, James Sacha.

Both sides also swapped a penalty apiece, which meant that Jersey still had a great deal to do in the second half but, for fully 20 minutes, the pack were awesome.

‘Guildford have the fastest wingers we’ve seen in this league,’ explained Jersey coach Dai Burton afterwards.

‘So we knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty game.

It was more important to win, rather than to play exhibition rugby.

We had a game plan, and we stuck to it.’ Led by Nathan Kemp in the forwards, the next two tries were awesome; both long trundles up the park against a decent pack and a player Burton described as ‘probably the biggest prop I’ve seen in any division .



if not the world!’ With the crowd roaring them on, first Allo scored his second try, in the third minute of the second half, converted by Cummins, before seven minutes later Latu Maka’afi emerged with the ball, and the try, from a similar rumble up the park.

Again Cummins converted.

A late penalty by Steele meant that Jersey had to cling on for their win, but heroic defence, three Guildford injuries, a Guildford player yellow-carded, a terrific Steve O’Brien intercept plus a nerveless tackle by full-back Gareth Jeffreys late on in the match made the last 15 minutes just about as good as it gets – if, as a Jersey supporter, you don’t mind biting your nails down to the quick.

‘I thought we’d win, because there was such a buzz in the dressing room before we went out,’ said the Jersey captain, O’Brien, afterwards.

As for Fry’s side; Guildford have a play-off match against the Civil Service if they are to win promotion next week.

‘I’ve three players injured, and the most serious injury is to our playmaker, Luke Sayer at No 10,’ he said.

‘But on Jersey’s performance today, they wouldn’t look out of place in one, if not two divisions above.’ Jersey: Gareth Jeffreys, Steve O’Brien, Ross Allan, Andy Whelan (Mark White), James Milner, Sam Cummins, Dave Miles (Paul Nayar), Marcus Nobes, Josh Chamier, Jim Brimelow, Roger Quirk, Ian Henderson (Danny McAlister), John Allo (Brett Els), Latu Maka’afi, Nathan Kemp.

Other results: Hampshire U16 Division I: Jersey under-16s 17, New Milton 12.

Friendlies: Jersey 2nds 5, Guildford 2nds 15; Jersey U13s 21, Guildford 27; Jersey U17s 14, Devonport Services 5; Jersey U16/17s 13, Devonport Services 19.

Jersey U11s 29, Teddington U12s B 28.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.