False start for Jersey

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For Director of Rugby, Dai Burton, this game was as frustrating as it gets.

‘In the first ten minutes we gave away six penalties and I lost count of how many we gave throughout the game,’ he said.

‘They had a really good stand-off and scrum-half, whose kicking kept us pinned back in the first half.

But we had the best two chances, twice in the first half, when Gareth Jeffreys broke through but couldn’t quite find Steve O’Brien with a try-scoring pass.

Last year both those chances would have been taken.

‘When we went in at half-time 0-0, I thought with the wind in our favour we had the beating of them.

Instead of that, ten minutes into the second-half their stand-off scored with a penalty and five minutes later dropped a delightful drop goal.

‘Our play was becoming too predictable, and it was only when we were forced to bring O’Brien further into the threes, when centre Anthony Hurford went off with a dead leg, that we showed any real bite out wide.

‘We’d also lost Kern Yates at half-time by then, again with a dead leg, although this allowed us to bring in Richie Griffiths to add a bit of Welsh fire.’ The game, though, was already drifting away from the Jersey side who had had to endure a 2 1/2 hour wait at the airport before flying over to the UK – hardly ideal preparation for anyone who was expected to play rugby later.

However, one defeat for the Collins Stewart-backed boys doesn’t mean Burton is already contemplating crisis and a mid-table finish at the end of the season.

‘Just after midway through the second half they recycled the ball, leaving their winger enough space to score in the left-hand corner.

The try was converted and we were 13-0 down.

‘Then, with ten minutes to go, O’Brien made a half-break, popped the ball to Mark White, who scored.

Darren Toudic converted and we were back in the game.

‘Right at the end, though, they did what we had been doing all of the game; they took a catch and drive, and their prop scored.

We need that bite in the threes and we’ll have a meeting midweek to talk about making the right moves, instead of taking all of the wrong options.

It might be that we’ll have to make some radical changes .


.’ Jersey RFC: Marcus Nobes, Peter O’Connor, Josh Chamier, Ian Henderson, Roger Quirk, Jon Allo, Kern Yates (Richie Griffiths), Latu Maka’afi, Paul Nayar, Darren Toudic, Steve O’Brien, Mark White, Anthony Hurford (Richard Stevens), Ryan Morgan, Gareth Jeffreys.

Jersey 2nds, mainly players from the Development Squad, won 17-0 with tries from Russell Watson and James Simpson and kicks from Stevie Mee.

Other results: Andover 21, Beckenham 19.

Maidstone 0, Old Colfeians 5.

Sevenoaks 13, Thanet Wanderers 14.

Tunbridge Wells 10, Sutton & Epsom 38.

Wimbledon 58, Lewes 5.

London III South-West: Old Mid-Whitgiftians 13, Guernsey 5.

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