Rugby:Half-time Bell rings in change of fortune

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This time, however, for only the second time this season, they won away from home, despite trailing Tunbridge 6-0 at the break.

‘It really was a game of two halves,’ said Jersey’s director of rugby, Dai Burton.

‘We didn’t turn up for the first half.

There had been heavy rain in the morning which meant it was difficult to play creative rugby on their pitch, because there was a film of water from the very first moment.

‘Their No 10 ran a very good game for them, with pinpoint kicks and, after ten and then 30 minutes, two well-taken penalties when our backs were too anxious and found themselves offside.

‘Players were missing tackles and you could say that the first half was a comedy of errors, although Latu and Ryan Morgan both made promising runs.

‘But the players knew that.

I didn’t have to say anything, because at half-time Graham Bell read the riot act.

‘They (Tunbridge) thought that they should have won the game, but in the second half we were hardly ever out of their half.

To their credit, they were a dogged team and their fly-half was, deservedly, their man of the match.

But we earned our tries.’ The first Jersey score came in the 50th minute when captain Steve O’Brien saw half a gap, took it, and then passed to winger Ryan Morgan who beat his man to score in the corner.

Two minutes later Darren Toudic scored with a penalty, to put Jersey ahead for the first time, 8-6, before Dave Miles drilled a penalty into the corner from which Bell scored a try from a catch and drive/pick and drive.

Now 13-6 ahead, Jersey never looked like falling behind again, although their habit of giving away penalties could have proved costly.

‘I was particularly pleased that we scored when we only had 13 players on the pitch,’ said Burton.

‘First Kern (Yates) was sin-binned when he intervened to stop some “”hand-bagging”” early on in the game.

Then Darren Toudic was yellow-carded when he and Steve O’Brien both took out one of their players.

‘Of the two, Steve was probably the one who should have been given his marching orders.

Then Latu was sin-binned – although neither he, nor I, know what that was for.’ Ultimately, it didn’t matter, for John Allo scored in the dying moments to make it 18-6 to a Jersey side who are slowly but surely hauling themselves up the divisional ladder.

And although injuries meant that for a long period in the second half regular back-row forward Richie Griffiths had to play in the threes, Jersey’s dominance was such that even when their scrummaging deteriorated, towards the end of the game, they never looked like losing.

‘We never turned up in the first half,’ said Burton.

‘But Hendo (Ian Henderson) and Kern (Yates) kept us in the game while Mark White was injured in making a try-saving tackle.

‘Despite the yellow cards, the referee was okay.

He sin-binned their centre for slowing the game down, although he probably should have cautioned them earlier in the game.

Despite the conditions, in the end we deserved to win.’ Stewart Collins squad: Marcus Nobes, Nathan Kemp, Jim Brimelow, Ian Henderson, Jon Allo, Richie Griffiths, Graham Bell, Kern Yates, Dave Miles, Darren Toudic, Ryan Morgan, Steve O’Brien, Mark White, Latu Maka’afi, Mark Le Mottée, Jason Hosty, Russell Holland, Peter O’Connor.

Other results from London South II: Beckenham 12, Sutton & Epsom34; London Irish Amateur 9, Thanet Wanderers 18; Maidstone 36, Lewes 3; Wimbledon 34, Sevenoaks 21.

JRA League results: Les Quennevais 0, Jersey RFC 2nds 52; Guernsey 2nds 50, Jersey Wanderers 5; Jersey United Banks 29, Beeches 20.

London 2 South P W D L F A Diff Pts Sutton & Epsom99 0 0 316 84 232 18 Thanet Wanderers107 0 3 230 151 79 14 Old Colfeians97 0 2 174 127 47 14 Wimbledon106 0 4 246 162 84 12 Maidstone106 0 4 197 173 24 12 Andover96 0 3 188 173 15 12 Jersey105 0 5 237 176 61 10 Sevenoaks95 0 4 221 193 28 10 Beckenham102 0 8 164 252 -88 4 London Irish Am102 0 8 132 232 -100 4 Tunbridge Wells102 0 8 166 271 -105 4 Lewes101 0 9 132 409 -277 2

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