Beset with a combination of injuries, university visits and other engagements, the Colts were down to 14 even before leaving the Island on Sunday. Concussion, a broken arm and a hamstring pull, suffered by Alex Hill, Nick Baker and Angus Hay, respectively, had Jersey down to 11 by the finish.
Jersey had started brightly, putting their hosts under pressure for the first quarter, before the extra man told and a strong Brighton side ran in four tries, one converted, to lead 22-0 at the break.
Now down to 13 Jersey were hit harder still as Brighton forced another two converted tries (36-0). Further reduced to 12, the game was surely up for Jersey. But no … with the Siam Cup on the horizon the players dug deep and started to hit back, running at their hosts and displaying great ball skills. Two fantastic tries were their reward – the first finished off and forced over by Ryan Bisson and the second run in by Ben Henman.
But the Colts’ trials were not yet over and they then lost Hay, who was speeding towards the line when his hamstring pinged.
Bright took immediate advantage, scoring again to make it 41-10. But, like the knight in the legendary Monty Python scene, Jersey refused to admit defeat … and they did, indeed, have the final word, with captain Will Cawley scoring the final try of the day after a great team surge.
One more try would have given them an unlikely, but deserved, bonus point. On a tough day that was not to be, but the Colts did, however, produce some great phases – and bucket-loads of grit.
The Colts, sponsored by Saltgate, have their final league match at Uckfield on 15 April.
Jersey Colts: Ben Henman, Angus Hay, Zach Robinson, Ryan Bisson, Jake Bates, Nick Baker, Harrison Clarke, Harry Bannister, Tristan Burns, Will Cawley (captain), Benjamin Smith, Alex Hill, Fergus Ludlum and Will Le Heuzé. Manager: Don Gardener. Coaches: David McCormack and Ewan Davies.