London Scottish (H) 27.10.1227/10/2012
Jersey 20 London Scottish 17
Jersey withstood a spirited comeback from London Scottish to claim their first Championship win of the season, delighting Director of Rugby Ben Harvey.
"It wasn't the performance we wanted, but the result was the most important thing," said a relieved Harvey. "The boys showed real spirit, heart and tenacity and it's terrific for them to get a win to reflect all their hard work.
"It was a patchy display, and we turned the ball over too much on a dry day - if we'd kept hold of it better than we could have a bonus point, but four points isn't a bad return."
Home captain Nathan Hannay beseeched his team to "look after it" following a scrappy opening to the game, and the Islanders responded when scrum-half Brendan O'Brien burst from a lineout, Ed Dawson picked up quick second phase ball and fed Guy Thompson. The flanker was around 30 metres out but burst through the Scottish defence and had the pace to reach the line.
A scrum offence enabled Phil Godman to reduce the arrears with a penalty. By half-time both sides had been reduced to 14 men after Rob Anderson and Adam Kwasnicki received yellow cards, while Le Bourgeois slotted two penalties to increase his side's advantage.
Crucially the home side claimed the first score of the second period. Fine handling from Sean McCarthy, Nathan Hannay and Anderson gave a chance to Copsey. The winger checked inside and then scorched away from the Scottish defence for a superb try.
A trip to the sin-bin for Hannay helped Scottish change the momentum of the game. Previously the Jersey scrum had held their own, but now they were bossed by the visiting eight and conceded a penalty try.
The lead shrank to just three points as the visitors seized turnover ball and Miles Mantella burst clear from inside his own half, releasing Jim Thompson with a perfectly-timed scoring pass. The Scots sensed victory, but Jersey's defence held firm in the closing stages as the home fans suffered prior to the elation of the final whistle.
Visiting Director of Rugby Simon Amor was rueful: "If you miss as many tackles and give away as many penalties as we did then it's always going to be hard. Jersey deserved the win and we've got plenty of technical things to work on."
Jersey, sponsored by jersey.com and Locate Jersey: Bryce, Copsey, Sanders, Maggs, Dawson, Le Bourgeois, O'Brien; McCarthy (Barrington 68), Boden, Gethings (Brennan 76), Anderson (Markham 71), Hannay (capt), Rodgers (Voss 76), Lang (Trower 68), Thompson. Replacements not used: Tellwright, Davies.
London Scottish: Thompson, McCall, Grove, Gidlow (Reay 48), Mantella, Godman, Bolt; Irish (Clarke 48), Kwasnicki, Liffchak (Quigley 41), Spivey (Karonias 66), Hotson, Pennycook, Lonergan (Bloomberg 39-45, Russell 45), Bright. Replacement not used: Samson.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Rugby Paper Star Man: James Copsey (Jersey)
Sponsor's MoM as chosen by IFM Trust: Guy Thompson(Jersey)
Tries: Thompson 10, Copsey 47
Conversions: Le Bourgeois 10, 47
Penalties: Le Bourgeois19, 36
Tries: Penalty Try 52, Thompson 75
Conversions: Godman 52, 75
Penalty: Godman 13
Report by Tom Innes