Jersey 26 London Welsh 3304/01/2014
London Welsh returned to winning ways, surviving a spirited Jersey comeback to move back to the top of the Greene King IPA Championship.
On an afternoon of wild weather at St Peter, Welsh Head Coach Justin Burnell was delighted to see his team overcome the elements and the home team's efforts.
"I think the conditions made people think there might be a banana skin waiting for us," he said. "For 60 minutes we performed really well against a good side, and although we could have taken a bonus point, I'm really pleased to be coming away from here with the win."
Jersey went ahead in the opening minute through Niall O'Connor's penalty, but the visitors claimed the first try two minutes later. A quick penalty was passed to centre Alan Awcock who made good ground towards Jersey's line, and quick ball was fed to lock Mitch Lees who crashed over.
Disruption of a Jersey scrum led to a turnover and a second try through Welsh wing Joe Ajuwa who barged his way through a crowd of players; and then Mike Denbee claimed the visitors' third score when Jersey's defence was found wanting.
The home side took heart from a try just before the break that stemmed from a sliced touch kick by Welsh, with David Bishop's quick throw in finding Grant Pointer, who fed Jack Burroughs for the score.
Jersey began the second half with real purpose, but Alex Davies was able to stretch his side's lead with four penalties against two O'Connor efforts. When Oli Stedman was given a yellow card, the home pack sensed an opportunity: a prodigious scrum push led to a penalty try being awarded, and the gap was down to seven points. Both sides pressed in the closing minutes, but there were no further scores.
"It was just a few errors in execution that let us down and gave
them some soft tries," said Jersey Interim Head Coach Steve Boden.
"But the way we fought back was fantastic - the boys put in a great
shift and I'm proud to coach them."
Jersey: Burroughs , Pointer, Locke , Bishop, Foster, O'Connor, Williams; Fidler (McCarthy 43), Taione, Young (Selway 79), Campbell (Markham 66), Rae (capt), Buckle, Silcock, Maidment (Makaafi 63). Replacements not used: Felton, Dudley.
London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, Awcock, May (capt), Ajuwa (Scott 68), Davies (Robinson 71), Cook; Trevett (Moss 66), Morris (Vella 59), Tideswell (Edwards 66), Lees (West 79), Browne, Kirwan, Denbee (Thorpe 59), Stedman.
Referee: Greg Macdonald (RFU)
Man-of-the-match (chosen by Match sponsor Thompson Estates): Elvis Taione (Jersey)
Tries: Burroughs 38, Penalty Try 73
Conversions: O'Connor 38, 73
Penalties: O'Connor 2, 22, 43, 54
Tries: Lees 4, Ajuwa 15, Denbee 26
Conversions: Davies 4, 15, 26
Penalties: Davies 47, 51, 57, 61