Jersey 10 Bath 3423/08/2014
Jersey put up a brave display against their Premiership opponents, recovering impressively after conceding 22 points in just 12 minutes during the first half.
The Islanders rallied and the second half score was level at 7-7 until Bath scored a late try to ice the cake
Jersey-born Matt Banahan, promoted to the starting line-up after the late withdrawal of fellow England threequarter Kyle Eastmond through injury, had an early opportunity but was hauled down by Nick Haining.
Aaron Penberthy gave Jersey the lead with a well-struck 40-metre penalty effort. The visitors kicked their first penalty to the corner to demonstrate attacking intent, but from another penalty soon afterwards Bath's Gavin Henson elected for the kicking tee and levelled the scores.
A powerful line-break by prop Henry Thomas set up Bath's first try for Jonathan Joseph, and soon afterwards Semesa Rokoduguni was too powerful for Jersey's left flank defence and charged through to score. Turnover ball from a ruck was fed quickly to Joseph who finished easily for his second try before the break.
Henson's 60-metre touchfinder early in the second half set up the platform from which Leroy Houston powered over under the posts from close range, and Jersey were facing a heavy defeat.
To their credit the Islanders rallied and after sustained pressure flanker Haining slipped through for an opportunist score. Jersey could have added further scores but were let down by poor execution and in the closing stages turnover ball led to a length-of-the-field move finished by Olly Woodburn.
Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon was pleased with the test his squad were given.
"The boys were placed under a lot of pressure; that's what will happen when you take on a side with an international front row and players like Henson and Joseph in the backs. Bath were very physical and played a fast-paced game," he said. "I think we could learn from their composure, and should have scored at least one more try, but also felt we earned their respect."
Bath Coach Toby Booth was pleased to see his side register a sizeable win in their second and final pre-season match before opening their Aviva Premiership campaign at Sale on September 6th.
"It was a very useful exercise for us - Jersey provided a serious challenge and threw a lot at us," Booth said. "We coped well, scored some good tries and we should be in good shape for the league season."
Booth admitted that his side were less effective following the tactical withdrawal of fly-half Henson after 50 minutes. "We lacked an out-and-out 10 after that and we had to scrap a bit and there was some rustiness from some of those who came on and haven't played much," he said.
Jersey: Burroughs, Foster, Hoskins, Bishop
(Robling 50), Dawson (Bell 50), Penberthy (Bentley 50), Griffiths
(Glynn 50); Lancuba (Lockwood 41), Harris (Garcia-Veiga 41),
Williams (Herriott 41), Phillips, Markham, Haining (Thomas 64),
Hodson (capt) (Kaho 41), Noone. Replacements not used:
Bath: Arscott, Rokoduguni, Joseph, Banahan, Woodburn, Henson (Lane 50), Cook (Stringer 41); James (Auterac 53), Webber (Dunn 57), Thomas (Palma-Newport 63), Hooper (capt), Day (Ewels 66), Fa'osiliva (Sisi 59), Mercer, Houston. Replacements not used: Shiells, Orlandi, Ellis, Gilbert, Wacokeocke.
Referee: Matt Carley
Men-of-the-match (as chosen by match sponsor EFG Wealth Solutions): Jonathan Joseph (Bath) & Nick Haining (Jersey)
Try: Haining 50
Conversion: Penberthy 50
Penalty: Penberthy 4
Tries: Joseph 12, 22, Rokoduguni 18, Houston 43, Woodburn 75
Conversions: Henson 12, 22, 43
Penalties: Henson 10