Jersey 13 Leeds Carnegie 1808/03/2014
Jersey 13 Leeds Carnegie 18
Greene King IPA Championship
by Tom Innes - pics by William Church
Leeds battled back to claim the spoils against a Jersey side whose valiant effort wasn't quite enough to upset the form-book.
Below their best after an early start and a long journey, Carnegie "found a way to win" according to relieved Head Coach James Lowes.
"I've put my hand up about the decision to travel on the day," he said. "It did affect the boys' energy levels and it was a risk - we got away with it but I'd probably do things differently next time.
"We had one opportunity to score in the second half and we took it - that and the defensive effort at the end are the positives I'll be taking out of this game."
Alex Lozowski kicked the visitors into an early lead after Jersey were penalised straight from the kick-off, but Aaron Penberthy squared things up a few minutes later. The first serious attack was by Leeds, and centre Jon Clarke had the pace and strength to go past Alex Rae's tackle and touch down.
From Jersey's next move upfield they earned another penalty which Penberthy slotted, only for Lozowski to stretch his side's lead to 6-11 with a three-pointer of his own. Rob Vickerman thought he'd crossed for Carnegie too, only for the officials to rule the last pass forward.
Jersey attacked at the other end, first through the forwards, and then spinning the ball wide for Jack Burroughs to score. Penberthy's excellent conversion gave his side the lead for the first time, and it could have been better if Latu Makaafi had not shelled a potential scoring pass from Drew Locke shortly before the break.
Leeds had opportunities to get back into the game in the second half, but Ollie Goss was hauled down by an excellent tackle from Jersey debutant Ryan Hodson, and Jonny Bentley hooked a simple-looking penalty chance.
Leeds pressed again and Fred Burdon surged through the middle to score, and then the visitors withstood some late Jersey pressure to cement the victory. The men in red had a series of scrums and lineouts on the Leeds' line, but couldn't make it count - Mark McCrea looked to have scored but the referee ruled there had been an accidental offside in the build-up.
"We can't get excited about a point," said Jersey's frustrated Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "I've said all along that we just needed the bounce of the ball or a referee's decision to go our way, but we didn't quite get that today. We got into some good positions, and the continuity between forwards and backs was good, so that's something we can take away from the game."
Biljon said he was pleased with the effort of Hodson on his debut.
"He's only been here 9 days and he stepped up really well - it
was part of a good team effort and if we keep improving then I
think we can win at Plymouth and get the results that we
Jersey: Burroughs, Pointer (Bishop 19), Locke, McCrea, Foster, Penberthy, Griffiths (Dudley 69); McCarthy, Taione, Brennan (Selway 55), Campbell (Markham 57), Voss, Rae (capt), Hodson, Makaafi (Buckle 69). Replacements (not used): Felton, Fidler.
Leeds: Goss, Vickerman, Clarke, Burdon, Doherty D (Holmes 45), Lozowski (Bentley 50), Doherty J; Imiolek (Harris 47), Graham (Nilsen 47), Tussac, Hannay, Smith (Casson 47), Sisi (Walker 55), Rowan (capt), Burrows. Replacements (not used): Hooper.
Referee: Martin Fox (RFU)
Star Man: Aaron Penberthy (Jersey)
Tries: Burroughs 26
Conversion: Penberthy 26
Penalties: Penberthy 6, 16
Tries: Clarke 12, Burdon 68
Conversions: Bentley 68
Penalties: Lozowski 1, 21