Jersey 17 Bristol 26


Jersey 17 Bristol 26
Greene King IPA Championship
by Tom Innes

Bris Maul

Bristol's blitzkrieg start brought them 19 points in the first 16 minutes and provided the platform for an efficient bonus point win.

Jersey battled back into contention and could have snatched a bonus point, but there was little argument from the home supporters about which side deserved to win.

"We were looking to play an up-tempo game from the start and it worked out really well," said Bristol scrum-half Ruki Tipuna. "We were a bit loose after that, and Jersey raised their game, but this won't be an easy place to come this season, so we're delighted with five points."

The visitors attacked almost straight from the kick-off and scored twice in six minutes. Tipuna was driven over for a score converted by Tristan Roberts, and then the pair combined again when the scrum-half tapped a quick free kick and ran wide, feeding Roberts for the try in the corner.

NOC Bris

The home crowd was stunned, with their team scarcely having touched the ball, let alone caused their opponents any difficulties. One of Jersey's first forays into Bristol territory resulted in the ball going loose. Tipuna hacked on and the home cover couldn't re-gather. Glen Townson took the ball on from his scrum-half and fed Roberts for a try under the posts.

Putting their opponents under pressure for the first time, Jersey gained a man advantage when Ian Grieve saw yellow for pulling down a lineout, and soon afterwards Niall O'Connor registered his side's first points from a penalty kick. But Jimmy Williams spilled the restart close to his own line, and Bristol were able to play out the remainder of the half, and Grieve's spell on the naughty-step, in relative comfort.

Ryan Edwards' early try after the break stretched his side's advantage to 23 points, although this was cancelled out when Ed Dawson pouched an O'Connor cross-kick for the second week running and crossed for his third try of the season.

In a scrappy second period, marked by heavy rain and a lengthy injury to Jersey's James Voss, Jersey couldn't cut the deficit until replacement Nick Selway crossed from close range with 10 minutes to go. Hopes of a consolation bonus point were raised when O'Connor lined up a penalty goal from 45 metres out in the closing minutes, but his attempt drifted wide.

"We knew Bristol wouldn't want to take us on up front, and fell into the trap of letting them dictate the pace in the early stages," said Jersey's Forwards Coach Steve Boden. "We improved after that and I think we deserved something from the game - if we can play like we did in the last hour against one of the best sides in the division then we have plenty to look forward to."

Jersey: Pointer (Locke 46), Foster, McCrea, Bishop, Dawson, O'Connor, Williams (Dudley 55); McCarthy (Fidler 67), Taione (Felton 40), Young (Selway 62), Campbell, Rae (capt), Voss (Markham 59), Buckle, Brown. Replacement not used: Penberthy.

Bristol: D'Arcy, Watkins, Short (Rennie 48), Mosses, Edwards, Roberts (Robinson 62), Tipuna (Braley 62); Traynor (Hobson 79), Hayes (Lawrence 48), Hobson (Hall 56), Townson, Sorenson, Grieve (capt) (Eadie 52), Pennycook (Skirving 70), Mama.

Referee: Ian Tempest
Man-of-the-match (chosen by match sponsor Barclays): David Young (Jersey)
Half-time: 3-19

Tries: Dawson 46, Selway 71
Conversions: O'Connor 46, 71
Penalty: O'Connor 30

Try: Tipuna 2, Roberts 6, 16, Edwards 42
Conversions: Robert 16, 42

/*pics by David Goodenough*/

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