Jersey 31 Coventry 2131/08/2013
Jersey 31 Coventry 21
Coventry made light of the alleged gulf between levels two and three of the RFU pyramid, giving their Channel Island hosts a fright in this pre-season tussle.
In perfect conditions for rugby, the home side started powerfully and looked to have scored when Grant Pointer and Mark Foster set up Tom Brown, but the number 8's charge to the line was halted by the referee's whistle for a forward pass.
Jersey did go ahead when Foster fed Pointer for a charge to the line, and Niall O'Connor converted.
The home side couldn't add to their lead and half-way through the first half, Cov's pack delivered good ball to number 8 Jacques Le Roux who barged over. The visitors were level, but not for long - four minutes later they took the lead when Pointer fumbled a kick through and the ball fell to Cov winger Mark Kohler who sped to the line. Will Maisey, an early replacement for Matt Jones, added a second conversion.
Jersey's forward power began to tell with a series of drives - first of all this caused a yellow card for Harry Cassons, and then a penalty try to level the scores. Good interplay between Nicky Griffiths and Mark McCrea almost brought another try but the two sides remained locked together at 14-apiece when the half ended.
Jersey's pack asserted themselves in the scrum early in the second half, earning another penalty try, but the visitors hit straight back with the try of the match. Replacement winger Greg Evans finished off a flowing move with a pacy run to the line, and an impressive conversion by Maisey levelled things up once again.
Both sides made a raft of substitutions in the second half, Jersey's replacements including former Academy hooker Luke Stratford for his first team debut. One of those who entered the fray, Ben Maidment, left soon afterwards when an alleged punch led to a red card from referee Matt Carley.
After looking vulnerable against the rolling maul last season, Jersey used this weapon to their benefit in the closing stages. Twice penalties were kicked to the corner, and on each occasion a driving maul ended with Fred Silcock touching down for the tries that separated the sides when the final whistle sounded.
Jersey: Pointer, McCrea, Locke, Cooper, Foster, O'Connor, Griffiths; McCarthy, Taione, Young, Campbell, Rae (capt), Silcock, Buckle, Brown. Replacements: Felton, Stratford, Selway, Anderson, Markham, Voss, Maidment, Williams, Dudley, Bishop, Dawson, Copsey, Burroughs, Penberthy.
Coventry: Hodgson, Kohler, MacBurnie, Otutaha, Clark, Jones, Barker; Borwn, Locke, Ryan, Cassons, Poole, Daynes, Nash, Le Roux. Replacements: Davis, Price, Darkintis, Morgan, Maree, Boyce, Tyas, Smit, Maisey, Evans, Thorne, Myring.
Tries: Pointer 6, Penalty Try 30, 48, Silcock 72, 78
Conversions: O'Connor 6, 30, 48
Tries: Le Roux 22, Kohler 26, Evans 50
Conversions: Maisey 22, 26, 50
Referee: Matt Carley
Star Man: Will Maisey (Coventry)