Nottingham Rugby 19 Jersey 2206/10/2013
Nottingham Rugby 19 Jersey 22
Greene King IPA Championship
by William Church
Jersey recorded one of their most significant away wins in the history of the club with a dogged second half display against Nottingham Rugby. - What a difference a year makes, as the visit to Meadow lane in 2012 proved to be one of the hardest introductions to life at this level and the heaviest defeat of the season.
Harvey made 4 changes to the starting line up with Griffiths back in at scrum half, Locke at centre, Maidment in the back row and Cooper for the unfortunate Dawson who was ruled out earlier in the week with a muscle strain.
Nottingham kicked off and were quick to assert early pressure, that was rewarded after only 3 minutes with a successful penalty kick by Jarvis. Jersey held firm against more sustained pressure and following a missed Nottingham penalty, were given a shot at goal of their own on 19 minutes; O'Connor stepped up, and made no mistake to level the scores.
The status quo didn't last for long though as Nottingham capitalised almost immediately after the restart from a line out in the Jersey half, when Chapman finished off a move under the posts that had cut through the Jersey centre pairing. Jarvis converted and it was 10-3 to the hosts.
O'Connor reduced the deficit soon after with another penalty and could have added a 3rd from out wide, but the right hand upright intervened and the ball went wide. Nottingham then extended their lead to 13-6 with another penalty as the clock ticked to half time, but Jersey were increasingly easing themselves back into the game and had time to convert another penalty of their own to make it 13-9 at the interval.
Jersey restarted the second half and whilst looking to maintain their ascendency, Buckle contrived to get a yellow card for a silly bit of indiscipline, and it looked as though the tide was turning again in favour of the home side as they extended the lead with another penalty.
Notts then were reduced to 14 players and O'Connor made no mistake from 25 yards out to reduce the difference to 4 points at 16-12.
Jersey then had their best move of the game as they broke down the left, and when it looked as the opportunity may come to nothing as a pass didn't go to hand they quickly regained possession and recycled it for McCrea to cross the whitewash for a converted try (16-19) and put Jersey into a lead that they would never lose.
There was a further exchange of penalties (19-22) before Griffiths then made a fantastic break with about 20 mins to go, that could so easily have ended in a try before being hauled down by the last man. Jersey won a penalty from the move, and there then ensued the most dominant display of Jersey forward strength of the game that saw no less than 8 scrum resets within 10m of the Nottingham line which also saw 2 yellow cards for Nottingham props Ma'afu and Bower, but that ultimately went without reward.
Nottingham cleared and the balance of power then swung either way as the clock edged towards the final whistle. Both sides made a number of tactical replacements and Nottingham twice had penalty chances during stoppage time within easy kicking distance to level the scores, but on both occasion they opted for position and a lineout and Jersey held on to close out a tense finish and win 19-22.
Jersey: Pointer (Penberthy 47), McCrea, Locke,
Bishop, O'Connor, Griffiths, McCarthy, Taione (Felton 79), Young
(Selway 74), Campbell (Markham 80), Rae, Maidment (Voss 79), Buckle
(YC 42), Brown
Replacements not used: Fidler, Williams
Nottingham: Savage, Morris, Styles, Munro,
Chapman, Jarvis (Shaw 60), Romans, Ma'afu - YC 63 (Calladine 84),
Vickers, Holford - YC 47 (Lynn 77), Keough (Burton 81), Montagu,
Cooper (Lynn 62) (Bower 65 - YC 68), Wilson, Calladine (Walker
Replacements not used: Williams, Lee Everton
Referee: Ross Campbell
Man of the match (Jersey): O'Connor
Half time: 13-9
Try: Chapman 20
Conversion: Jarvis 21
Penalties: Jarvis 3, 36, 43; Shaw 60
Try: McCrea 49
Conversion: O'Connor 50
Penalties: 19, 25, 41, 47, 56