Jersey 13 Yorkshire Carnegie 1720/12/2014
Yorkshire Carnegie dug deep to claim a first league win in six attempts, while Jersey's sixth consecutive defeat sent the Islanders into the Christmas break on a disappointing note.
After losing five league and cup games on the bounce, Jersey started at a frenetic pace and could have scored a try within two minutes as a series of surges by the forwards threatened the try-line. In the end it was just three points from Jonny Bentley's penalty, although a further five were added 15 minutes later when Mark Foster crashed over in the corner.
The home side struggled in the set-piece, hindered by the loss of hooker Martin Garcia-Veiga within five minutes and his replacement Gareth Harris at half-time. The two packs were more evenly-matched at the scrum after the break, as far as could be discerned from the referee's interpretation, but Jersey's lineout struggled throughout.
Carnegie used a series of penalty decisions to win field position for an attacking lineout. When a rolling maul was dragged down, a penalty try was awarded, and the conversion and a late penalty by Harry Leonard helped the visitors edge ahead at half-time.
There were just two scores in the second half, with Jersey regaining the lead when Lewis Robling crossed after a series of phases. When Drew Locke, who earlier had come close to scoring in the right-hand corner, saw yellow for a needless late tackle on Jonah Holmes, Carnegie took advantage from the resultant penalty. A lengthy rolling maul sapped the energy from the home defence, and then a further penalty and another maul saw replacement Walker score, Leonard converting with aplomb from the touchline.
Back in front, Carnegie were in no mood to surrender the win and showed control and discipline in the closing stages, while another Jersey player, Sam Lockwood, was given a yellow card.
Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon said: "It was disappointing that after all the hard work they've been putting in the boys couldn't quite get the win. They certainly put in a performance, but we didn't get as many points as we should have done when we were in charge of the game, and there was some indiscipline towards the end.
"I don't want to stand here and make excuses, but we need the
rugby gods to smile on us - when you lose both hookers within half
of the game it has a major adverse effect on your set-piece, and
that cost us dearly today."
Biljon said he hoped that the Jersey supporters would continue their excellent support of the team in 2015.
"The supporters make a real difference and we really want to get
the wins that they deserve - I'm confident we'll be able to do that
once the New Year comes."
Jersey: Pointer, Foster, Locke, Robling, McCrea (Jones-Davies 58), Bentley, Glynn (Dudley 64); Lockwood, Garcia-Veiga (Harris 5, Lancuba 41), Williams, Campbell (Noone 71), Phillips (Markham 52), Rae (capt), Hodson, Kaho. Replacement (not used): Herriott.
Carnegie: Georgiou, Goss, Vickerman, Lucock, Holmes, Leonard, Pilgrim; Beech (Harris 57), Nilsen (Walker J 52), Hill (Imiolek 60), Smith, Casson (Walker C 57), Beck, Bainbridge (Williams 65), Burrows (capt). Replacements (not used): Dudman, Peters.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU)
Man-of-the-match (as chosen by match sponsor Comprop): Grant Pointer (Jersey)
Tries: Foster 17, Robling 55
Penalty: Bentley 2
Tries: Penalty Try 21, Walker C 69
Conversions: Leonard 21, 69
Penalty: Leonard 36