Jersey 17 Doncaster 2313/09/2014
Jersey 17 Doncaster Knights 23
Greene King IPA Championship
by Tom Innes
Doncaster gained retribution with a fine win against the side who condemned them to Championship relegation two seasons ago.
Back in the second tier after a title-winning season in National One, the Knights recovered from a slow start to end the game strongly and deserved winners. For the second week running Jersey let a potentially winning lead slip and had only a losing bonus points to show for their afternoon's work.
"We remember what it was like coming here and seeing Jersey celebrating, and it's a damn sight better feeling having turned the tables," said Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths. "Our scrum was awesome today, and that provided the platform.
"A lot of people have written us off, so to have played two and won two is a great achievement, although there's a long way to go."
A textbook catch-and-drive try from an attacking lineout put Jersey into an early lead, captain Ryan Hodson crashing over (pictured above by Sue Trower), and from a similar move the ball was fed from Ryan Glynn to Tommy Bell to score a second try. The visitors replied through Dougie Flockhart's penalty and a Matt Challinor try. They could have had more points but for some excellent defence by Jersey, a highlight being a Drew Locke tackle on Tyson Lewis when the flying winger looked certain to score after Bevon Armitage's break.
pic by Emma Glendening
Just two points clear at half-time, Jersey again scored a try within three minutes of the kick-off. This time Bell started the move and when the Knights defence failed to deal with his probing deal, the ball was worked by Michael Noone and Hodson to Jack Burroughs for the try.
That was as good as it got for Jersey however, as the home pack started to struggle in the scrum. The mounting penalty count allowed Flockhart five shots at goal, and he kicked them all to put his side ahead. Jersey's only chance of victory was Mark Foster's burst through midfield, feeding replacement Mark McCrea for a likely try, but play was called back for a crossing offence.
Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon bemoaned a number of key errors, saying that he took little satisfaction from his team's potency in attack because it had come in a losing cause.
"There were errors in a number of areas - we're not going to point fingers we're going to look at what went wrong and learn from it," he said. "I'll want to look back at the crossing decision - it was one of those that could have gone either way."
Check out the full gallery of Sue Trower's pictures from the game HERE
Jersey: Bell, Foster, Locke (McCrea 66),
Robling, Burroughs, Bentley, Glynn; Lockwood (Lancuba 10),
Garcia-Veiga, Williams, Phillips, Markham (Rae 45), Maidment (Kaho
6), Hodson (capt), Noone. Unused replacements: Harris,
Doncaster Knights: Jarvis, Flockhart, Clark, Armitage, Lewis, Lennard, Palu; List (Davies T 53), Hunter, Quigley (Davies R 62), Challinor, Hotson (Phelan 64), Makaafi, Hills (capt), Shaw. Unused replacements: Bergmanas, Bravo, Roberts, Bulumakau.
Referee: Darren Gamage (RFU)
Man-of-the-match, as chosen by Matchday sponsor HSBC: Tommy Bell (Jersey)
Tries: Hodson 3, Bell 16, Burroughs 43
Conversion: Bell 43
Try: Challinor 26
Penalties: Flockhart 6, 45, 53, 56, 65, 71