Yorkshire Carnegie 16 Jersey 1229/03/2015
Following last weekend's heroics, no-one was under any illusion as to the task in hand to take on Yorkshire Carnegie away from home that, with new Head Coach Bryan Redpath are currently going through a late season resurgence.
The match that saw 2 tries a-piece was very much the 'game of two halves' with contrasting styles and fortunes.
Carnegie kicked off, and were the first to score after 6 minutes with a cleanly struck penalty after Jersey had been penalised in the scrum.
Jersey were to then take the lead through a Drew Locke try. Sticking to the tried and tested formula, Jersey spurned the opportunity to level the scores when awarded a penalty that was easily within Aaron Penberthy's range. Instead they went to the corner, and when the driving maul stalled the ball was passed through the hands to Fautua Otto who had come off his wing. A deft run deep into the Yorkshire 22 through the Carnegie defence, and a well-weighted pass left Locke a relatively easy task to touch down; Aaron Penberthy converted.
Carnegie first reduced the deficit with a second penalty, before scoring arguably the best try of the afternoon. Having kicked to the corner and made little headway with a driving maul, the ball was passed out to Harry Leonard who delivered a perfectly-placed cross-field kick for Oli Goss to collect and cross the whitewash. The try went unconverted, but Yorkshire were in front.
As the half went on, Jersey gradually started to put their stamp on the tie and gain ascendency in the scrum (that had been conceding penalties), as well as dominating the lineout.
Jersey got their second score just after the half hour following a passage of play from a lineout in the Yorkshire 22 that went through 7 or 8 phases before going wide to Haining on the wing, who crossed easily to touch down. The difficult conversion attempt fell short, but Jersey had seized the lead and the initiative.
There then followed a period of play that really should have yielded more points, especially when Yorkshire were reduced to 14 men just before the break. Jersey continually pinned the Carnegie side back in their own 22 and pressed the home line. Opportunities for lineouts from penalties won were taken, but the men in red just couldn't convert. Then, to the surprise of the travelling support, and with the half-time whistle about to go, Jersey changed tack opted to try and kick a difficult penalty into the wind rather than go for another lineout. The chance went pass the far upright and that was the end of the half.
Hodson was replaced by Noone at half time, having picked up a knock, and with the wind on their backs, Jersey should have been looking to capitalise on positional play.
The game however started to lose momentum as it was interrupted on a number of occasions for injuries. Jersey were unfortunate to lose both Phillips and Haining, and this disrupted the usual solid platform. There were opportunities for the reds, but these didn't go to plan, partly as a result of some silly mistakes and also one or two poor decisions.
Carnegie, to their credit, upped their game and were increasingly playing in the Jersey half and putting the Islanders under pressure. And so it was that a clearance kick from deep in Jersey's 22 didn't make touch. Back came Yorkshire, and following some good interchange play it was the fullback, Georgiou who evaded a couple of tackles running from deep down the wing who was to score the decisive try in the corner. The kick into the wind fell short, but Yorkshire had retaken the lead and ultimately logged the last and only score of the second half that was to give them victory.
After the game Jersey's Head Coach, Harvey Biljon expressed frustration for certain moments when following good build-up play, opportunities weren't converted for a variety of reasons.
The squad will now have a few days off before regrouping to focus on the next home clash at St Peter against Cornish Pirates in two weeks' time.
YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE: Georgiou, Goss, Lucock, Fitzpatrick, Prell, Leonard, Pilgrim, Beech, Nilsen, Tideswell, Smith, Jones, Williams, Walker C, Burrows.
Replacements: Walker J, Hill, Harris, Bainbridge, Egerton, Grimoldby, Clarke.
JERSEY: Penberthy, Foster, Locke, McCrea, Otto, Robling, Fisilau, Lockwood (Lancuba), Buckle, Williams, Phillips, Markham, Rae (c), Hodson, Haining.
Replacements: Lancuba, Garcia-Veiga, Herriott, Campbell, Noone, Glynn, Bentley.
REFEREE: Andrew Jackson (RFU)
Man-of-the-match: Christian Georgiou (Yorkshire Carnegie)
Half Time: 11-12
Tries: Goss, Georgiou
Penalties: Leonard (2)
Tries: Locke, Haining