Jersey Reds 36 Cornish Pirates 2012/03/2017
A powerful and dominant display to which the visiting Pirates had no answer took Jersey Reds into the B&I Cup semi-finals for the second straight season.
Five days after edging a league battle between the sides in Penzance by just two points, the Reds cut loose on home turf to register a seventh consecutive win.
"The boys were frustrated after the game in Cornwall because it was so attritional and so tonight they just exploded," said Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "They wanted to put on a performance under the lights in front of their home supporters, and it was great to see smiles on faces."
The home team were able to celebrate a notable win against the team who won the B&I Cup in 2010 in front of a decent crowd of just over 1,500. There was relief that the game was able to take place at all, after fog that had affected flights in and out of the Island for 48 hours finally lifted soon after midday.
An early penalty gave Pirates the lead, but after Callum Sheedy found touch inside the visitors' 22 the Reds were primed to attack. The maul from lineout possession didn't gain ground, but sucked in defenders and then the ball was quickly worked wide for Nick Scott to score in the corner.
Looking solid under the high ball and with attacking threats from both forwards and backs, the Reds were confident, but took some time to turn pressure into points as the Pirates tackled tenaciously.
The home pack was dominant at scrum time and earned several penalties, eventually leading to a penalty try which, supplemented by three Sheedy penalties, gave Jersey a 21-point lead at half-time.
Pirates needed an early score if they were to get back into the game, but it was the Reds who began the second half strongly with some probing attacks. Eventually possession was won from a scrum near the try-line and scrum-half Joel Dudley was able to race through a gap to score.
Although the visitors came back into the game, it was Jersey who added points through replacement Sami Fisilau's try and two kicks by Lewis Robling to double their 15-point half-time lead. To their credit, the Pirates asserted themselves proudly in the closing stages and added respectability to the scoreline with tries from close range by Tom Duncan and Paul Andrew.
Biljon added: "We are over the moon to be in the last four and feel we have unfinished business in this competition after last season.
"Fridays have been good for us this season - the boys have enjoyed playing these games, and they've got a deserved weekend off before we get back to work on Monday to build up for some more important games."
The Reds have two more home games over the next two weekends, with Rotherham Titans and league leaders London Irish visiting St Peter for Greene KIng IPA Championship fixtures - both matches kick off on Saturday at 3pm. For advance tickets, click on the opposition names above.
Pirates Co-Coach Gavin Cattle said: "We never got into the game - Jersey got a really good foothold thanks to their scrum and because our kick strategy didn't work as intended. We need to learn from this and will be looking to bounce back in the league."
Cattle's coaching partner Alan Paver, who played the last 11 minutes as a replacement, added: "If you look at the game there was only one winner and deservedly so. I felt Jersey came out with a spring in their step and a dominance in the set-piece, and they carried that through.
"We just kept going and it was lovely to get those two tries at the end, but when you look at the whole 80 minutes we were outplayed."
Pictures by Rich Chapman. A further selection of shots by Rich and Jacquie Ranieri will be available on the Jersey Rugby Club Facebook page later on Sunday or Monday.
JERSEY REDS (15-9, 1-8): Cuthbert; Watkins, Davies, Ma'afu, Scott; Sheedy (Robling 55), Dudley (Fisilau 66); Woolmore (Tampin 69), Macfarlane (Selway 64), Kerrod (Armstrong 56), Phillips, Voss (Kolo'ofa'i 61), Freeman (c), Graham (Argyle 61), Haining.
CORNISH PIRATES (15-9, 1-8): T May; O'Meara (Arnott 61), De Battista, Bartlett, Moyle; Cargill (L May 48), Day (Pope 48); Walker (Chapman 61), Innard, J Andrew (P Andrew 29), Parker, Beukeboom, Cheesman (Paver 69), Stevens (Lee h-t), Duncan (c).
REFEREE: Jack Makepeace.
Half Time: 21-6
Man-of-the-match as chose by match sponsor Randalls: Joel Dudley (Jersey Reds)
Tries: Scott 11, Penalty Try 28, Dudley 47, Fisilau 68
Conversions: Sheedy 38, Robling 68
Penalties: Sheedy 8, 24, 28, Robling 60
Tries: Duncan 71, P Andrew 78
Conversions: L May 71, 78
Penalties: Cargill 3, 18