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Match Reports

Jersey Reds 10 Coventry Rugby 34

15/05/2021

The Reds were torn to shreds by their visitors from Coventry, for whom centre Will Butt claimed four tries.

Playing in front of home supporters for the second time this season, Jersey started strongly, but an inability to finish chances was to become a characteristic for the home side.

The Blue-and-Whites were far more clinical and opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Butt worked a ‘one-two’ with his captain Ryan Burrows on the right flank and raced to the posts.

Tony Fenner converted and added a penalty, but with a strong breeze at their backs the visitors may have considered 10 points a below-par return for the first half. In the event they added a second try, finished by Butt after an overlap, after Jersey’s Max Green was penalised and yellow-carded for an attempted knock-on.

Green’s absence extended into the opening stages of the second half and Coventry took advantage within 60 seconds as wingers Sam Aspland-Robinson and Rob Stevenson combined to send Butt in for his second.

A Brendan Cope penalty appeared to be a Jersey tactic to wind down the sin-bin clock, however Butt claimed another try courtesy of a fine dummy following Adam Peters’ pass, and then Aspland-Robinson crossed after good approach work by Ben Nutley and Ben White.

The Reds claimed a late consolation, with Cope crossing for a try soon after the visitors lost Aspland-Robinson to the sin-bin for another deliberate knock-on, but Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon was bitterly disappointed.

“Fair play to Cov, they were seriously pumped up for this game, but this wasn’t good enough from our team, especially in front of our home supporters and I need to talk to the players and coaches to find out what went wrong,” he said.

Cov Director of Rugby Rowland Winter was purring after the game, and the scoring feat by Butt, which matched a club record.

“Will’s a big, strong, fast player – he’d admit he may not have had to do much for a couple of the scores, but he showed he’s got that knack for being in the right place,” Winter said.

“I was delighted with the individual and collective performances – every time we had a chance to stretch them and show our speed and tempo, we did.

“The squad was together for up to 15 hours today, but we didn’t see that as a burden – it was an opportunity to spend time with your mates, and I think that was reflected on the field.”

Pictures: Rich Chapman

 

JERSEY REDS: Van Breda; Atkins, Owen, Barnes, Williams T (Pretorius 49); Cope, Green (YC 35) (Elliott 56); Richardson (Dawe 17), Macfarlane (Clarke 53), Parker (Higgins 59-78), O’Connor, Cook, Argyle (Bartle 47), Wynne (c) (Bainbridge 59), Williams M (Grey 47)

COVENTRY: Brown; Stevenson (Knox 53), Butt, Owen W, Aspland-Robinson (YC 70); Fenner (Mitchell 62), Snow (White 52); Trinder (Owen K 57), Poole (McNulty 65), Boulton (Gibson 57), Woolford, Jordan (Dacres 55), Peters, Nutley (Lewis 61), Burrows (c)

REFEREE: George Selwood. Assistants: Ian Bibey, Neil Chivers
Half Time: 0-17
Attendance: 1,157

Scorers

Jersey Reds
Try: Cope 72
Conversion: Cope 72
Penalty: Cope 44

Coventry
Tries: Butt 14, 38, 41, 46, Aspland-Robinson 54
Conversions: Fenner 14, 38, 54
Penalty: Fenner 29

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