Jersey 19 Bedford 29
September 29th 2012
As his players walked off the field having secured a bonus-point
victory, Blues boss Mike Rayer lambasted them for a "diabolical"
display and said Jersey had deserved to win.
The Islanders were left empty-handed and rooted to the bottom of
the Championship in spite of a stirring second-half comeback that
ended with 13-man Bedford hanging on for victory.
"Had it gone on much longer we would have lost, and deservedly
so," Rayer said afterwards. "Five points are not to be sniffed up
but that doesn't mean it was acceptable.
"We missed scoring opportunities that would have killed off the
game, we were missing tackles and not respecting the ball. If
Jersey had taken their chances they would have won."
The home side were under early pressure in the set-piece,
conceding two penalties and a free-kick from scrums. The Jersey
pack then asserted themselves, earning a penalty in their favour
only for Mike Le Bourgeois to miss the target.
James Pritchard opened the scoring from a penalty earned after
Ben Ransom's searing run into Jersey's half, and was soon popping
over a conversion after Josh Bassett had broken through the Jersey
midfield and fed Paul Tupai for a try.
Jersey pressed for a score of their own but lost maul ball soon
after claiming an attacking line-out near the Blues' line, allowing
the visitors to clear. Mark Atkinson then took advantage of
hesitation in the home midfield to glide through for his side's
Bedford stretched their lead just before the break, Bassett
again sparking the attack and allowing Pritchard to deliver a
scoring pass to Sacha Harding, supporting well and crossing in the
Early Bedford pressure in the second period led to a yellow card
for Jersey's Steve Boden and the under-strength home pack suffered
in his absence, conceding a penalty try.
Facing the prospect of a trouncing, Jersey rallied: Tongan
flanker burst in to the Blues' half, defied a 'clothes-line' tackle
and the ball was worked wide for replacement Glenn Bryce to score.
The try gave huge self-belief to the home side, and a series of
forward surges saw captain Nathan Hannay claim a try.
When Blues' prop Ricky Reeves was red-carded for a tip-tackle on
Hannay, Jersey sensed the chance of a further score. Donovan
Sanders stripped an opponent of possession, the ball was worked
wide and Ed Dawson sped down the wing for a try.
Bedford lost another player when Ben Cooper was sin-binned, and
Jersey pressed for a fourth try that would have earned two bonus
points. Having benefitted from 13 minutes of added time in their
previous game, the Blues were glad to see 'no-side' signalled after
just three added minutes as they defended desperately.
For the second week running Jersey Director of Rugby Ben Harvey
was left to lament first-half errors that left his side with a
mountain to climb.
"You can't kick as poorly as we did to a side like that - they
will counter-attack and can destroy you," he said. "Unfortunately
it was only when this had happened and given us a wake-up call that
we started to show any real intensity.
"The boys showed great self-belief in the last half-hour and
showed what they could do, especially with the crowd behind
Barrington, Steve Boden, Ben Evans (James Gethings 47), Nathan
Hannay (C), Rob Anderson (Paul Rodgers 60), Talite Vaoileti,
Kingsley Lang (Sean McCarthy 49), Fred Silcock (Guy Thompson 40),
Dave McCormack (Nicky Griffiths 49), Ross Broadfoot (Donovan
Sanders 53), Ed Dawson, Dai Bishop, Mike Le Bourgeois, Ed
Tellwright, Barry Davies (Glenn Bryce 40).
Blues: Ricky Reeves, Neil
Cochrane, Phil Boulton (Ben Cooper 60), Mike Howard, Ben Gulliver,
Gregor Gillanders, Sacha Harding (Darren Fox 60), Paul Tupai (Alex
Rae 60), Luke Baldwin (Darryl Veenendaal 55), Mark Atkinson, James
Pritchard (C), Henry Staff (Dan Seal 75), Brendan Burke, Josh
Bassett, Ben Ransom. Replacements not used: Ian Vass, Mark
Referee: Martin Fox
Man-of-the-Match: Talite Vaoileti
man-of-match: Mark Atkinson
Tries: Bryce 54, Hannay 61, Dawson 69
Conversions: Le Bourgeois 55, 61
Tries: Tupai 17, Atkinson 29, Harding 37, Penalty Try 49
Conversions: Pritchard 17, 29, 49
Penalty: Pritchard 14
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.