The Reds suffered their heaviest league defeat of the season, conceding six tries to go down 38-10 to Doncaster Knights.
In very windy conditions, but ahead of the worst of the rainfall of Storm Dennis, the hosts got an early try through Kyle Evans, but promptly lost centre Jack Roberts who was yellow-carded from the restart for a high tackle.
Midway through the first period, TJ Harris burst down the wing for his eighth league try of the season, and at 7-5 with around 15 minutes to play the visitors were very much in the game.
But the Knights seized control and had secured a try bonus point before the break thanks to a second try by Evans plus efforts from veteran prop Colin Quigley and wing Tyson Lewis.
Joe Sproston went over for the Knights’ fifth while Auguy Slowik was in the sin-bin, but then James Newey added a second try for the visitors shortly before being sent to the sin-bin himself for a deliberate knock-on.
The 14-man Reds conceded a final try at the death as Evans completed his hat-trick.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said:
“First and foremost you have to give Doncaster credit, they were emotionally charged on the occasion of Matt Challinor’s 250th appearance. That’s a hell of an achievement and all the Knights’ players really fronted up and put in a shift for him.
“We can have no complaints and lost to a team that played the conditions considerably better than we did. The latter stages of the first half were huge – Doncaster capitalised and that was where the game was won and lost.
“Our bench brought some energy in the second half, and even when it looked like we had too much to do to win the game we were aiming to score four tries and take a bonus point – we had the opportunities to do that, but we didn’t take our shots.
“We’ll just have to lick our wounds and come back for a really big quarter-final game [at Ealing] next weekend.”
DONCASTER KNIGHTS: McColl; Evans, Roberts (YC 13), Foley, Lewis; Olver, Pocklington; Hislop, Hunter, Quigley, Challinor (capt), Smith, Lokotui, Volpi, Pitman
Replacements: Edgson Thomas Foster Eames Sproston Cullen Latu Cowell
JERSEY REDS: Slowik (YC 44); Newey (YC 73), Iona, Cope, Stapley; Robson, Homer; Godfrey, Harris, Clarey, Hallam-Eames, Bartle, Upfield, Bainbridge (capt), Venter.
Replacements: Cutting, Morley, Alexis, Joyce, Hatherell, Jones, Penberthy, Spencer
REFEREE: Sara Cox. Assistants: Peter Allan, Jamie Leahy
Tries: Evans 12, 34, Quigley 28, Lewis 39, Sproston 50
Conversions: Olver 12, 28, 39, 50
Tries: Harris 20, Newey 67
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