Jersey Reds took maximum points for the second week running in the British & Irish Cup with a dominant performance in south Wales.
With a powerful display from the forwards in appalling conditions on the artificial turf at Ystrad Mynach, the Reds registered five tries to one to back up the 32-3 home win over Yorkshire Carnegie last week.
The Reds asserted themselves via forward power right from the start with a series of scrums that their opponents struggled to deal with, and eventually caused a penalty try from referee Correll.
Given the forward dominance and the conditions, the Reds were trying to get their rolling maul going and threatened a second try before being penalised for the illegal clearing-out tactics by Jake Woolmore. The Reds skipper earned a yellow card and the Dragons were able to clear; soon after the hosts registered their opening score with a kick across which Rio Dyer collected to score, Dorain Jones adding an excellent conversion to tie the scores.
Parity didn’t last long – almost straight from the restart the Reds gained a lineout near the home try-line and possession was secured from the five-man line and worked back to hooker Nick Selway who powered over.
Both sides had chances to get another score before the break, but the Reds were called back for a crossing offence, and the home side couldn’t succeed in repeating their kicking strategy.
Restored to 15 men on the resumption, the Reds wanted to score first and it was a Brendan Cope penalty that achieved this aim, followed soon afterwards by another penalty try, this time for taking down a maul, and the visitors led 7-22.
After the stream of penalties against the home side, eventually prop Garin Harris was despatched to the sin-bin, and soon afterwards Rory Pitman finished off a driving maul for the bonus point try.
The Reds had introduced a stream of replacements during the second half, and soon afterwards registered a fifth try, Pitman crossing again after picking up from the back of the scrum.
In the closing stages the Dragons gained some territory and there was a second yellow card for the visitors, with Jerry Sexton sent to the bin, but the Reds defence held firm to deny a consolation score to the hosts.
Harvey Biljon said: “They were very tough conditions and we needed to stick to task and take our chances when they arrived. The pack gave us a great platform but it was a balanced effort by both forwards and backs.
“We needed to build on last week’s display and most of what we’d set out to do we followed up on today, there are still some work-ons but we’re set up well for an important phase of league matches, hopefully with some players back and available for selection after injury.”
Dragons Premiership Select
Will Talbot-Davies; Joe Goodchild, Chay Smith (Newport RFC); Dorian Jones, Rio Dyer; Arwel Robson, Owain Leonard; Phil Price (capt), Ellis Shipp, Keagan Bale, Scott Andrews, Lance Randall (Ebbw Vale), Lewis Evans, Nathan Hudd (Bedwas), James Sheekey.
Replacements (all used): Alun Rees (Ebbw Vale), John Lavender (Newport RFC), Garin Harris (Newport RFC, YC 60), Josh Skinner (Cross Keys), Ben Roach, James Leadbeater (Cross Keys), Barney Nightingale.
Jason Worrall; Tom Pincus, Apakuki Ma'afu (Scott McClurg 65), Mark Best, Josh Hodson; Brendan Cope, Kieran Hardy (Joel Dudley 50); Jake Woolmore (capt) (YC 30, Jordan Brodley 62), Nick Selway (Jack Macfarlane 55), Leeroy Atalifo (Alecx Clarey 58), Jerry Sexton (YC 76), Tom Quarrie (James Voss 46), Rory Bartle (Seb Nagle-Taylor 55), Conor Joyce, Rory Pitman.
Referee: Nigel Correll (Ireland)
Attendance: 350 (estimate)
Try: Dyer 29
Conversion: Jones 29
Tries: Penalty 8, 55, Selway 31, Pitman 62, 72
Conversions: Cope 72
Penalty: Cope 50
23 Mar 2023
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