Jersey 15 Ealing Trailfinders
By Tom Innes
Jersey's 'Fortress St Peter' home was successfully stormed by a
clinical Ealing side, who registered the first away league win on
the island since March 2009.
Adapting superbly to the capricious wind that had been a factor
in their 32-18 defeat inJersey last October, the Trailfinders put
together a convincing 80-minute performance to finish as deserved
Director of Rugby Mike Cudmore was a satisfied man, impressed by
the way his Ealing team had implemented his game plan.
"We saw the conditions when we landed this morning, and we knew
what to expect," he said. "It was then a question of restricting
Jersey when we defended, and taking our chances.
"Our first-half error count was high, and so was Jersey's, but
we were very focused and I was delighted, especially after we let
ourselves down here last season."
The mistakes in the first half made for a scrappy spectacle, but
Jersey's slip-ups were the more costly, gifting two tries to winger
Owen Bruynseels. The home time's sole response was courtesy of a
classy dummy and sprint to the line from flanker Steve O'Brien,
buoyed by brother Sean's display in Ireland's World Cup win over
Surviving the last few minutes of the first half with 14 men
after Karl Gibson's yellow card for a late tackle, the visitors
struck first after the break when Phil Chesters raced after a chip
ahead, leaping for the bouncing ball and palming it forwards over
Jersey's Mike Le Bourgeois before catching the ball and coasting to
After a sharp drop-goal by Ealing's Morgan Thompson, Ashley
Maggs marked his return to Jersey colours after a year's injury
lay-off with a try, finishing off a sparkling move featuring Le
Bourgeois and James Copsey.
Jersey exerted sustained pressure for most of the final quarter,
but had little to show for it - James Ellershaw looked to have
barged his way over, but the referee ruled he had been stripped of
Substitute Brendan O'Brien eventually scored the hosts' third
try, but Neil Hallett's boot kept the visitors clear of danger.
There was still time for Jersey to push for a pair of bonus points,
or even an unlikely win, but a series of handling errors and
determined Ealing defence kept the visitors clear of danger.
Jersey Head Coach Ben Harvey bemoaned a very bad day at the
office, saying his team's failure to deliver their skills under
pressure had cost them dearly.
Tries: O'Brien S 28, Maggs 52, O'Brien B 72
Tries: Bruynseels 10, 28, Chesters 42
Con: Hallett 42
Drop Goal: Thompson 50
Penalties: Hallett 55, 76
Jersey: Le Bourgeois, Copsey, Bishop,
Sanders,Dawson, Turner,Griffiths, Evans, Clyde-Smith, Brennan,
Hannay, Rodgers, Thompson, O'Brien S, Trower. Replacements:
Landick, Ellershaw, Lang, Maggs, O'Brien B.
Ealing: Hodgkinson, Bruynseels, Wardingley,
Damant, Chesters, Hallett, Thompson, Neville, Moyce, Brockett,
Curry, Twomey, Nilsson, Gibson, Evans M. Replacements: Evans L,
Brown, Fishwick, Starling, Price.
Referee: Andrew Jackson
23 Mar 2023
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