The Reds made it four wins in succession with an eventually emphatic scoreline over Hartpury, with seven tries for the visitors, who survived a first half spell with 13 players thanks to yellow cards, to rack up their fourth consecutive win.
The Reds struck early when Charlie Maddison finished a powerful rolling maul but then Hartpury equalised while their winger Ben Foley was in the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle. Sam Leeming launched a cross-kick and Harry Cochrane was first to the loose ball to touch down.
Although two more maul opportunities went begging as the ball was lost close to the try-line, a fine run by Koch Marx set up the supporting Calum Waters for the Reds’ second try, but then the visitors saw two players yellow-carded within three minutes – Aaron Penberthy for a deliberate knock-on and skipper Jerry Sexton for dragging down a maul.
The home side looked to cash in, but lost a crucial attacking lineout and the Reds cleared and switched to attack. After good approach play from Leroy Van Dam, prop Leeroy Atalifo dived over acrobatically from close range, and then James Newey set up Waters for his second just before the break.
The Reds added three second-half tries, firstly through Newey after a chip ahead by Penberthy and good hands from Slowik, Rodman and Bartle and a powerful run by Marx, and a brace from replacement Brett Herron, who benefited from some powerful runs from Cam Holenstein and Janco Venter, although Marx also butchered a score of his own as he lost the ball in diving over the line after an interception.
The home side didn’t give up, and Sam Leeming added a consolation try near the end, but Hartpury finished the match with 13 men due to injuries, with the Reds also a man down after a yellow card to Max Argyle for a late tackle.
Reds’ head coach Harvey Biljon was pleased with the result but still felt his team were capable of more.
“We were in a difficult place in the second quarter, but we controlled the game well during that period and scored some great tries,” he said. “There were also some missed opportunities and inevitably we’ll look at those and try to keep improving.”
HARTPURY: Wilcox; Foley (YC 12), Seabrook, Eves, Henry (Cochrane 11); Leeming, Bolt (Cozens 58); Murphy (Flook 55), Stratford (Cutting 68), Harden (Morris 62), Ehizode, Linsell, Langley (Fuller 64), Pashley, Gilbert (Stephenson 49).
JERSEY REDS: Slowik; Marx, Newey, Best (Herron 58), Van Dam; Penberthy (YC 29), Waters (Homer 51); Morley (Holenstein 62), Maddison (Selway 58), Atalifo (Rodman 47), Sexton (c) (YC 31), Beckett (McKern 51), Argyle (YC 78), Upfield (Bartle 51), Venter.
REFEREE: George Selwood. Assistants: Phil Watters, Bill Burton
Half Time: 7-28
Tries: Cochrane 18, Leeming 74
Conversions: Leeming 18, 74
Tries: Maddison 7, Waters 20, 36, Atalifo 34, Newey 57, Herron 67, 70
Conversions: Penberthy 7, 20, 57, 67, 70, Newey 34, 36
Penalty: Penberthy 44