Jersey 17 Bristol 26
Greene King IPA Championship
by Tom Innes
Bristol's blitzkrieg start brought them 19 points in the first
16 minutes and provided the platform for an efficient bonus point
Jersey battled back into contention and could have snatched a
bonus point, but there was little argument from the home supporters
about which side deserved to win.
"We were looking to play an up-tempo game from the start and it
worked out really well," said Bristol scrum-half Ruki Tipuna. "We
were a bit loose after that, and Jersey raised their game, but this
won't be an easy place to come this season, so we're delighted with
The visitors attacked almost straight from the kick-off and scored
twice in six minutes. Tipuna was driven over for a score converted
by Tristan Roberts, and then the pair combined again when the
scrum-half tapped a quick free kick and ran wide, feeding Roberts
for the try in the corner.
The home crowd was stunned, with their team scarcely having
touched the ball, let alone caused their opponents any
difficulties. One of Jersey's first forays into Bristol territory
resulted in the ball going loose. Tipuna hacked on and the home
cover couldn't re-gather. Glen Townson took the ball on from his
scrum-half and fed Roberts for a try under the posts.
Putting their opponents under pressure for the first time, Jersey
gained a man advantage when Ian Grieve saw yellow for pulling down
a lineout, and soon afterwards Niall O'Connor registered his side's
first points from a penalty kick. But Jimmy Williams spilled the
restart close to his own line, and Bristol were able to play out
the remainder of the half, and Grieve's spell on the naughty-step,
in relative comfort.
Ryan Edwards' early try after the break stretched his side's
advantage to 23 points, although this was cancelled out when Ed
Dawson pouched an O'Connor cross-kick for the second week running
and crossed for his third try of the season.
In a scrappy second period, marked by heavy rain and a lengthy
injury to Jersey's James Voss, Jersey couldn't cut the deficit
until replacement Nick Selway crossed from close range with 10
minutes to go. Hopes of a consolation bonus point were raised when
O'Connor lined up a penalty goal from 45 metres out in the closing
minutes, but his attempt drifted wide.
"We knew Bristol wouldn't want to take us on up front, and fell
into the trap of letting them dictate the pace in the early
stages," said Jersey's Forwards Coach Steve Boden. "We improved
after that and I think we deserved something from the game - if we
can play like we did in the last hour against one of the best sides
in the division then we have plenty to look forward to."
Jersey: Pointer (Locke 46), Foster, McCrea,
Bishop, Dawson, O'Connor, Williams (Dudley 55); McCarthy (Fidler
67), Taione (Felton 40), Young (Selway 62), Campbell, Rae (capt),
Voss (Markham 59), Buckle, Brown. Replacement not used:
Bristol: D'Arcy, Watkins, Short (Rennie 48),
Mosses, Edwards, Roberts (Robinson 62), Tipuna (Braley 62); Traynor
(Hobson 79), Hayes (Lawrence 48), Hobson (Hall 56), Townson,
Sorenson, Grieve (capt) (Eadie 52), Pennycook (Skirving 70),
Referee: Ian Tempest
Man-of-the-match (chosen by match sponsor
Barclays): David Young (Jersey)
Tries: Dawson 46, Selway 71
Conversions: O'Connor 46, 71
Penalty: O'Connor 30
Try: Tipuna 2, Roberts 6, 16, Edwards 42
Conversions: Robert 16, 42
/*pics by David Goodenough*/
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.