Jersey 22 Rotherham Titans 35
Greene King IPA Championship
by Tom Innes
/*See Sue Trower’s fabulous pictures on our ‘galleries’
Titans swept back to the top of the Championship table with a
The ninth successive victory for Lee Blackett’s men left
Rotherham’s Head Coach a happy man.
“That has to be one of our best performances of the season,” he
said. “To come here and get the win showed a great attitude, and to
get a bonus point as well was fantastic.
“We got maximum points at Bedford last week, but we were
disappointed with our performance – today was much better and it
shows who these guys are easy for me to coach.”
Jersey made the early running but fly-half Niall O’Connor could
only convert one of his three penalty attempts, and after a yellow
card for his team-mate Mark Foster, Titans seized control through
tries by Alfie To’oala and Ben Sowrey. The number 8 finished off a
catch-and-drive move, while the hooker charged through three
tackles to the line.
The Islanders lost Fred Silcock with a knee injury, Joe Buckle
(pictured in ‘leaping salmon’ mode below) joining the fray
after 22 minutes.
Home supporters were cheered by a thumping Jack Burroughs tackle
in front of the clubhouse, and Tom Brown’s try enabled Jersey to
close the gap to 10-12; but crucially the visitors managed a
further score in added time when the ball was spun wide to Jamie
The Islanders needed the first score of the second half but
instead it was Titans’ full-back Sean Scanlon who crossed after
slick hands involving Dallan Murphy and Jack Roberts.
The despatching of Roth skipper Barney Maddison to the sin-bin
was followed by Jersey’s second try, another driving maul affair
finished by Brown, but yet again Jersey hope was snuffed out almost
immediately. Replacement Ali Birch charged through the home defence
to score, and a brace of penalties by Juan Pablo Socino helped his
side pull clear.
Jersey at least had the consolation of a strong finish, forcing
the visitors onto the back foot, resulting in another yellow card,
this time for Jack Preece, and a try for Jack Burroughs. Home fans
were hoping for a bonus point try in the final play, but it was not
to be and their side finished well-beaten.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon, taking charge of his first Jersey
match, said his squad were very disappointed.
“We weren’t outmuscled by Rotherham and there was no lack of
desire, but there were some key errors that the players will need
to learn from,” he said. “Our supporters were great today but we
couldn’t deliver for them – we will have a major focus on improving
our standard of play over the next few weeks.”
Biljon and his squad have another tough test, away to Bristol on
Sunday 2nd February, before returning to action at St Peter against
Nottingham on Saturday 8th February.
Jersey: Burroughs, Pointer, Locke, Bishop
(McCrea 62), Foster, O’Connor (Dudley 77), Williams (Griffiths 63);
McCarthy, Taione (Felton 77), Young (Selway 71), Markham (Campbell
48), Rae (capt), Makaafi, Silcock (Buckle 22), Brown.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley (Hayes 68),
Roberts, Socino, Keating, Murphy, White (Mulchrone 52); Hislop
(Williams 61), Sowrey (Cruse 52), Quigley (Tampin 46), Maddison
(capt), Sanderson (Thomas 48), Rieder, Preece, To’oala (Birch
Referee: John Meredith (RFU)
Star Man: Dallan Murphy (Rotherham)
Tries: Brown 35, 54, Burroughs 82
Conversions: O’Connor 35, 54
Penalties: O’Connor 9
Tries: To’oala 14, Sowrey 29, Broadley 40, Scanlon 48,
Conversions: Socino 29, 60
Penalties: Socino 63, 79