Jersey registered a comfortable win over their Welsh visitors, scoring three tries to nil to boost their chances of B&I Cup qualification and end the Dragons chances of progressing to the knock-out stages.
The Islanders claimed two first half tries through rolling mauls, the first finished by Uili Kolo'ofa'i, and the second a penalty try which also saw Dragons' Scott Matthews sin-binned for pulling down the maul. The visitors were then reduced to 13 men with hooker Rhys Buckley yellow-carded for foul play.
The boot of Geraint Rhys Jones kept Dragons in touch and an early second half penalty reduced the arrears to 17-9 before a flowing Jersey attack culminated in a third try; after fine approach work by Aaron Penberthy and Sami Fisilau, Rich Lane kicked through and fellow winger Tom Howe touched down.
In the final half hour the only score was another Jones' penalty; Dragons skipper Hugh Gustafson went close in the corner, while Jersey's Pierce Phillips saw yellow as a result of persistent offending by his side. But Jersey were unable to advance up the field in order to press for a fourth try, and Dragons lost two opportunities for tries from attacking lineouts, penalised for obstruction from one maul and then over-throwing on the second occasion.
Pool 5 will be decided next weekend, when Jersey will need a victory against Doncaster Knights on match points by 4-0 or 5-1 to top the group. Currently Doncaster have 21 points and Jersey 17, with the Dragons on 10 and Connacht yet
"It's a tough place to go and beat the side who are second in the Championship, but we've given ourselves a shot," said Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "We wanted the bonus point, but we couldn't get the field position - it was frustrating."
"The effort put in by the boys was excellent today, but there were occasions when our accuracy let us down," said Dragons Academy Manager James Chapron. "There was a period before half-time where it looked as if we might capitulate, but we improved in key areas in the second half and apart from one incident Jersey didn't trouble us.
"We want to show some pride in our final match [against Connacht Eagles next weekend] - it's a televised game and everyone involved will have something to prove."
JERSEY: Penberthy; Howe, McCrea (Evans 61), Cooke, Lane; Robling, Fisilau (Moates 70); McCarthy (Lancuba 45), Garcia-Veiga (Anderson 61), Herriott (Kerrod 61), Kolo'ofa'i (Rowlands 49), Phillips (c) (YC 55), Freeman, Spinks (Graham 49), Haining.
DRAGONS SELECT: Ap Myrddin (Prosser HT); Brew, Edwards, Wardle, Warren (Nightingale 53); Jones GR, Jones L (Davies 10); Gustafson (c), Buckley (YC 34, Garrett 72), Fairbrother (Brown L 66), Andrews, Brown A (Powell 63), Matthews (YC 26, Garrett 38-44, Skinner 74), Benjamin, Keddie.
REFEREE: Nigel Correll (IRFU)
Star Man: Lewis Robling (Jersey)
Half Time: 17-6
Tries: Kolo'ofa'i 18,Penalty Try 26, Howe 49
Conversions: Penberthy 18, 26, 49
Penalty: Penberthy 13
Penalties: Jones GR 11, 39, 44, 63
23 Mar 2023
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