After consecutive wins to kick off November, the Reds produced a disappointing display against Yorkshire Carnegie and finished with nothing to show from a scrappy game. Former Jersey prop Marc Thomas claimed a brace of tries against his former club and a last-kick penalty was the nail in the home side's coffin.
The Reds scored first when lineout ball was fed to the backs, with Tom Pincus coming into the line at pace to take a pass from Brendan Cope. Pincus then timed his pass to fellow wing Josh Hodson who finished well in the corner.
When Apakuki Ma'afu was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, Carnegie took advantage: from a penalty advantage Pete Lucock flighted a cross-kick which was gathered by Louis Brown, who scored in the corner.
Brown and lively scrum-half Will Homer almost combined for a second try straight from the restart, but the wing was bundled into touch just short, and Carnegie couldn't turn field position into points before the break. The Reds were pegged back for the most part, although there was one storming run out of defence from Matt Rogerson to lift the home supporters' spirits, but Carnegie then turned over the ball on halfway.
Although Brendan Cope stretched the Reds' lead with a penalty soon after the resumption, and there was one good run by Ellis Abrahams, Carnegie then penned their opponents back into their half. The visitors' lineout had been erratic all day (credit due to the pilfering efforts of the Reds jumpers and lifters), but nevertheless they were able to win enough ball to threaten from rolling mauls, and twice Thomas burrowed over from close range for his first tries for his new club. Jersey attempts to chase the game proved fruitless - although they showed great heart and defended magnificently, there were few signs that Jersey had a convincing and achievable plan to get out of their half and move into territory where they could have scored points. A late transgression in front of the posts gave Lucock the chance to chalk off the losing bonus point.
Knowing his side could have moved up the table with a win, Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon was frustrated by the end result.
"We got into their half twice and came away with scores each time, but otherwise we didn't have much territory or possession, and we need to look at ourselves after several unforced errors and some poor discipline."
Head Coach Jimmy Lowes praised a solid display by his Carnegie side to battle their way back into the game.
"We said at half-time that we wanted to come out after the break and not panic, not worry about the score-board and organise some field position. It was scrappy, but we were playing at the right end of the pitch and didn't give Jersey any opportunities.
"It's a tough place to come and we'd been well-beaten here with a young side in the B&I Cup, so getting the win is a real confidence boost after a couple of below-par displays."
JERSEY REDS: Slowik; Pincus, Ma'afu, Abrahams (Bryant 68), Hodson; Cope, Hardy (Dudley 77); Woolmore (c) (Brodley 73), Selway (Saunders 60), Armstrong (Atalifo 58), Sexton, Voss, Rogerson, Joyce, Nagle-Taylor (Pitman 48, Kolo'ofa'i 64), Rogerson.
YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE: McColl(Forsyth 27); Watkins, Burdon, Casson, Brown; Lucock, Homer (Fox 73); Thomas, Buckle, Beech, Whetton (West 66), Myerscough, Beck, Mayhew (c), Stedman?(Bainbridge 73). Not used: Newborn, Capps, Thraves.
REFEREE: Fergus Kirby. Assistants: Paul Burton, Ian Bibey
Half Time: 7-5
Man-of-the-match (as chosen by match sponsor Rathbones): Will Homer (Yorkshire Carnegie)
Try: Hodson 15
Conversion: Cope 15
Penalty: Cope 46
Tries: Brown 25, Thomas 60, 75
Conversion: Homer 60
Penalty: Lucock 80
23 Mar 2023
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