The Reds completed a trio of pre-season games against Premiership opponents with a tough test against Bath.
Keen to show their display to move past a disappointing finish to last season, and to impress a new-look coaching team, the visitors started at pace with a series of powerful carries that eventually saw prop Beno Obano crash over for the opening score.
Reds’ new signing Tomi Lewis claimed his first try for the club soon afterwards, running a nice diagonal line to the posts and taking a pass from James Elliott after a maul.
But thereafter it was all Bath for the remainder of the half, with the hosts getting on the wrong side of referee Adam Leal and staying there long enough to eventually see Macauley Cook yellow-carded as a result of persistent offending.
Many of the decisions came at the scrum, and with Jordan Holgate filling in at number 8 for the Reds there was acres of space for skipper Ben Spencer to feed Matt Gallagher for a try in the corner.
Spencer claimed the third when he picked up enough signals from a Reds’ lineout move close to the try-line to snaffle the ball and dive over, and then Niall Annett claimed the fourth just before the break.
The second half saw the Reds achieve parity in most areas, as both sides started with their starting line-ups but then made multiple replacements in the final half hour. Replacement hooker Tom Dunn finished a Bath maul and then former Jersey loanee Max Green crossed after good approach work from Gabriel Hamer-Webb, who chipped ahead and re-gathered the ball before offloading.
The Reds were competitive until the end and managed to put their top-flight opponents under pressure, gaining their reward as James Hadfield finished two lineout drives.
While the Reds travel to Ampthill for their RFU Championship opener on Saturday, Bath face a local derby against Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate on Friday. The season awaits.
Pic by Rich Chapman
Jersey Reds (1-15): Sam Grahamslaw, Eoghan Clarke, Steve Longwell, Hamish Bain, Macauley Cook (YC 22), James Dun, Lewis Wynne (c), Max Argyle; James Elliott, Brendan Cope; Tomi Lewis, Jordan Holgate, Alex McHenry, Ben Woollett; Scott Van Breda.
Replacements: TJ Harris, James Hadfield, Huw Owen, Greg McGrath, Monty Weatherby, Tom Everard, James Scott, Josh Gray, Alun Lawrence; James Mitchell, Jonny Law, Tom Pittman, Russell Bennett, Charlie Powell, Ryan Hutler, Brendan Owen.
Bath Rugby (1-15): Beno Obano, Niall Annett, Aranos Coetzee, Josh McNally, Dave Attwood, Josh Bayliss, Chris Cloete, Jaco Coetzee; Ben Spencer, Piers Francis; Matt Gallagher, Max Ojomoh, Will Butt, Gabriel Hamer-Webb; Tom de Glanville.
Replacements: Orlando Bailey, Lewis Boyce, Arthur Cordwell, Richard De Carpentier, Tom Dunn, Tom Doughty, Michael Etete, Max Green, Johannes Jonker, Ruaridh McConnochie, Cameron Redpath, Louis Schreuder, Will Spencer, JJ Tonks, GJ Van Velze, Kieran Verden, Wesley White.
Referee: Adam Leal. Assistants: Peter Allan, Dean Richards
Tries: Lewis 5, Hadfield 74, 79
Conversions: Cope 5
Tries: Obano 2, Gallagher 25, Spencer 32, Annett 36, Dunn 56, Green 71
Conversions: Francis 2, 36, Bailey 57, 71
03 Feb 2023
Home side look to improve poor record over London rivals