The Reds claimed their first league win of the season with a dominant display on their home turf, leaving their visitors from Yorkshire well beaten.
After starting this season’s Greene King IPA Championship with three away games, all ending in narrow defeat, the Reds had a point to prove when they ran out for the first time at Stade Santander International.
The home side tore into their opponents right from the kick-off and it wasn’t long before the frenzied pace produced points on the scoreboard.
Within two minutes Koch Marx carved through on the left and then found skipper Roy Godfrey in support to go over by the posts, and soon afterwards a textbook lineout move saw Jerry Sexton feed the ball to scrum-half Will Homer, who raced to the line. Aaron Penberthy, playing his first competitive game after rejoining the club this summer, and 50th overall, added both conversions and it was 14-0 inside six minutes.
The Red momentum was rudely interrupted by a fine try from the visitors. Tom Bullough sliced through at pace, found his centre partner Andy Forsyth and then took a return pass before crossing for the try.
Knowing that they needed to make the most of a strong wind at their backs, Jersey claimed two more tries before the interval. Hooker Charlie Maddison finished a powerful rolling maul, and then flanker Conor Joyce broke through and found Jerry Sexton for a fourth try. Penberthy maintained a 100% record from the kicking tee, adding both conversions and a penalty to make it 31-7 at the break.
Jerry Sexton scores in the Bowl corner (pic: Rich Chapman)
The emphasis for the home side was on defence when the match resumed, with Carnegie using the conditions to establish an attacking platform in a bid to cut the hosts’ lead. Their early efforts were repelled, but then former Reds fly-half Brendan Cope broke through and the ball was quickly worked wide to Chris Elder for the second Yorkshire try.
The game became scrappy and the pace dropped slightly, which suited the home side as they looked to stay ahead. And any nerves among the home support were eased with 10 minutes to play when replacement hooker Nick Selway finished off a rolling maul.
Carnegie pressed forward in the closing stages and captain Dan Temm went over at close range from a tapped penalty, but there was no time for the visitors to seek the fourth try that would have brought a consolation bonus point.
Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon was delighted to see his side return to winning ways.
“I knew we were in a good place and that our previous results could have been different,” he said. “We started the match exceptionally well, took our opportunities and I was proud of the boys’ efforts in building a lead in the first half and then defending it.”
Carnegie Director of Rugby Chris Stirling was frustrated by the result.
“The build-up went well and I thought we would come out ok from the kick-off, but suddenly we were 14 points down,” he said. “We played some good rugby in patches, but we made some dumb mistakes and our attention to detail at the maul and scrum wasn’t good enough.
“Jersey are a big physical side and they were the better team on the day – we are in a hole at the moment.”
JERSEY REDS: Slowik; Marx, Newey, Ma’afu (Best 47), Van Dam; Penberthy, Homer (Waters 71); Godfrey (c) (Morley 74), Maddison (Selway 60), Atalifo (Holenstein 60), Sexton, McKern (Beckett 53), Venter (Joyce 54), Joyce (Bartle 47), Argyle.
YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE: Brown; Watkins, Forsyth, Bullough, Elder; Cope (Moor 50), Bruzulier (Wolstenholme 60); Thraves (Jenkins 64), Gibbings (Donnellan h-t), Ilnicki (Foster 54), Myerscough, Smith, Britton (Lloyd 67), Bainbridge, Temm (c). Not used: Ward
REFEREE: Adam Leal. Assistants: Darryl Chapman, George Selwood
Half Time: 31-7
Man-of-the-match (as chosen by match sponsor Rathbones): Will Homer (Jersey Reds)
Tries: Godfrey 2, Homer 5, Maddison 18, Sexton 39, Selway 71
Conversions: Penberthy 2, 5, 18, 40
Penalty: Penberthy 30
Tries: Bullough 16, Elder 49, Temm 79
Conversions: Cope 16, Elder 49