An eighth win in succession for the Reds who steam-rollered London Scottish to claim maximum cup points for the second consecutive week.
If the day was memorable for the Exiles, it was for all the wrong reasons; first the visitors endured a horrendous journey that involved a 6am arrival at Gatwick Airport, a failed attempt to land in Jersey at 9am, and then a second attempt that eventually brought them down on Channel Island soil at 1.20pm; then they were hit for six tries by their hosts.
The Exiles forced two early scrum penalties, and Jacob Perry had an shot at goal for the visitors which went just wide before the Reds claimed the opening score from a well-worked lineout drive started and finished by hooker Nick Selway.
Perry was on target from the tee to reduce the arrears, but after he missed another kick that could have given his side the lead, the Reds struck from deep. Auguy Slowik took a quick 22-metres drop-kick, raced forward and found flanker Graham Geldenhuys, who took the ball on at pace and then released Calum Waters for a 40-metre sprint to the line.
Selway’s second try was cancelled out when Exiles’ scrum-half Ed Hoadley spotted a gap and raced through to the line. The Scots were striving to reduce the deficit further before the break, but in the dying moments Miles Mantella was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on and the Reds were able to kick to the corner again, with Selway completing his hat-trick.
The second half began scrappily, with the Reds also reduced to 14 men when Dave McKern was adjudged to have taken out an opponent in the air. The first points of the half came via Aaron Penberthy’s penalty after 14 minutes, but the Scots tired in the closing stages and the Jersey pack took advantage, with a brace of tries for replacement hooker Jack Macfarlane.
Although the maul was the Reds’ weapon-of-choice, the home side also showed some impressive running skills, with nice touches from debutant Jack Stapley, later named man-of-the-match for his eye-catching display. Centres George Eastwell and Apakuku Ma’afu were also prominent, and there was a robust effort from the forwards in attack and defence, with a late debut for prop Zi Alexis.
“Our set piece had a difficult start, but we recovered well and it gave us a really good platform,” said Jersey’s assistant coach Neil Tunnah. “We’d made several changes, and the guys we brought in made really good contributions and made sure we got the result we wanted.”
London Scottish director of rugby Dave Morris was phlegmatic in defeat.
“I couldn’t fault the effort of our players, they were certainly up for it after a tough morning, but credit to Jersey – they took control at the lineout and showed some enterprise with some quick lineouts and taps – I’ve no complaints about the result.”
JERSEY REDS: Herron; Slowik, Ma’afu (Newey 73), Eastwell, Stapley; Penberthy, Waters (Mudariki 69); Godfrey (c) (Morley 62), Selway (Macfarlane 62), Rodman (Alexis 74), Beckett, McKern (YC 41), Hatherell, Geldenhuys (Upfield 62), Venter (Bartle h-t).
LONDON SCOTTISH: Smith; Mantella (YC 39), Davidson, Mosses, Duncan (Barton 45); Perry, Hoadley (YC 53); Brodley (Dawe 48), Austin (Saunders 48), Palframan (Litchfield 48), Vukasinovic, Frost, Eliet, Marley (Hodge 62), Bright (c) (Wakeling 55). Not used: Hart
REFEREE: Matt Turvey. Assistants: Simon Adams, Nigel Carrick
Half Time: 24-10
Man-of-the-match (as chosen by match sponsor Huggler Print): Jack Stapley (Jersey Reds)
Tries: Selway 9, 24, 40, Waters 17, Macfarlane 69, 76
Conversions: Penberthy 17, 24, 69, 76
Penalty: Penberthy 54
Try: Hoadley 27
Conversion: Perry 27
Penalty: Perry 12