A powerful display saw the Reds maintain their 100% record in this season’s Championship Cup, scoring seven tries and defying no fewer than four yellow cards against them.
More than 30 penalties were awarded during the game, many for tackles adjudged high under the trial amendment to law 9.13, leading to regular scoring opportunities, notably for the Reds’ rolling maul. Freddie Gabbitass missed an early penalty shot at goal for the visitors, but then the Reds struck as an attacking lineout led to an eighth-minute try for hooker Jack Macfarlane.
Making his first start of the season, Macfarlane grabbed two more scores before his backs got in on the act – Jack Stapley intercepted a pass on his own 22 and raced forward, James Newey and Jason Worrall took the ball on and after some more quick-fire phases, scrum-half Hilton Mudariki spotted a gap and darted through to the line. Macfarlane claimed his fourth try from yet another maul, then a fine pick-up and charging run from tapped lineout ball saw Will Goodrick-Clarke get Richmond’s first points on the stroke of half-time.
Both teams lost men to the sin-bin in the first half – Richmond’s Rhodri Adamson for preventing quick ball and Graham Geldenhuys of Jersey for a high tackle. The home player was joined early in the second half by team-mate Jake Upfield after another tackle was ruled high, and Cameron Hudson came agonisingly close to going over for the visitors before losing the ball just short.
Charlie Beckett carried twice in quick succession in scoring his side’s sixth try, and two quick-fire tapped penalties by Calum Waters led to Jersey’s replacement scrum-half feeding Newey for the next.
Several of the players getting opportunities to impress after limited game-time were prominent, including Mudariki, Stapley and George Eastwell in the backs, and Greham Geldenhuys and Kyle Hatherell in the back row, not to mention Macfarlane’s four-try contribution. There was also a competitive debut from the bench for lock Adam Batt.
To their credit Richmond never gave up, claiming the last two tries of the game: a kick was charged down and Imad Bouhedjeur picked up to feed Andrew Boyce for the first, and then a series of forward drives saw a penalty try awarded. There were also two more yellow cards for the Reds, with replacement Nick Selway banished for a high tackle within 45 seconds of taking the field, and Sam Rodman banished for the ‘sacking’ offence against the Richmond maul that led to the penalty try.
JERSEY REDS: Worrall; Newey, Ma’afu (c), Eastwell (Herron 51), Stapley; Penberthy (Alexis 75), Mudariki (Waters 49); Morley (Godfrey 46), Macfarlane (Selway 70, YC 70), Rodman (YC 73), McKern (Upfield h-t, YC 40), Beckett, Bartle, Geldenhuys (YC 41)(Batt 63), Hatherell.
RICHMOND: Adamson (YC 23); Rath, Ward, Hudson, Bouhedjeur; Gabbitass (Damant 53), Gibbs (c) (Crow 63); Goodrick-Clarke (Spelman 60), Freestone (Corradi 60), Spelman (Parkinson 52), Crawford (Wem h-t), Scott (Lee 49), Dow (Sparks 63), Boyce, Milne.
REFEREE: George Selwood. Assistants: Lionel Spooner, Nick Marshall
Half Time: 29-7
Man-of-the-match (as chosen by match sponsor Brooks Macdonald): Jason Worrall (Jersey Reds)
Tries: Macfarlane 8, 15, 24, 36, Mudariki 29, Beckett 48, Newey 58
Conversions: Penberthy 29, 36, 48, 58
Tries: Goodrick-Clarke 40, Boyce 62, Penalty Try 73
Conversions: Gabbitass 40, Adamson 62