The Reds ran in eight tries to conclude the home part of their 2021/22 schedule in fine style.
Visitors Nottingham never gave up, but were run ragged by opponents to whom they have now conceded 24 tries in three games over the past 12 months.
After some mixed winter weather for their home outings at Stade Santander International, the Reds were pleased to have some dry, bright conditions, albeit with a southerly breeze blowing across the ground towards the airport.
Jersey Reds concluded their home league schedule by putting their visitors from Nottingham to the sword, scoring eight tries and cruising to victory.
Nottingham’s task became harder within two minutes of kick-off when wing Joe Browning caught his opposite number Will Brown late after a kick ahead and was yellow-carded following a conference between the officials.
The Jersey pack couldn’t capitalise from the resulting attacking lineout, but made up for it soon afterwards thanks to great hands by Steve Longwell, Eoghan Clarke, Macauley Cook and Lewis Wynne, with Cook looping round to take a scoring pass and canter home in front of the big screen.
Not long after the second quarter started Eoghan Clarke had claimed his 14th and 15th tries of the season, the first from a well-worked move off a lineout and the second by more traditional means as a maul rumbled over, just after Carl Kirwan saw yellow for foul play. A rolling maul that rumbled 2-plus metres from the restart showed the Reds’ forward power, as did the opening scrum, which did not take place until approximately the half-hour mark.
Nottingham’s first spell of pressure was sparked by a powerful run by Callum Allen and then Sam Hollingsworth chipped through for Browning to gather and score. But the hosts had the last word before half-time when successive scrum offences by the Green-and-Whites in the red-zone resulted in a penalty try.
Jordan Holgate was arguably the Reds’ most potent attacking weapon and proved the dominant figure as the second half began, handling three times in quick succession before Brown scooted over in the corner within two minutes.
There were loud cheers from the home bench as Adam Nicol trotted on 11 minutes into the second half, the Scottish prop making his home debut almost a year after joining the club and suffering a serious injury on making his debut at Castle Park in Doncaster.
Skipper Josh Poullet pulled a score back for the visitors, but the Reds finished strongly with three tries in the final quarter. Sean O’Connor scored from a maul after a successful 50:22 kick by Sam Leeming and then Dan Barnes finished a well-executed lineout move.
The visitors didn’t give up, in spite of losing several players to injury, starting as early as the fifth minute; but they conceded again at the death when Max Argyle went over from close range for Jersey’s eighth try.
Jersey Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “We have been waiting for a game where it all came together and we made some big steps in that direction today.
“There’s been some difficult weather around recently and so it was great to have a dry pitch and good conditions so the boys could show what they could do.”
Visiting Head Coach Craig Hammond said: “Our set-piece didn’t function – it’s hard to play without a scrum and a lineout, and we were put under pressure by a good side from early in the game.”
The Reds conclude their Championship campaign with an away trip to Coventry next Saturday, which will be followed by successive home games: a friendly against Ayrshire Bulls on Saturday March 26th (3pm KO) and the home leg of the Championship Cup first round game against London Scottish on Saturday April 9th (5pm KO).
Pictures: Rich Chapman
JERSEY REDS: Owen; Simmons (Van Breda 54), Barnes, Holgate (Pittman 68), Brown; Leeming, Elliott (Mitchell 54); Flynn (Owen H 68), Clarke (Doolan 68), Longwell (Nicol 51), O’Connor (Everard 61), Cook, Argyle, Wynne (c), Lawrence (Grey h-t).
NOTTINGHAM: Stapley; Williams D (Peachey 60), Creed, Manihera (Bunting 48), Browning (YC 2); Hollingsworth, Stronge (Marsh 54); Williams T, Vanes (Hanekom 69), Betts (McNulty 51), Hall (Barrett 5), Allen (Sio 56), Kirwan (YC 22, Obano 48), Tweedy, Poullet (c).
REFEREE: Dean Richards. Assistants: Ian Bibey, Tom Bird
Half Time: 26-6
Tries: Cook 6, Clarke 17, 23, Penalty 38, Brown 42, O’Connor 61, Barnes 70, Argyle 80
Conversions: Leeming 6, 17, 61
Tries: Browning 28, Poullet 48
Conversion: Hollingsworth 48
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