The Reds kept up their prodigious points scoring and their winning run on home turf by crossing for eight tries and racking up a half-century of points in defeating Nottingham at the Stade.
The win kept up the pursuit of Championship leaders Ealing Trailfinders, who remained six points clear at the top thanks to a win at Bedford – but the Reds still have a game in hand.
After an early blow as wing Ryan Hutler left the field with a head injury – later failing his assessment – the home side broke the deadlock after eight minutes Tom Everard made good ground and passed to his second row partner James Scott, who went close before the ball was fed quickly wide and Jordan Holgate crashed over.
James Hadfield crossed from a maul for the Reds’ second, and when another maul was brought down, referee Joe James ran to the posts to signal a penalty try, sin-binning Nottingham’s George Cox in the process.
Holgate glided through a gap for his second to secure a bonus point on the half-hour, and the hosts finished the half on a high as Sam Grahamslaw powered through a gap and found fellow prop Adam Nicol, who charged to the line and dived over.
Playing into the breeze, the Reds added a sixth within three minutes of the resumption as replacement Dan Barnes squeezed over, but Nottingham finally got on the scoreboard after a sustained period of attack which finished with David Williams stretching to score.
The two sides claimed another try apiece soon after the hour, both scored by replacements: Eoghan Clarke from the maul for the Reds and Josh Poullet fom close range for the visitors.
The final act of the match saw Jersey’s Tomi Lewis charge through the midfield and race forward, drawing the last defender before finding Ben Woollett, who finished acrobatically in the corner. Bennett’s last-kick conversion was only his second miss from seven attempts, with an earlier effort coming back off the upright.
It was a hard day at work for the visitors, who suffered the cancellation of their outbound flight on Friday and only landed in Jersey a little over two hours before the delayed kick-off.
Picture: Rich Chapman
JERSEY REDS: Lewis; Hutler (Woollett 4), Powell, Holgate (Barnes h-t), Brown; Bennett, Mitchell (Elliott 54); Grahamslaw (Owen 50), Hadfield (Clarke 50), Nicol (Longwell 50), Everard (O’Connor 50), Scott (Argyle 58), Dun, Gray, Lawrence (c).
NOTTINGHAM: J Olowofela (Hollingsworth 63); D Williams, Green, Pohe, R Olowofela (Graham 53); Bunting, Stronge (Goodwin 55); Sio (T Williams 47), Vanes (Dickinson 47), Richardson (Valentine 47), Allen (Shine h-t), Maloney, Kirwan (Poullet 55), Tweedy (c), Cox (YC 25).
Referee: Joe James. Assistants: James Clarke, Veryan Boscawen
Half Time: 33-0
Tries: Holgate 8, 28, Hadfield 13, Penalty try 25, Nicol 40, Barnes 43, Clarke 62 Woollett 80
Conversions: Bennett 13, 28, 40, 43, 62, 80
Tries: D Williams 53, Poullet 72
18 May 2023
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