The Reds stood toe-to-toe with Leicester Tigers in an intense pre-season battle that eventually saw the Premiership visitors claim a 7-17 victory.
In front of 1,702 spectators at Stade Santander International, the Tigers scored three tries to their hosts one.
Just four minutes had been played when Juan-Pablo Socino made room and Guy Porter touched down in the corner. Freddie Burns added the extras.
Midway through the first half Hosea Saumaki crossed in the same corner to extend the visitors’ lead, but with the final play of the half the Reds claimed a try of their own when a Tigers’ attack broke down near halfway. Hooker Jack Macfarlane got a boot to the loose ball and kicked it forward, with Ryan Olowofela pursuing it, gathering, and racing to the posts. There was particular delight from the Jersey squad for their team-mate, who had opted to play a few days after the death of his father. Both sides wore black armbands in tribute.
Both sides made multiple changes during the second half, with the game losing some shape as a result. England scrum-half Ben Youngs was among the players introduced by the Tigers and on the hour he broke to the right from a close-range scrum and fed replacement wing Jacob Cusick for a try.
Both sides had opportunities to score more points, but there were no further scores in the closing stages.
Reds face another test against top-flight opponents when they host Sale Sharks next Friday at 7.45pm.
Full report to follow.
23 Mar 2023
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