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Match Reports 2012-13

Leeds (A – B&I Cup)

23/10/2012

British & Irish Cup, Pool 5
Played at Clifton Park, York
Leeds Carnegie 27 Jersey 33

DSC04053

A performance of skill and determination gave Jersey a
richly-deserved first win of the season.

Helped by their opponents going through an extended bad patch
during the middle part of the game, Jersey wrested control of the
match from Leeds and retained it to the final whistle, in spite of
some nervous late moments.

Jersey travelled east from their Leeds hotel in thick fog -
thankfully it had lifted by kick-off time - and without hooker Dave
Felton, who was taken ill over night and had to be replaced by
Steve Boden, with Ben Evans coming onto the bench.

The first test for the home defence was set by the charging runs
of Glenn Bryce and Guy Thompson, and this early pressure produced a
penalty right in front of the posts, comfortably slotted by Mike Le
Bourgeois. The fly-half had the ball again when Carnegie conceded
another penalty in the Jersey half, but a decent touch-finder was
wasted when lineout possession was lost.

The Yorkshire side began to assert themselves in attack, firstly
through the forwards and then with a threatening three-quarter move
snuffed out by the tackling of Le Bourgeois and James Copsey. But
Leeds kept possession and Jersey were exposed, not for the first
time this season, by a kick through. Dave McCormack almost gathered
Joe Barker's grubber, but lock Matt Smith managed to secure the
ball close to the try-line and offloaded to Jamel Chisholm to
score.

Former Jersey man Dave Doherty kicked a successful conversion -
the start of a good day for both kickers, who each missed just a
single shot at goal. Doherty soon added a penalty, one of a
sequence of offences that earned a team warning for Jersey skipper
McCormack. To make matters worse for the visitors, 'Macca' was soon
out-of-action when he suffered a groin injury and was replaced by
Brendan O'Brien.

From this inauspicious position early in the second quarter,
Jersey rallied impressively. Leeds struggled to contain their
opponents without transgressing, and conceded four penalties within
range - one for a scrum offence, another for a tackler's failure to
roll away after stopping a James Voss surge, and two for offside.
Crucially, Le Bourgeois slotted all four to put his side 15-10
ahead, a lead they retained when the half-time whistle blew just
after Doherty's lone miss.

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The visitors could have been further ahead - O'Brien hared
through a gap but lost his footing when approaching the final
defender and there were powerful bursts by Ashley Maggs, a tireless
presence at first receiver, and Sean McCarthy, having his most
influential game thus far. But at least they had their noses in
front, with all the benefits that brought in terms of
self-belief.

Just as in the first half, Le Bourgeois struck a penalty two
minutes after the kick-off, only for his side to immediately
surrender an attacking platform through losing an attacking
lineout. But the set-back was short-lived, and the visiting posse
sensed a real chance when Carnegie hooker Phil Nilsen committed one
technical offence too many and was sin-binned. Time to extend, the
lead, surely, and when a Leeds scrum on their 22 yielded only
scrappy ball, Guy Thompson snaffled possession and worked his way
over.

However the Islanders couldn't maintain a 13-point advantage for
long, Leeds countering with an attacking lineout that led to a soft
- for Jersey eyes - try for replacement hooker Joe Graham.

Having experienced men like Paul Rodgers, Nathan Hannay and Jon
Brennan to join the fray was a bonus to Jersey, with Brennan's
arrival causing additional problems to a Leeds front row that had
been up against it all afternoon. Rob Baldwin, only recently
arrived as a replacement, was the next home player to see yellow
for preventing quick ball, and Le Bourgeois added three more
points.

The final quarter was a more mixed affair for Jersey. Continued
scrum pressure, and more surging runs, especially by Maggs, created
a try for Donovan Sanders who was first to the breakdown after Guy
Thompson went close.

But the visitors also lost two men to the sin-bin - Hannay and
O'Brien - for spoiling Leeds' attacks, and conceded a 77th-minute
try to the slippery Curtis Wilson, setting up a nerve-wracking
finale.

Six points adrift, Carnegie strove to find a winning try. One line
break offered Smith a possible run to the line, but Copsey was too
quick for the second-row and brought him to ground. A tiring Leeds
side coughed up two final penalties, enabling Jersey to clear their
lines and complete an important victory.

Leeds Carnegie: Ben Harris (Sam Lockwood 61),
Phil Nilsen (YC 43, Joe Graham 55), Ben Hooper (Mark Tampin 48),
Matt Smith, Dan Hemingway (Mike Myerscough 48), Richard Beck, Chris
Walker (Rob Baldwin 55, YC 58), Jacob Rowan, Craig Hampson (James
Doherty 61), Joe Barker (Curtis Wilson 47), Jamel Chisholm (Joe
Graham 47-55), Freddie Burdon, Oli Goss, David Doherty, Christian
Georgiou.

Jersey (sponsored by Locate Jersey and
jersey.com):
Sean McCarthy, Steve Boden, James Gethings
(Jon Brennan 51), Rob Anderson, Dave Markham, James Voss (Nathan
Hannay 57, YC 61), Kingsley Lang (Paul Rodgers 47) Guy Thompson,
Dave McCormack (Brendan O'Brien 22, YC 73), Mike Le Bourgeois, Ed
Dawson, Ashley Maggs, Donovan Sanders, James Copsey, Glenn Bryce.
Replacements not used: Ben Evans, Chris Levesley, Ed
Tellwright.

Referee: Charles Sampson (SRU)

Kickers: Doherty (Leeds) 5 from 6; Le Bourgeois
(Jersey) 8 from 9.

Scorers
Leeds
Tries: Chisholm 15, Graham 50, Wilson 77
Conversions: Doherty 15, 50, 77
Penalties: Doherty 19, 61

Jersey
Tries: Thompson 47, Sanders 69
Conversion: Le Bourgeois 69
Penalties: Le Bourgeois 2, 26, 30, 37, 39, 42, 58

HT: 10-15
Attendance: 820

Report by Tom Innes, reproduced by kind permission of the
Jersey Evening Post

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