Jersey 12 Leinster 'A' 16
British & Irish Cup, pool five
by Tom Innes
Jersey built a half-time advantage on the back of a dominant
scrummaging effort but were unable to stay ahead of their
hard-working Irish opponents.
Two tries in three second-half minutes gave a Leinster 'A' a
lead that they never surrendered, in spite of a late fightback by
the home side.
Jersey's pack won a penalty from the first scrum and Mike Le
Bourgeois slotted the kick from 40 metres, adding two more
penalties before the visitors eventually replied in kind through
the boot of Noel Reid.
One successful kick apiece made it 12-6 just before the break
and Jersey maintained their lead thanks to some excellent defensive
Leinster were determined to score first after half-time and
turnover ball in their own half enabled the Irish side to
counter-attack, with Leo Auva'a eventually barging his way over
from close range. Other than the restart, Jersey never regained
possession until a second try had been scored, this time by skipper
Rhys Ruddock at the end of a series of powerful attacks.
Le Bourgeois failed with an attempt to narrow the four-point
deficit with around 20 minutes remaining, but otherwise Jersey
struggled for territory until the closing stages.
Dominic Ryan received a yellow card as the Islanders pressed for
a winning score, but Jersey's scrum was no longer the dominant unit
of the first 40 minutes. Replacement number 8 Graham Bell picked up
and drove for the line, but became isolated and Leinster were able
to clear their lines.
"It was disappointing - we could have won, but turnover ball in
the second half cost us dearly you can't afford that against a good
side," said Jersey Director of Rugby Ben Harvey. "We had an
opportunity at the end against 14 men when the open-side channel
was unguarded but we couldn't take advantage of it.
"I was pleased with our commitment and defence, especially in
the first half, and the scrum was great but overall we just
couldn't do the job."
Jersey: Davies, Maggs, Stelling (Levesley 64),
Bishop, Dawson, Le Bourgeois, McCormack (O'Brien 78); McCarthy
(Barrington 67), Felton, Brennan (Gethings 64), Hannay (capt),
Markham (Anderson 27), Voss, Silcock (Nihill 55), Thompson (Bell
Leinster 'A': Marsh, Boyle (Daly 51), Macken,
Coghlan, Byrne, Reid, Cooney (McGrath 67); O'Connell, Dundon
(Sexton 67), Hagan (Moore 60), Denton (Beirne 51), Marshall
(Gilsenan 62), Ruddock (capt), Ryan, Auva'a. Replacement not
Referee: Simon Rees (WRU)
Star Man: Rhys Ruddock (Leinster 'A')
Penalties: Le Bourgeois 2, 10, 16, 28
Tries: Auva'a 48, Ruddock 51
Penalties: Reid 21, 31
Why not come a chillout in the supporters marquee before the game, A fully stocked bar and food is available, seated and standing tables, on a first come first served basis and a great place to meet the Reds supporters.