The Reds swept into the quarter-finals of the end-of-season cup by a thumping 111-21 aggregate margin, adding eight second-leg tries to the nine registered on their home turf a fortnight earlier.
London Scottish, who achieved just one win in their 20 league encounters this season, were comprehensively beaten by a side with ambitions to extend their campaign with the longest possible cup run. The result sets up a two-legged quarter-final for the Reds against Hartpury University.
Playing on familiar territory at the Athletic Ground after his time with Richmond at the start of his career, Reds’ number 8 Guy Thompson was on the score sheet within 35 seconds of kick-off, taking a scoring pass from Scott Van Breda after Tom Pittman’s initial break. The hosts lost back rower Viliami Taulani to the sin-bin at the same time for a late, no-arms hit on Pittman.
The hosts survived their period of being a man down, testing the Jersey defence at times and the scoreboard was not troubled further until just before the half-hour mark. Roy Godfrey, making his 100th appearance, made a break and forced a penalty, and after a few false starts earlier in the game the attacking lineout worked efficiently for skipper Sean O’Connor to crash over.
A penalty try from a scrum made it 0-21 at the break, and within two minutes of the restart Brendan Cope found space down the right and showed good pace to finish the try as well as sound kicking technique to convert from a wide angle in a tricky wind.
A deliberate knock-on by Thompson gave the Exiles the opportunity to break their duck as Will Trenholm tapped quickly and barreled over, but Thompson ended any hopes of a comeback by intercepting a pass from David Halaifonua on halfway and showing great pace to sprint to the try-line.
The hosts remained competitive and almost claimed a second try through Dan Nutton, but then ran out of steam and conceded three more tries in the last 10 minutes and the Reds’ forward power became too much to handle. Tom Everard and replacement Max Argyle finished lineout drives either side of a second penalty try.
The Reds will travel to the Alpas Arena to take on Hartpury in the first leg of the quarter-final this Friday evening (April 29th) before hosting the second leg at Stade Santander International exactly a week later: the game at Stade Santander International will kick off at 7.45pm on Friday May 6th.
On a good day for the club, albeit tinged with sadness as tribute was paid to former player and 1st XV coach Colin Cook, three more wins were registered: Jersey Reds Women defeating Seaford 45-0, Jersey Reds Athletic finishing 54-24 winners over Barnes and the Jersey Colts claiming a Siam victory in Guernsey by 12-31.
LONDON SCOTTISH: Cameron Anderson; Noah Ferdinand, Hayden Hyde, Sam Hanks, Sam Baker; Dan Nutton, Ed Hoadley; Jordan Els, George Head, Mak Wilson, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Tom Baldwin (capt), Will Trenholm, Morgan Dawes, Viliami Taulani (YC 1). Rolling replacements: Alex Gibson, Maurice Nwakor, Sam Gratton, Brian Tuilagi, Cameron King, David Halaifonua, Javiah Pohe, Laurence May
JERSEY REDS: Scott Van Breda; Ryan Olowofela, Dan Barnes, Tom Pittman, Will Brown; Brendan Cope, James Mitchell; Roy Godfrey, TJ Harris, Adam Nicol, Tom Everard, Sean O’Connor (capt), Alex Humfrey, Wes White, Guy Thompson. Replacements (all used): Harry Doolan, James Flynn, Luke Yendle, Max Argyle, Lewis Wynne, James Elliott, Sam Leeming, Brendan Owen.
REFEREE: Nick Wood. Assistants: Michael Woods, James Clarke
Half Time: 0-21
Try: Trenholm 52
Conversion: May 52
Tries: Thompson 1, 55, O’Connor 29, Penalty 37, 78, Cope 42, Everard 70, Argyle 80
Conversions: Cope 1, 29, 42, 55, Leeming 70
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.