Jersey 21 Loughborough Students
by Tim Kearsey
The visit of Loughborough Students was not the classical
encounter of running back play rugby many had expected but was a
useful pre-season run out for Ben Harvey’s Jersey.
The students were a far more physical and mature side than on
the two previous occasions and came close to causing an upset
before Jersey showed their class late on.
The first 15 minutes was an impressive display of set piece
forward play from the side. Loughborough were unable to match
Jersey, particularly in the scrum. The Loughborough front row
buckled giving away 4 penalties. Jersey chose to take the
scrum option. Jersey hooker Dave Felton was pivotal and
his running skills during the first half, were equal to any centre
throughout the match.
The pressure resulted on 14 minutes for a Jersey penalty
try. Loughborough resorting to pulling down a try line bound
maul. Trower tirelessly powering his side forward.
The expectation that Jersey would find ball retention easy
during the rest of the first half was not realised. Two
Loughborough penalties for infringements were a sure sign the
Students were a strong match for Jersey in supporting the ball
carrier. The Students were able to take the lead at the end
of the first half when Chris Kinloch was able to scramble over in
the corner. Loughborough deserved their11-7
half-time lead whilst the home crowd hoped for better things
Both sides made changes and Jersey found their composure and
started to impose their class. Tom Cooper was used at right
wing where he coolly evaded a rampaging Loughborough defence to
score in the corner. Le Bourgeois converted.
The competiveness of the students was never more apparent than
when some indiscipline broke out and Jersey’s Donovan Saunders and
Loughborough’s Phil Whitfield were sin-binned.
The game was under Jersey’s control and Flanker Guy Thompson
scored the final try with some strong running in midfield reminding
the home crowd that tries are everyone’s business in this
team. An appetising test awaits Jersey against Cornish
Pirates next Saturday at St Peter.
Star Man – Dave Markham (Jersey)