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News 2011-12

Jersey 2nd XV v Barking, and season to date

09/11/2011

Jersey II's had our biggest test of the season to date against
Barking II's before the 1st XV game on Saturday 5th November. This
was the team who in January beat an under-strength 2nd XV by 80
points on their home patch, a defeat that we could not wait to
avenge - everybody was buzzing to get onto the pitch and get stuck
into them!

We started off very hard and fast and were awarded several
penalties in the opposition half, which allowed us to put the ball
in the corner to try and capitalise on pitch position. However we
didn't make the most of our early opportunities and it remained
scoreless until a couple of defensive errors allowed Barking to
score the first try, completely against the run of play. This was
converted to make it 7-0.

Going behind didn't faze us and we carried on doing what we were
doing, sticking to the patterns which had been proven to work in
previous games. Possession and territory carried on favouring the
home side and after solid pressure Tim Corson went over the line to
get Jersey's first points on the board, Ollie Harwood added the
conversion; 7-7.

After the try we carried on applying the pressure but, just
before half time, we allowed Barking back in front as they again
capitalised on our match rustiness, scoring a second try. The
conversion was unsuccessful making the score 12-7 to the
Londoners.

The start of the second half brought fireworks to the pitch on
Guy Fawkes' Night as the two teams collided in a fashion
reminiscent of an old school Siam Cup! The aftermath of this was a
full sin-bin: we were down to 12 players and Barking to 13!

Instead of going into our shells we fronted up and maintained
the pressure. This determination eventually translated onto the
scoreboard when after quick play from forwards and backs Jamie
Allan fed Tim Corson to go over for his second try of the game,
Ollie Harwood converting to give us a narrow 14-12 lead.

With not long left, and back to full strength, Jersey carried on
doing what we do well with offloads in the tackle splitting right
through the Barking defence, allowing for the forwards to provide
the backs with quick ball and resulting in Charlie Hubert using his
incredibly fast feet to go over in the corner. The resulting
conversion was missed but we led 19-12.

Infringement at the breakdown by Jersey allowed Barking to close
the gap with a penalty: 19-15. With time running out, Barking
proceeded to camp inside the Jersey 22. Our defence, now more
organised than it had been at the start of the game, was too strong
to break and eventually the final whistle blew.

The boys had avenged their battering in January and won in a
game which could have seen a much bigger score line in the home
team's favour. Brian Rennison was a stand-out performer in the
game, but it has to be said that every player showed their worth
and the promise that Jersey II's have within the current squad. We
now look forward to the future and the opportunities of getting
more competitive games!

Early season report

The beginning of the competitive season got off to a flyer for
the II's this year - we played three games and scored over 200
points whilst only conceding 10.

First up we had Banks at Grainville where we tried to integrate
the new faces we have had at training into the game plan. This
didn't take long as we cruised to a comfortable win over a
determined Banks side; for the first game for a new team, everyone
played exceedingly well and it was the best way we could have begun
the season.

The next game brought along with it an away trip to France where
we played St. Père. We were unsure what the test would be going to
France but when the hosts picked us up and took some of the boys to
the pub before the game, that set the tone for the weekend! We
played their 2nd XV and played very well again with a solid 80-7
result.

Next up for the II's were Wimbledon! They had so very cruelly
beaten us last season in the last minute of the game at their home
ground so it was a game where we wanted revenge! We were on fire
from the start, with the forwards working hard to produce the quick
ball to let the backs run free. Apart from one brief lapse we
maintained this pace throughout the game and ended up 42-0
winners.

The II's are really growing as a squad this year and we're
continuing to make changes, starting with plans for the changing
room! The team have offered to give up their time to paint the II's
changing room so it is somewhere we can call home when we have a
match. Now we just need to wait for a time when nobody needs to use
the room for a few days so the fumes from the paint won't give
anyone that 'Amsterdam' feeling.

We've been getting good numbers to training so far and have been
producing solid displays and results. After putting the hard work
in at training and on the pitch, we're looking to get a good run of
games up to Christmas and again in the New Year. We know we're good
enough to compete against teams from the UK so we are looking into
the future with anticipation to make sure we make the most of our
fixture list.

Ollie Harwood

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