Whether Jersey RFC’s Ist XV can push their way into the top two in the division behind Guildford, and earn promotion, only time will tell, but this was a good, honest work-out away from home and coach Dai Burton was satisfied that, with a depleted squad, his team deserved their win.’We won this game with a bare minimum of players,’ he said afterwards.
‘Their strength is in their forwards and I would have preferred to have had some big pack players sitting on the bench.
It wasn’t to be, and when we had to make changes in the last ten minutes they looked like scoring.’By now, though, we were two scores in front of them and even when their No 8 and playmaker took a quick tap-penalty over the line, Richie Griffiths turned him and we eventually cleared the line.’Their forwards were too indisciplined and gave away penalties throughout the match.
What impressed me was the referee, from Manchester, who was constantly talking to the players.’It was a far more disciplined performance from the Jersey team, and Andy Allan was magnificent at the back of the scrum, the way he looked after their No 8.’We are still stuttering in midfield, but when we used quick hands in the threes, we showed what we could do.’Those ‘quick hands’ resulted in Ross Allan scorching in for a try from 25 yards out on the left wing towards the end of the first half.By now both sides had had their chances to dominate.
Jon Swift had missed one penalty early on.
Chobham had missed an even easier chance, from in front of the posts, before going 3-0 up after 20 minutes when a Jersey player had strayed offside.Fifteen minutes later Allan scored and, just before half-time, Swift put the visitors 8-3 in front with another penalty kick.It was a see-sawing kind of game, but while Jersey were more controlled in both defence and attack, and proved their worth in the line-out, no matter whose throw of the ball it was, Chobham panicked in their own 22 and, in attack, soon ran out of ideas.’They were penalised for their “”truck and trailer”” way of running the ball at us,’ said Burton.
‘And whenever we got near to their line they gave away penalties.
In the second half every ten minutes or so Swifty would have another chance to go for goal.’Apart from the last ten minutes, we contained them quite comfortably.’By this time Steve O’Brien in the centre and Chobham’s No 6 had both ‘retired’ to the sin bin, Swift had converted three penalties and Jersey were comfortably in the lead, 17-3.There will be harder games to come, but Chobham aren’t a bad side, and if Burton can summon up all of his missing players in the run-up to the Christmas break, particularly his missing three-quarters, the only side he need fear are league leaders Guildford.They have already beaten Jersey, away from home but, at St Peter, Burton will fancy his chances.
In the meantime Tottonians are the visitors to St Peter next Saturday afternoon, when Burton is hoping that spectator-power can produce, for the first time this season, the kind of passion play he wants to give Jersey a real cutting edge – plus a handful of tries to boot.Jersey: Jon Brennan, Bob Le Brocq, Marcus Nobes, Roger Quirk, Matt Allan, Ian Henderson, Richie Griffiths, Andy Allan, Paul Nayar, Phil Walker, Ross Allan, Jon Swift, Steve O’Brien, Mark Le Mottée, Mark White.
Subs: Ken Moore, Darren Toudic.