Junior rugby success

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On Saturday they beat Havant by 29-12 and followed this up by beating Eastleigh 27-12 on Sunday.

Both Jersey coaches were delighted with the performances.

Forwards’ coach Ross Henderson praised the commitment and effort shown by the boys: ‘Bearing in mind that our only previous game this season was an easy win against Guernsey we were unsure how we’d fare against such strong opposition.

But the boys rose to the challenge and performed magnificently,’ he said.The first game against Havant did not start well as the Jersey team appeared to be still recovering from the early morning flight to Gatwick when mis-handling in the three-quarters allowed Toby Alston to break through and open the scoring after 12 minutes.However, Jersey soon got their game together and within five minutes they had drawn level when Adam Speight scored the first of the four tour tries.

Full-back David Carpenter missed the conversion but made up for this by slotting two penalties just before half-time to give Jersey an11 – 5 lead.

At the start of the second half Jersey took control when a further penalty by Carpenter in 42 minutes was followed by two tries on 48 and 52 minutes by Wayne Boschat, Jersey’s superb No.

8 forward, giving them what looked like a comfortable 24-5 advantage.Havant, however, were now making full use of their large squad and as Jersey only travelled with 18 players they started to tire.

David Harvey, Havant’s flying wing, eventually found some space and ran in an excellent try which Mathew Roberts converted on 58 minutes – 24-12.

Havant, with almost a totally fresh team in place, piled on the pressure sensing that another score would bring them right back, but the Jersey defence held out with the whole team contributing with strong tackling.

The game was sealed by another Speight try making the final score 29 – 12.After a morning watching the Wales versus England World Cup match (where the Celtic contingent of Patrick Cahill, Stephan Metcalfe, Iain Henderson and the two coaches were heavily out- numbered by the England supporters), the boys took the field against Eastleigh in the pouring rain.From the start it was obvious that Jersey were going to face a stronger, more physical challenge than against Havant.

After breaking down an early Eastleigh drive Jersey turned the ball over and pushed them into their own half, forcing them to concede a penalty for illegally stopping the release of the ball.

Carpenter struck an excellent penalty from the 10-metre line to give Jersey an encouraging three-point lead.After 18 minutes a driving maul, in which Carl Gavey, Lee Jégou and Henderson all made valuable yards, enabled Boschat to score his third try of the weekend.

Jersey held on to their 8-0 lead for the rest of the half.Jersey started the second half strongly and Speight broke through for a well-worked try involving both backs and forwards.

Carpenter converted to make it 15-0 but the excellent Eastleigh stand-off at last broke free and opened their account with a well-worked try which he then converted.Jersey responded to this by raising their game another notch.

Their pack continued to secure good ball and the three-quarters made excellent use of it when Nick Scott, one of the real stars of the tour with the quality of his defence, showed equally good attacking skills to touch down in the corner.Jersey again faced a home team who were able to call on a large squad of players and these new players threw everything at the tourists.

However, their discipline and defence held out until the 65th minute when the ball squirted straight out of the scrum and, as the Jersey boys waited for the referee’s whistle, Eastleigh pounced to score their second try.Jersey were visibly tiring after two hard games and they lost the services of a key player when stand-off Alex Romeril limped off.

Fortunately the tackling was still top-class with captain Luc Mathew leading by example by knocking back the opposition time and time again.In the final minute this strong tackling was to lead to another turnover which was pounced upon by Jack Le Brun, who ran from inside his own 22 metre line before being caught just short of the opposition try line.

He was able to off-load to Cahill who slipped the ball onto Speight to run in the best try of the weekend.

Carpenter converted to give Jersey a convincing 27-12 victory.Head coach Mal Morgan was delighted with the performances over the weekend and particularly the display against Eastleigh.

‘Against Havant we played well but at times we tried to be too elaborate, resulting in some silly handling mistakes.

Against Eastleigh we came of age as a team.

It was an extremely disciplined performance in difficult conditions against very physical opposition’, he said, adding: ‘What we need now is more games of this standard for the boys.’n Jersey RFC are still in need of Year 10 boys to come forward to boost squad numbers for the under-15s.

Training is on Sunday mornings at 9.30 (although not this Sunday), and Tuesday evenings at 6.30, both at the Jersey RFC.

Ask for Mal Morgan or Ross Henderson.Jersey U16 squad: David Carpenter, Tom Le Sauteur, Adam Speight, Luc Mathew, Alex Romeril, Patrick Cahill, Luc Gillou, Iain Henderson, Alex Gorrod, Lee Jégou, Jonathan Clarke, Carl Gavey, Jack Le Brun, Wayne Boschat, Nick Scott, Kevin Quénault, David Felton and Stephan Metcalfe.

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