For by then the game was over.
Jersey had scored two decent tries, the first by winger Mark Le Mottee in the right-hand corner, the second by Steve Mee who, although a late replacement in the threes, had an excellent game both in attack and defence.With a penalty and conversion to take the points to 15-0, Jersey were comfortably in front.
The only question the 500-plus crowd wanted answering was: ‘How many more points could Jersey score?’The answer? – Not a lot.For although Jersey had more possession, as they won easily in the line-outs and set scrums, they lacked fluidity.
They also fumbled the ball too often, and while this should have been a comprehensive victory, the only other scores were two penalties by Old Blues when Jersey strayed offside and three penalties for Jersey when the Old Blues did the same thing.Take away the best move of the match in the 75th minute, when the pack set up the ball for Steve O’Brien to feed Gary Hirst who in turn fed Phil Walker before the ball was eventually spilled on the left, with Old Blues in complete disarray, and the second half was as barren as a damp Christmas cracker.It was poor entertainment, described by coach Dai Burton as follows: ‘We started off well and at 15-0 up had the game already won.
Then we sat on it.
They never looked like scoring, and at half-time I thought we’d double the score.’We’re missing the killer instinct.
You could see it in our body language.
The forwards created a nice platform for the threes, but our handling was poor – it was as if we needed a large ball with handles on it.’But at least we kept possession well.
We gave away too many penalties, and lost our discipline in the second half in attack, but this win has set us up for our game in two weeks time against Tottonians’.And, strange as it might seem and despite all of Dai Burton’s problems, Jersey are now third in the league with more fixtures to come at home than away.If they had just one dominant three-quarter, a player to take the game by the scruff of the neck, they could even be pushing for promotion.As it is, Old Blues’ player/coach, No 8 Mark William-Thomas, was even able to come out of the game believing his side were hard done by.
‘The game was a lot tighter than the score suggests,’ he said, adding that Old Blues had ‘blooded’ three new players in this game and that although bottom of the division, with no points, he truly believed his side would avoid relegation.They might do so – at least they kept their shape in the second half, when the only points came from those two Phil Walker penalties – but if Jersey are to escape this division and survive in the division above, they’ve got to learna) how to catch and pass the ballb) to enjoy their rugby, and not react like startled rabbits under a spotlight whenever the ball is passed to themc) to take on board a killer instinct which, sadly, is lacking from their game.After 15 minutes, Jersey should have turned the screw and destroyed Old Blues.
They didn’t do that this week – but those 500 spectators, hopefully, will see it happen, sometime between the start of the New Year and the end of the season.Jersey: Ken Moore, Josh Chamier, Jon Brennan, Roger Quirk, Danny McAlister, John Allo, Steve O’Brien, Ian Henderson, Paul Nayar, Phil Walker, Mark Le Mottee, Ian Troy, Gary Hirst, Ross Allan, Mark White, Marcus Nobes, Steve Mee, Nick Trower.Old Blues: Andrew Hunt, Charlie Foden, William Fairbairn, Ross Kenowden, Jon Willaims, Adrian Riggs, Stuart Hale, Mark Williams-Thomas, Shane Gallagher, Steve Dimmick, Rhod Gibson, Tom Craven, Justin Hildage, John Davies, Jon Tana, Jon Owens, Richard Hedgecox, John Simpson.Alton 10, Chobham 8; Guildford 44 , Old Wimbledonians 5; Jersey 24 , Old Blues 6; London Irish Amateur 19, Tottonians 15.