Rugby Union: Little festive cheer for Jersey

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Tottonians, at home at St Peter, were there for the taking.

Tottonians, away on Saturday, were a great deal stronger, but even so Jersey should have scored on at least one occasion.During 15 minutes of intense Jersey pressure at the start of the game, into the wind, the Island side were in the ascendancy.From a line-out 25 yards out, they launched a pack-attack which saw them move to within five yards from the opposition line.

They could have ground out a score, but instead the ball was played out to the threes who, in turn, lost possession and allowed Tottonians to kick clear.At the start of the second half, this time with the wind in their favour, it was a case of déja-vu, as the pack caught and drove Tottonians back to their own five yard line before one or two of the Jersey players decided to peel away, thereby ending the impetus of an eight-man attack and with it any chance of scoring a try.’For the first 15 minutes it was all Jersey,’ said Burton.’Even against the wind, we should have scored.

After eight minutes Phil Walker was close with a penalty, but throughout the game our support just wasn’t there.’Steve O’Brien was punching holes in the centre.

John Allo was also taking them on, and when John Larose came on he gave his opposite prop a torrid time.’But the longer the game went on, the better they defended.

We didn’t play to our strengths, and we kept letting them back into the game.

We made too many schoolboy-like errors and paid the penalty.

They were more competitive at home than when they travelled to Jersey; knowing the conditions, we had a game plan, but at times we were playing an open game which was tactically na?ve.’At the moment we haven’t anyone who can finish the game for us.

It was a struggle, afterwards, to nominate a man of the match.

Decision-making was poor.

I’ll be glad to have the likes of Andy Allan, Doc Snook, Pat Dean and Gareth Jeffreys back in the New Year.’Obviously exasperated to lose to a side that, even 12 months ago Jersey would have beaten quite comfortably, Burton knows that his team is, at the best, middle-of-table.

And, if it doesn’t pick itself up prompt, it could be edging towards relegation rather than the respectability of a third or fourth-place finish.Tottonians are a good, dependable side, but they are not a Richmond.

And if Jersey are ever to move up and out of this division, they have to be able to beat a team like this 99 times out of 100.They didn’t do so – and this was the second time in the last three months that Jersey have lost to them, both home and away.The first score came when their scrum-half kicked a penalty in the 20th minute.Then, ten minutes later, the same player took the ball from a line-out close to the Jersey 22 and ran through.His conversion meant it was 10-0 to the home side, then 13-0 after another penalty kick was given, and converted, with a Jersey player giving the No 9 an easier chance with some ill-advised comment which saw the referee move the visitors back ten yards for a simpler kick at goal.On the stroke of half time the last points of the game were scored.

Tottonians’ stand-off made a dart for the line and despite a few flailing arms, he crashed over for the try.

It was 18-0, and the game was just about over.’We didn’t make the most of the wind in our favour in the second half,’ said Burton.

‘And if we’d scored early on, as we should have done, the final score could have been very much different.’They never looked like scoring towards the end of the game, but come to that, neither did we.

Our decision making was poor.

What we need in the threes is a general to run the roost.’Squad: K Moore, J Chamier, J Brennan, R Quirk, D McAlister, C White, I Henderson, J Allo, S Mee, P Walker, S O’Brien, M White, M Le Mottée, J Milner, R Allan, J Larose, D Toudic, G Hinks.

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