JERSEY REDS are ‘back into their groove’ this week after moving to within one point of the Championship summit with a six-try triumph in Penzance.
Following shaky displays at Ealing, Coventry and London Scottish over the past month, the Islanders rekindled their early-season form on Saturday afternoon with arguably one of their most complete performances of the season.
Jersey’s display during a 34-25 win at Cornish Pirates featured quick hands, quick feet, rugged defence and slick set-pieces – a slice of everything that rugby fans would want to see from their side. There was a smattering of the not-so-good too, with 25 points conceded, but the result and record speaks for itself.
Never have the Reds scored so many points at the Mennaye Field – arguably the most difficult venue to reach and play at in the Championship – and with that they have moved to the brink of equalling a club-best of 13 second-tier wins in a season.
‘It’s nice when you’ve got a journey as long as this to get the win,’ said director of rugby Harvey Biljon, speaking on the coach back to Exeter, as part of a two-night trip to fulfil the fixture.
‘We had a still, calm day with no wind or rain and we took full advantage of that. Our players showed real composure and we can see it building again, after the draw at Coventry and the result last weekend against London Scottish. We’re back into our groove.’
Jersey’s try-tally doubled that of Pirates but conversions and two penalties kept the hosts in with a shout until the final stages.
The damage had already been done, though.
Biljon added: ‘This is one of the more balanced approaches to a game that I’ve seen from a Jersey Reds team. Responsibility was shared by the forwards, with their power, and the backs with their skills. We scored some great tries out wide but we also saw some hard work through the middle.
‘The Pirates supporters are pretty well educated from a rugby point of view and talking to some of them after the game, they complimented the way we played. It’s always great when supporters appreciate what the opponents have brought.’