Reds fin­ish on high and fo­cus turns to Munster

The Rugby Paper - - News - ■ By TOM INNES

JERSEY Reds se­cured the club’s high­est fin­ish in five Cham­pi­onship cam­paigns, get­ting the bet­ter of a proud Rich­mond side in a game that could have gone ei­ther way un­til the clos­ing stages.

Ross Adair’s in­ter­cep­tion try with three min­utes to go sealed the win, and fifth place in the ta­ble for the Is­lan­ders, who now switch their fo­cus to Fri­day’s B&I Cup Fi­nal against Munster ‘A’ in Cork.

Head coach Harvey Biljon changed his en­tire start­ing XV for the fi­nal league out­ing and was pleased with the ef­forts of his squad.

“To see out the league sea­son with a five-point win at home was great,” Biljon said. “It wasn’t a classic – we had some dif­fi­culty at the set-piece and per­haps some play­ers were if any­thing try­ing too hard to get on the plane to Ire­land.

“I’m hopeful we sur­vived with­out in­juries and we’ll switch our fo­cus very quickly to Fri­day’s cup fi­nal, which is a mas­sive game for the club.”

In a be­low-par start, Jersey lost a scrum against the head and then saw Rich­mond at­tack via a kick to the cor­ner and a rolling maul, which even­tu­ally brought a try for Adam Peters.

The scores were lev­elled when Uili Kolo’ofa’i some­how evaded Rich­mond’s de­fen­sive radar at a maul and ran un­op­posed to the posts. Jersey then took the lead be­fore half-time when Max Argyle fin­ished off an­other maul, tak­ing ad­van­tage of a yel­low card for Rich­mond’s Ru­pert Har­den for per­sis­tent in­fringe­ment.

The home side couldn’t con­vert pres­sure into points in the third quar­ter and had their lead pegged back to two points when Cameron Mitchell squeezed over in the cor­ner.

Apakuki Maafu’s chip through the mid­dle set up Jersey’s third try. The Ton­gan fol­lowed up but nei­ther he nor the Rich­mond defence could gather the ball and Lewis Robling was on hand to score.

With a man ad­van­tage af­ter Jersey’s James Voss saw yel­low for il­le­gally slow­ing down the ball, Rich­mond still would not give up and a great run by Mitchell led to a score by re­place­ment Ali Chisholm, but Adair’s in­ter­cep­tion gave the home side the fi­nal word.

Though disappointed with the re­sult, Rich­mond di­rec­tor of rugby Steve Hill hailed a com­mit­ted sea­son­long ef­fort by his play­ers.

“All sea­son we’ve shown that we de­serve to be in this league; we’d achieved our aim of fin­ish­ing off the bot­tom and that’s a great ef­fort by play­ers who have day-jobs and are up against full-timers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.