Reds ride out the storm as Exiles pay for ill-discipline
JERSEY claimed a valuable win in the battle between the league’s 10th and 11th-placed sides.
The Reds came back from a six-point half-time deficit and withstood a late rally from London Scottish that on another day could have brought a different result.
Jersey head coach Harvey Biljon said: “It was certainly tense, but the team showed a lot of character to come from behind and grind out a win.
“We’ve spoken about the really big November that we are facing, and to start it with four points, that’s a big result.”
The close encounter featured five yellow cards, with Jersey’s Mark Best the first in the sin-bin after 46 seconds for killing the ball after Matt Williams had raced 50 metres downfield soon after the kick-off.
The Reds survived their spell with 14 men and took the lead from a Brendan Cope penalty – but soon after Best’s return Scottish registered a brace of tries.
First Williams was put in by Craig Holland, and then the Exiles drove forward from a maul before feeding the ball to Chris Walker to touch down.
Cope’s second penalty had kept his side in touch, but Scottish went to the break with a sixpoint lead, though without Phil Cringle who was yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle.
The game tilted in the hosts’ favour soon after the break.
Kieran Hardy burrowed over from close range and then the Exiles received two more yellow cards in quick succession; Charlie Ingall for a high tackle and Gregor Gillanders for collapsing a maul, a decision that also earned the Reds a penalty try.
Scottish survived the dual sin-bin without further loss, and Jake Sharp trimmed three points off the deficit with a penalty.
They were in the ascendancy during the final quarter in a spell of pressure featuring some threatening mauls, one of which Jersey replacement Roy Godfrey collapsed to earn a yellow card.
However eventually the Scottish siege ended when they knocked on in front of the Jersey posts.
Disappointed Scottish head coach Dave Morris said: “In the second half we conceded a lot of penalties and never got the platform we needed, although there were a few close calls.
“Though as frustrated as I am, I was proud of the effort of the players.”