Reds ride out the storm as Ex­iles pay for ill-dis­ci­pline

The Rugby Paper - - Greene King Ipa Championship - ■ By TOM INNES

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.”

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