Reds weather early storm to bring up half ton in style

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

JER­SEY bat­tled back from a 22-point deficit to claim an even­tu­ally com­fort­able win in their fi­nal home league out­ing.

Vis­i­tors Not­ting­ham en­joyed a pur­ple patch in the first half, scor­ing four tries in 15 min­utes, but then faded and fin­ished well beaten.

“The first half hour was def­i­nitely not in the script – we knew Not­ting­ham would be like a wounded an­i­mal af­ter los­ing the pre­vi­ous week­end, but we failed to weather the storm and made sev­eral er­rors in de­fence,” said Reds as­sis­tant coach Neil Tun­nah.

“The play­ers were chal­lenged to get on the front foot and get points on the board, and we fin­ished strongly in­clud­ing some good im­pact from the bench.”

The home side struck first with on-loan cen­tre James Newey cross­ing af­ter just four min­utes. Tiff Eden’s penalty got the Green & Whites on the board, and then su­perb in­ter­play be­tween Will Mil­lett and Billy Robin­son led to the lat­ter scor­ing his side’s first try.

A yel­low card to Jer­sey’s Max Ar­gyle for a high tackle trig­gered more points for the vis­i­tors: Ben West barged over straight from the re­sult­ing li­ne­out, then skip­per Ben Mor­ris fed Shane Buck­ley and fi­nally Tim Cardall took a pass from Sean Scan­lon to can­ter home.

The Reds were able to trim the deficit be­fore the break thanks to tries by Auguy Slowik, af­ter a Scott Van Breda run, and Jerry Sex­ton from a li­ne­out, and there was no let-up af­ter the break. Bren­dan Cope and Jake Up­field crossed at the end of flow­ing moves and the Reds were back in front; Slowik’s sec­ond just be­fore the hour gave a lit­tle breath­ing space.

The Reds be­came in­creas­ingly dom­i­nant in all ar­eas of the game and fi­nally broke through for two more late scores af­ter each side was re­duced to 14, with re­place­ment No.9s Kieran Hardy and Dar­ryl Vee­nen­daal sin­binned af­ter a scuf­fle.

First Cope crossed from the stand-in scrumhalf po­si­tion and, with the last play, Van Breda fed Tom Pin­cus for a fi­nal flour­ish.

Not­ting­ham head coach Ian Costello be­moaned his side’s fail­ure to push on from a good open­ing 30 min­utes.

“There was a real mo­men­tum swing at the end of the first half with two soft tries and we were very, very poor in the sec­ond half. It was a com­pre­hen­sive score­line in the end.”

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