Jersey Reds 8/4/23

24Doncaster Knights

52Jersey Reds

1:00 pm · April 8, 2023

Second Placed Reds Too Strong for Knights in Closing Quarter at Castle Park

It was a fiery and competitive first half but ultimately second place table sitters Jersey Reds pulled away from the Knights in the second half to secure a 24-52 win at Castle Park this afternoon.

The Knights were on the board after just one minute. With barely a breath drawn, Sam Olver chipped a ball over the line for Connor Edwards to run onto seamlessly. The centre offloaded to forward-for-the-day Robbie Smith to finish the try – charging in with a man hanging off his shirt. Alex Dolly dutifully slotted the conversion.

Jersey’s first of the day came courtesy of Lewis Wynne finding a line to run and offloading to Tomi Lewis who dodged a tackler to run in the try which Russell Bennett then converted.

A second came five minutes later for the Jersey men. Ben Woollett made the original pass to release Lewis who in turn passed out to Sean O’Connor on the wing. The lock was brought down short of the line but repeated phases on the Knights line paid off as James Hadfield crossed for the try which Bennett converted.

Dolly topped up the home score with a penalty on 16 minutes as Jersey were penalised for offside in front of the posts.

Jersey responded with a third try. Bennett spotted an option, chipping the ball over for Lewis to run onto in the dead ball area for the try which his fly half then converted.

The bonus point came for the visitors before a half hour played. Going quickly from a set piece into their driving maul set, a couple of twists and changes of direction had the big Reds men over the line with Alun Lawrence at the base. Bennett once more converted.

The Knights lessened the gap before half-time. Too many infringements from the visitors on their own line ultimately resulted in a penalty try for the hosts and a yellow card for O’Connor – taking the fall for the team’s ill-discipline by spending 10 minutes in the sin bin.

A change was forced at half-time as Billy McBryde looked to have pulled up at the end of the half, meaning Jack Metcalf was a part of the line-up re-emerging for the second half.

The Knights got their third within the first 10 minutes of action being back underway. Clean hands and sharp work in the Jersey 22 allowed Dolly to spot a final line-break option. As he was brought down by a tackle on the 5m line, he managed to flick the ball inside to Joe Margetts to secure the score. Which the scrum half then easily converted.

While the fire and the intensity from the Knights didn’t fade, the flare and ability to make the most of any chance of the Jersey men shone through clearly in the final quarter.

Spotting an option of clean air slightly wider of the main action as the pack repeatedly attacked the Knights line, James Mitchell passed out to Bennett from the base and his half-back partner darted over for the score which he then converted for himself.

A lovely moment came for the home side on 65 minutes as Will Holling entered the field for his 50th Knights appearance. The hometown boy, who has been at the club since his mini-junior days, received a rousing reception from the Castle Park attendees.

Jersey scored a further three tries in quick succession in the closing 10 minutes. First, finding a wide option, Brendan Owen had room to jink a tackler out wide to fall over the line. The second saw the Jersey men get the better first hit at a driving maul which firmly charged over the line with replacement Eoghan Clarke at the base and Bennett converting.

And the final points of the day were also claimed by Clarke as the big opposition pack once more took control of the driving maul, powering over for their eight of the day.

Whilst the scoreline will not be a pretty one for Knights fans, it must be noted the intensity and fierceness with which this Knights team looked to remain in the game. Competing harshly from the first minute to the last against a classy Jersey Reds side.

Match Statistics

Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Evan Mintern, 6 Martin Sigren, 7 Robbie Smith, 8 John Kelly.

Replacements | 16 Will Holling, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 Thom Smith, 20 Sam Daly, 21 Will Yarnell, 22 Alec Lloyd-Seed, 23 Jack Metcalf.

Pens: Dolly

Tries: R Smith, Penalty try, Margetts

Cons: Dolly 2


Coventry XV | 15 Brendan Owen; 14 Ben Woollett, 13 Alex McHenry, 12 Dan Barnes, 11 Tomi Lewis; 10 Russell Bennett, 9 James Mitchell; 1 Sam Grahamslaw, 2 James Hadfield, 3 Steven Longwell, 4 James Scott, 5 Sean O’Connor, 6 James Dun, 7 Lewis Wynne, 8 Alun Lawrence.

Replacements | 16 Eoghan Clarke, 17 Gregory McGrath, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Thomas Everard, 20 Max Argyle, 21 , 22 Jordan Holgate, 23 Will Brown.

Tries: Lewis 2, Hadfield, Lawrence, Bennett, Owen, Clarke 2

Cons: Bennett 6

Yellow card: Sean O’Connor


Referee: Harry Walbaum

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