Jersey must touch top form to stay in World Cup

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Although the current European mixed silver medallists, Jersey must overcome hosts South Africa in Stellenbosch to finish in the top four in the group and reach the knockout section.

The first meeting in the group stage ended with a 9-1 victory to the hosts.

Jersey’s desperate position comes about because of an agonising 5-4 defeat against England.

Having drawn 2-2 in the first meeting between the teams Jersey were relying on victory yesterday to put themselves in pole position to finish fourth in a group dominated by the Southern Hemisphere teams.

Although England had led throughout the match, a late equaliser for Jersey made it 4-4 and gave them hope -only for that to be snatched away with a fifth England try.

Jersey trail England by four points.

They should beat Switzerland again tomorrow, but they also face Australia and South Africa.

Defeating the hosts is Jersey’s best chance to level with England on points and then pip them on scoring difference.

‘It was such a close game and so disappointing to lose,’ said team manager Morag Obarska.

‘We’ve only got an outside chance of qualifying now.

But if we play the way we did against New Zealand we might just be able to pull off a shock.’ Chris Veal scored twice against England with the prolific Ben Smart and Sarah Kerley also crossing the England line.

The day had begun brightly with a 10-1 victory over Switzerland, with Rena Nelson, Giselle Gosselin, Danny Curzons, Mark White, Mark Knight, Michael Le Bourgeois, Veal, Small and Simon di Meo (two) all scoring.

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