Reds’ forward dominance, and a composed back-line – with coach Harvey Biljon praising Van Breda’s mature influence – helped Jersey win 25-20 and bounce back from successive defeats in London.
Van Breda was one of four changes, coming in after confirming a season-long loan to the club from struggling Worcester Warriors, and after previously spending a week training with Reds before their season opener away at Saracens.
The 29-year-old ex-captain said: ‘Definitely, from what I’ve seen this week and the time around the Saracens’ game is that there is a talented bunch of boys here at Jersey.
‘The win is going to make things easier and help as we fine-tune the small things that can give everyone the confidence needed to improve our play. To get a win before the week off is nice – it gets the monkey off our back. The confidence it gives us is huge.
‘Looking ahead, we’ve got Doncaster, which will be tough, as they’re on a good run at the moment with some old familiar faces leading the line.
‘Then we’ve got the likes of in-form Ealing, so after a few days off this week we’ve got to get stuck in. If we prepare well and win at Doncaster that will be a huge one. It would give us two wins in a row and then you never know what will happen after that – maybe we can go on a bit of a run, and certainly the quality is there to do that.
‘It will be a more physical and structured game. Bedford, as we know, like to play from anywhere, whereas Doncaster will probably be similar to how we try and play.
‘It will be just on who executes best at the set-piece but we know them well, so it will be really good to go up against them and the team that will manage the middle-third the best will come out on top. That will be a big focus for us before next week.’
South African Van Breda joined Jersey originally in 2017 after previously playing for Western Province and Stormers. He was snapped up by Worcester in 2018 but after 18 appearances for Warriors, his most recent against Pau in the European Challenge Cup in December, opportunities have been limited.
With the A-league and the Premiership Cup being casualties of the Covid situation, van Breda had two short loan spells with Southern Kings, another of his former clubs, in the Pro-14 last season.
But Harvey Biljon praised having his wise head in the middle of the park, alongside young Jack Roberts, on Saturday.
Van Breda added: ‘All the lads have been so welcoming. It’s easy getting on with them and the way I deal with that on the pitch is talking more than I normally would so they know what I’m doing and I know what they’re doing, and by talking so much it makes my job quite easy. If they get irritated with my voice, then I know they know what I’m doing and it makes it easy for us.
‘The forwards were outstanding in the scrum and at the maul. They were top-drawer and gave us a real base. The way they played, to really push our line speed on defence – and I thought everyone bought in – that made a huge difference being able to dominate the gain line. Although we gave them some soft tries, in terms of bringing it in this week and pushing our line speed, I thought everyone bought in and it was a fairly big part of the game.
‘We held onto the ball well and worked hard on our shape this week, and were nice and patient, which was good. Our patience eventually got the reward with Darren Atkins going over and it’s good to see how patient we were with the ball, as especially against 12-13 men, you think you want to score on every phase but we stuck to our structure and it paid off.’