WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Jersey RFC riding high at top of division

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JERSEY RFC sit confidently at the top of the Regional 2 South Central division after taking maximum points from their first four games.

This Saturday saw a close game between them and Farnham RFC but a decisive second-half for Jersey separated the two teams and allowed the team to take the five points. It was an away game for Jersey that was feisty from the offset and involved the crowd shouting at the ref and partaking in some of the squabbles between the players.

Jersey started to apply pressure very early on when after five minutes a brilliant sling out to Jack Keogh on the right flank allowed him to charge down the field before being pushed out to touch.

Then, ten minutes later, a kick down the same flank ended in a dropped ball but Jersey were awarded a scrum for a player tackled off the ball. The scrum rallied and pushed George Wilmott over the line who placed the ball down from the back of the scrum for a relatively easy first try for Jersey.

Clip: George Willmott’s first try

Farnham retaliated instantly with a brilliant drive straight from the kick-off but Jersey’s defence held strong, keeping Farnham just past the 22-metre line for a number of phases before conceding a penalty which was slotted through the posts easily by Farnham captain Toby Salmon for three points.

Then in Farnham’s next drive, a number of brilliant passes along the back line freed up the winger to sprint down the sideline before being tackled by Jersey’s fullback. Another strong drive down the middle released Jemi Akin-Olugbade to travel easily over the line. Both tries from Jersey and Farnham were converted.

A similar instance happened shortly after for Jersey as Fergus Ludlam had acres of space to run down the line before he was stopped just short of the try line. This time Farnham’s last-ditch defence held well and saw them receive a touch line penalty for a dropped ball.

Clip: Ben Le Chevalier bursts through the Farnham defence to touch down

Archie Cleeve for Farnham was sin-binned shortly after for repeated offence of technical infringements.

The next period of the game in the lead-up to half-time was tough for Jersey. A number of players were unfortunately injured and Evan Whitson, Tim Corson and Cameron Halliwell had to be brought off the pitch.

Farnham then mounted a number of impressive attacks seeing them receive a penalty which led to a conversion and a brilliant run moments later from Sam Thomas down the wing. He broke two tackles, before a well-worked lineout saw Finn Anderson power over the line. This try was again converted rendering the score 20-7 in Farnham’s favour.

Jersey were able to score a fairly simple try straight through the goal posts just before half-time following a number of good passes from the team’s backline. The score at half-time was 20-14 to Farnham.

Several powerful drives just after the restart saw Farnham’s Reece Stennett penetrate Jersey’s desperate defending down the right flank for a try but the conversion was missed.

Jersey retaliated instantly with a driving run down the right wing which ended in Tom Bulfin scoring an easy try to make the score 25-21 after Aaron Penberthy made his third conversion of the afternoon.

Clip: Aaron Penberthy gets on the end of his chip to score

The game for the next ten minutes saw both teams attempt to assert their physical dominance on each other where Jersey prevailed. They made it within inches of Farnham’s goal line a couple of times but Farnham’s defence did exceptionally well clearing their lines when required.

It took a central drive with all their manpower to finally push Penberthy over the line for Jersey to take the lead 25-28.

Following the try, Jersey did well to keep Farnham hemmed inside their own 22-metre line, making big tackles and dominating the scrum and ruck game.

Wilmott scored another try for Jersey down the right flank after the team progressed well down the left wing before slinging it along the line for an easy sidestep round a player and score for Wilmott’s second try.

Clip: George Willmott scored Jersey RFC’s crucial match-winning try

Replacement prop Dan Sweeney scored another try for Farnham after a tough drive but again the conversion was missed.

Then a brilliant penalty kick from the halfway line by Penberthy sailed through Farnham’s posts making the score 30-38 to Jersey.

The game finished with Farnham scoring their own penalty kick just as the referee blew the final whistle leaving Jersey as the victors. Final result 33-38 to Jersey.

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