THE support for Jersey RFC was ‘fantastic’ according to the women’s head coach.
Hundreds flocked to St Peter for the double-header involving Jersey RFC’s men’s and women’s sides, in an incredible show of strength for the club following the demise of Jersey Reds.
Simon Le Moignan’s team displayed a defiance that has characterised their club for many years, edging past a stubborn Sutton & Epsom Ladies II outfit 20-17.
The win keeps Jersey top of the table in Women’s NC 2 South East (South), tied on points with Seaford Ladies, their next opponents.
Clip: Georgia Ruellan scored for Jersey
Le Moignan said: “It was a very emotional day up at the rugby club.
“We have both Dan Barnes and Alun Lawrence helping out the side, both of whom played for the Reds.
“They have been incredible for the team’s progression and we are all gutted about what has happened to their team.
“We saw many of the Reds out supporting on the day, which really showed their commitment and love for rugby on the Island, but it was definitely emotional after everything that had transpired.”
Their opponents, Sutton & Epsom II, were very much an unknown quantity for the Caesareans.
They had yet to play a game this season, thus it was tough to know what to expect from the mainlanders.
However, the hosts managed the game stoutly, with a first-half try from Sarah Cioffi, while Georgina Ruellan, Tina Davies and captain Lauren Lowe added their own in the second period.
Clip: Lauren Lowe’s try
“The game was brilliant,” added Le Moignan.
“It was probably the toughest contest we have had in the last couple of years and the team showed a lot of fight to come through with a win.
“We found out after the contest that they had a handful of players from their first team, who play a few divisions above us.
“To win knowing that is a massive achievement and shows how far this side has come.”
Despite winning their opening game 36-0 at Worthing Warriors, the side confessed that they strayed away from their game plan at times during that win and were drawn into their opponents’ style of rugby.
The home opener proved a very different tale, much to the delight of their head coach.
He continued: “From the first whistle to the last we played our own game.
“The team were very aware they strayed away from that previously and I was very proud of how they managed this game.
‘We had a discussion at the beginning of the season, and a lot of the girls wanted to be challenged more this year.
“That’s exactly what Sutton & Epsom provided and these are the matches that everyone wants to be a part of.”
Jersey now have an extended break until the first week of November.
Clip: Sarah Coiffi touched down for Jersey
Le Moignan will hope to have back the services of his daughter Hannah by then, as well as Lucy Hart and Amber Hopwood, all of whom were unavailable for the previous contest.
Jersey RFC Women [1-15]: Franky Vautier, Holly Bertram, Emilie Langlands, Abbie Syvret, Willow Le Luan, Taye Boakye-Yiadom, Kerry Bertram, Emily Hart, Laura Turpin, Sarah Coiffi, Nancy Portsmouth, Lauren Lowe (c), Georgina Ruellan, Kim Hacquoil. Replacements: Becka Hunter, Kirsten Slatter, Helen Papworth, Beth Druce, Bethan Hughes, Lisa Saout.