Defeated Reds can hold heads high
JERSEY fans, heading home after a tight opening day defeat, will not have been too downhearted at their new-look team’s display against old Championship rivals Doncaster. A little frustrated with the closing quarter, for sure, but surely with their expectations high of good things to come.
The absolute minimum requirement of effort and spirit was, of course, delivered in bucket-loads. But so, too, was a strong showing of often exciting 15-man rugby, which promises much more for the season than just the point gleaned from a 26-24 loss.
Debuts for 12 new signings in the match-day squad made for a understandable lack of cohesion, understanding or communication at a few vital moments and that was probably what denied them what would have been an outstanding victory in the end.
A losing bonus could easily have been four or even five points had opportunities been taken, but the possession and territory that Doncaster eventually enjoyed probably justified their victory celebrations.
South Africans Brendan Cope and Jason Worrall scored either side of half-time for the hosts at the Stade Santander International, with Cope kicking a further 14 points to place himself at the top of the Championship's scoring charts.
Captain Scott Van Breda said: ‘It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I think it will only make us better going forward.
‘The spirit was pleasing, big time. As captain I asked them to show that spirit. We’ve only been together for a few months, but it feels like much longer and the bond we’ve got is good. One or two individual errors you can’t go at the guys for that, they’re all trying their best and give us a few weeks and we can really be a special team.'
Full report and reaction in Monday's Final Whistle.