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Biljon 'disappointed' with officials in Reds' defeat

Rugby | Published:

AN improved show by Jersey fell just short of earning them a home victory over Bedford Blues in the Championship on Saturday.

Jersey winger Tom Pincus, having received a superb cross-field kick from Brendan Cope tries to kick over Chris Czekaj . . . but fails to clear the defender

The visitors’ 15-13 victory in an often scrappy, error-strewn affair was their first in three games, but it could easily have ended in another defeat. Bedford’s opening try, from a former Red in centre Rich Lane, just after half-time, was later slated by Jersey fans and management as a glaring error from the match officials as a Jersey player was tackled off the ball as he looked likely to score.

That put the Blues 10-3 up after stand-off Harry Sheppard added the conversion. Sheppard had levelled the scores in a competitive, if uninspired, first-half with a penalty, which answered an excellent drop goal from Reds full-back Brendan Cope.

Cope reduced the deficit to 10-6 with a penalty soon after Lane’s try before prop Leeroy Atalifo forced his way over the whitewash at the back of a maul. Cope added an excellent conversion to give Jersey a three-point advantage.

But Jersey could not build on their lead and after losing possession in a lineout, Blues’ Sheppard took the opportunity to cross over and regain the lead, 15-13.

Jersey’s head coach Harvey Biljon said: ‘First and foremost I think the way the players responded from last week was pleasing – they were in the right place in that respect.

‘We had the opportunity to win and I have to say I’m very disappointed by AR [assistant referees] not picking up Keiran Hardy being taken out without the ball when Mark Best made his pass along the support line. It’s those kind of decisions which sometimes you get, sometimes you don’t. Today we missed out. That was a key moment.'

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