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Reds reaction: Biljon proud after 'exceptional' start

Rugby | Published:

JERSEY REDS coach Harvey Biljon was delighted with his team’s emphatic 36-19 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie on Friday evening at Stade Santander, their first Championship win of the season – but was keen to emphasise that that performances had not been bad in their three previous fixtures either.

RUGBY Jersey Reds v Yorkshire Carnegie Picture: DAVID FERGUSON.Reds William Homer. (22667893)

‘We just need to believe in what we are doing – and we did that tonight,' he said. 'We could easily have had ten points, not four, before tonight’s match.

‘The start we had on Friday was exceptional. And the emotion that Yorkshire threw at us in response through the back end of the first half and the second period was handled so well. I’m very proud of the players.

‘We took our opportunities. We’ve been talking about the opportunities we create and don’t take. So the big word before the game was "opportunity" . . . opportunity to get the season started; opportunity to potentially go from 12th to seventh position in the table on the night; opportunity to set the standard in front of our home support; and opportunity to execute some of our strike players – which you saw done in style at the start of the game.

‘I’m proud of the fact that Yorkshire came away with no points tonight – and we won five. That is huge for this group. Yorkshire are a top outfit and probably would expect to be first, second or third at the moment. They came here tonight to give us a full go tonight – but didn’t our players front up well.

‘We made strides tonight with our scrummaging, made improvements. I would say there was a couple there [decisions] that could have gone our way too. But again, we’ll learn from the experience, especially the front row that was on there at the end, Cam Holenstein and Harry Morley. Young men that have to be put in those positions and learn from them.

‘We feel Cameron [a loose head prop] can also be strong at tight-head and build from there. So lets make sure he learns each week and keeps improving.’

Returning to St Peter, for 52 minutes before a twisted knee ended his evening, was former Reds fly-half Brendan Cope. Facing a scan on the injury next week, he was nevertheless, impressed with Jersey, saying: ‘I though they were good, very clinical. Once they get into the 22 they know what they are doing and come away with points.

‘It’s been a frustrating start for us [Yorkshire] and we’ve been trying to get into some sort of shape, but we’re not going to make excuses by pointing to an injury list.

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‘Frustration is definitely the word, but we got to step up, its that simple.’

Jersey, who could go as high as fifth if they won their game in hand, now face a trip away to another Yorkshire club, old rivals Doncaster Knights at Castle Park this Saturday.

Other Championship results: Bedford Blues 23, London Scottish 26; Coventry 17, London Irish 21; Ealing 41, Cornish Pirates 35; Richmond 38, Hartpury 12; Nottingham 20, Doncaster 15.

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