Reds return to mauling roots to see off Scottish
JERSEY Reds returned to their roots on Saturday to bag their second Championship Cup win 41-10 against London Scottish.
In what was their eighth win on the bounce hooker Nick ‘Salad’ Selway bagged a hat-trick and replacement hooker Jack ‘The Diesel’ Macfarlane bagged a double, all coming from the Reds seemingly unstoppable driving maul.
Scottish started the match strongly, and appeared to rattle the Reds, who conceded several early penalties at the scrum, but missed a couple of penalty attempts which would have put the Reds under serious pressure.
As the match progressed, however, Jersey grew into the game, and started to assert their authority. Brilliant carrying from the pack and the likes of Apakuki Ma’afu in the centre put Scottish on the back foot, and fast hands and precise kicking from Calum Waters, Brett Herron and Aaron Penberthy penned the exiles in their own half and forced penalties from the visitors.
Inevitable driving mauls followed, and despite learning to expect it Scottish couldn’t stop it and Nick Selway bagged an impressive first half hat-trick from the tail of the maul.
The Red backs were also in action, as they seized the opportunity from a 22 drop out, and scored another unbelievable length-of-the-field try – which now seems almost the norm. Waters ran it in for the Reds and Penberthy converted
Scottish fought back, however, as they set their own driving maul five metres out. The Reds stopped it dead in its tracks, but scrum-half Edward Hoadley spied a gap and took it, diving over for the Exiles in the 28th minute. Jacob Perry’s conversion added to his earlier penalty to bring the visitors to ten points.
It would be fair to say that Scottish looked the better team for a large portion of the half, as they enjoyed ten minutes of possession just before the break. The Reds defence stood firm, however, and the home side were on the right side of a 24-10 lead at the break.
At the resumption Scottish looked to pick up where they left off, and an incisive attack forced Dave McKern to make a tackle on the turn which was judged as high and as a result saw him sin-binned. Scottish could not break through the Reds line, however, despite another period of 20-plus phases.
Janco Venter made way for Rory Bartle, and the Reds began to build. After winning a penalty, Waters took a quick tap and made good yards before an off-side blue player tackled him. The Reds went for the corner again, but this time the maul was stopped illegally and Hoadley saw yellow. Penberthy chose to go for the points, and took them.
The Reds then made a series of effective substitutions, with Selway making way for Macfarlane, Roy Godfrey made way for Harry Morley and Graham Geldenhuys, who produced a barnstorming carrying display, was substituted for Jake Upfield. Waters was also removed to give Hilton Mudariki a run out and new signing Ziana Alexis played his first minutes in a red shirt as Sam Rodman left the field.
The changes made an impact as Macfarlane took a brace, again from the tail of the maul, and Zi Alexis looked exciting in contact.
Penberthy was on target from the tee, as Scottish tried to push back, but the Reds defence was dominant and Macfarlane’s tries proved to be the only points of the half to give the Reds a hard-fought 41-10 victory.
Jersey Reds squad: Brett Herron, Auguy Slowik, Apakuki Ma’afu (James Newey 73), George Eastwell, Jack Stapley, Aaron Penberthy, Calum Waters (Hilton Mudariki 69), Roy Godfrey (c) (Harry Morley 62), Nick Selway (Jack Macfarlane 62), Sam Rodman (Ziana Alexis 74), Dave McKern, Kyle Hatherell, Graham Geldenhuys (Jake Upfield 62), Janco Venter (Rory Bartle h-t).
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