‘Champagne’ show from Jersey Reds Women
JERSEY REDS WOMEN produced 'champagne rugby' in their first home appearance of 2020 with 13 tries against scoreless Worthing Warriors.
The hosts may have finished just short of a ton on Sunday but their latest performance – resulting in an 89-0 landslide – was void of little else. They were ruthless under the winter sunshine at St Peter, making use of the calm conditions to spray the ball across the park, split the posts from 12 of the 13 attempted conversions and collect their sixth win of the campaign.
At this level of women’s rugby, geared towards development for the growing number of amateur players across the country, each match only lasts 70 minutes. National Challenge 2 strugglers Worthing will be thankful for that fact, as a full 80 would undoubtedly have smeared their record with a three-figure thumping.
Kerry Bertram – a number 8 trying her hand at centre this side of Christmas – was unstoppable throughout this most one-sided of encounters, scoring four tries from considerable distance while wing Taye Boakye-Yiadom and scrum-half Laura Turpin also worked their way to hat-tricks.
Worthing’s tackling left much to be desired, although Jersey’s determination to remain upright and make yards was a sight to behold. Bertram’s second touchdown followed a straight charge down the visitors’ throats that had six defenders – yes, six – bouncing away.
‘Champagne rugby, you could call it,’ said Reds coach James Newey as his side jumped to third in the South East South table.
‘It was a nice day, which is massive for the way we’re trying to play rugby. We pushed it left to right and spaces opened up for us. Everything seemed to work and the skills were awesome with ball in hand.’
One blot on the performance was Jersey’s handling under the 13 restarts from the Worthing boot – providing the West Sussex outfit with a hefty handful of scrums inside enemy territory – but the home side only had to endure one brief ‘backs-to-the-wall’ defensive phase before clearing their lines from deep.
‘That was good to see,’ Newey said, discussing the Reds’ resilience five metres from their own line. ‘By that point we were 50-odd points up but it was a case of “it doesn’t matter how many points we’ve got, we’re not letting them score”. They showed passion and aggression the whole way through and it was tackle after tackle, ripping the ball away or forcing them into an error to get the ball back.’
Lauren Lowe got the party started with an arching run for the posts after prop Holly Bertram had broken through two tackles and long gallops for home remained a constant in a first half that provided 47 points.
Boakye-Yiadom struck twice in four minutes for 19-0 – the second while two Worthing players showed compassion for a stricken team-mate, leaving just 12 in position – and Kerry Bertram then ran 60m straight from kick-off to claim her first.
Gaby Linstead and Lauren Trachy took it in turns to compound matters with superb tee-kicking and the scores just kept on coming.
Lock Willow Le Luan helped set up Bertram’s fourth before the hour with a strong charge forward and she claimed a try of her own soon after – dragging two Worthing defenders over the line.
Kim Vallance took charge of kicking duties late on – adding eight points with a quartet of pinpoint toe-punts.
Newey added: ‘The kicking was awesome. Twelve out of 13 ... that’s some percentage.’
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