‘Effort, energy, attitude’ epitomise Reds

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DEMONS were ‘exorcised’ by Jersey Reds as they moved to the top of the Championship table with a six-try, 40-12 trouncing of Coventry.

The Island’s professionals stuck 40 points on their Midlands rivals at St Peter for a second bonus-point win in seven days, putting to rest any lingering anguish from their Championship Cup semi-final defeat on home soil in the spring.

Jersey led 35-0 going into the final 20 minutes, following one of the most impressive first-half displays in recent years – at both ends of the field.

‘I’m really chuffed with that,’ said Reds director of rugby Harvey Biljon. ‘The way Coventry were talking in the week, they were confident after their bonus-point victory last weekend, so that win is huge for us.

‘I know we beat them on the double last year [in the league] but they beat us in the semi-final of the cup and some of the players wanted to exorcise some demons. They did that.’

Antonio Harris was sin-binned within the opening five minutes of play but his team-mates stood firm in his absence, despite being forced to defend deep inside their own half for prolonged periods at 0-0.

Harris would go on to score twice, alongside a double for winger Tomi Lewis and touchdowns for Jordan Holgate and Eoghan Clarke.

‘It was a real team performance and the reason it felt so good in that first half was because we went down to 14 men and held them off,’ Biljon added. ‘To get through that ten-minute period … the effort, the energy, the attitude, it was exceptional.

‘We also made sure that when we worked our way up the pitch we took the score. We gave ourselves opportunities to get into the flow of things. The balance of power and speed was nice to see.’

However, Biljon, who named an unchanged starting XV for the tie, confirmed suggestions that the squad could be rotated for this Saturday’s trip to London Scottish.

‘We have got confidence in the squad and there is lots of competition, so we will continue to push that,’ he said.

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