HARVEY BILJON was happy to secure another five points, as a Tomi Lewis hat-trick helped Jersey Reds to a 36-22 home win over Hartpury.
Reds showed enough attacking verve to keep their Championship title hopes alive, scoring four tries – Sean O’Connor adding to the three laid down by Lewis – in the first half in front of a delighted home crowd basking in some long-overdue sunshine.
But some loose defending allowed the visitors back into the game and Hartpury fought back with three tries of their own before the break, with one from Sam Lewis and two from Jack Bates.
Second-half tries from Brendan Owen and Ben Woollett kept the guests at bay and ensured victory for the home side.
‘We’re pretty chuffed with five points at home and some great tries scored in front of our supporters,’ said Biljon, Reds’ director of rugby.
‘There were some really good moments and some parts of our game that we weren’t our normal selves.
‘We probably started to feel the game was almost won and we didn’t change gear. But we spoke at half-time and in the second half it was a dominant display.
‘All we can do is get maximum points. The players will enjoy their evening tonight and on days like this, with the weather like this in front of our supporters and to watch all those tries scored, we can be pretty happy.’
Biljon believes that the postponed match away to Doncaster the week before contributed to some rustiness among the team but, after making eight changes to the line-up during the second half, everyone in the squad got at least 20 minutes under their belt.
‘After having a great game against Caldy, we were looking to build some momentum into the Doncaster game that wasn’t played. Essentially, we had game, break, game, break and some rustiness showed in parts of our game but, at the same time, we scored 36 points and some great tries. The group can go away and build on today,’ he added.
‘We’ve got Richmond next week and we’ll look to rotate the squad again. That competition for places is great to have. We have a few injured boys coming back and we’ve got to mention the likes of Alun Lawrence, Jordan Holgate and Max Argyle getting back some good rugby. It’s good to have those guys back.
‘But let’s not get carried away. There’s still a long way to go.’