IF Jersey RFC’s head coach craved an immediate reaction from his men, a 47-5 trouncing away at Newbury Blues certainly fit the billing.
While Myles Landick’s team still took maximum points from their previous contest at home to Winchester, conceding four unanswered tries to conclude the game left a slight bitter taste in the mouth once the whistle went.
Clip: George Willmott scored twice in Jersey’s win over Newbury
The Caesareans approached the challenge of Newbury with the bit between their teeth, determined to put on a display for the full 80 minutes.
Landick’s side responded emphatically. He said: “The most pleasing part for me was only conceding five points away from home.
“We handed Winchester a losing bonus point from nowhere last week and there was a determination not to let the same errors creep in.
“The lads got down to it quickly and got their hands dirty so to speak.
“It was really heavy underfoot, which made it really difficult out there. But we dug deep and ground out a great performance between both the forwards and the backs. It was complete team display from top to bottom.
“I said to the lads after the game that they should be very proud of what they achieved.
“They were really positive for the whole 80 minutes and the score reflected exactly that.”
Clip: Willmott has been in fine try-scoring form for Jersey RFC
Victory maintained the Islanders’ 11-point gap atop Regional 2 South Central, with Tottonians back in second with a game in hand.
RFC welcome the Hampshire-based outfit to St Peter next game out on 2 December, with an opportunity to stick real daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.
Clip: Charlie Hubert finished off a well-worked move
Much had been made of whether Landick would load up on former Jersey Reds, following the professional club’s untimely demise.
However, that has not been the case.
While van Breda has been a mainstay over the past few fixtures, he was the only player from Reds’ Championship winning campaign present in the 18-strong squad.
In fact, Jersey’s team announcement the day before the Newbury game highlighted their pride in the academy system and the pathway which has paid dividends for so many years.
Clip: Tim Corson also touched down for Jersey in the rout
Twelve of the 18 that journeyed to the mainland came through the minis and juniors at the club, touchingly earmarked on the team sheet with a Jersey flag alongside each.
“I think there were a lot of teams in the league worried about how many former Reds we would use once the club entered liquidation,” added Landick.
Clip: Jack Macfarlane scored a brace as Jersey extended their lead at the top of the table
“So, there were a couple of reasons behind wanting to show how many players came through the academy.
“On one hand, we show our opponents that these guys are grassroots players, who have been created as a product of our system. On the other, it is also a mark of pride for ourselves that the pathway is thriving and it also serves as a reminder of the importance to ensure the club’s future, from top to bottom.”