Crawley laid low

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IN wet and windy conditions in St Peter, you could forgive a scrappy and gritty affair.

However, Jersey RFC Women were in no mood to let the weather dictate their style of rugby, running riot to win 65-5 over visitors Crawley, with phases of play that were “positively rude at times”, according to the Islanders’ head coach.

Now with four wins from as many games, the Islanders sit second in Women’s NC 2 South East (South), just two points adrift of leaders Beckenham Ladies II, who have played a game more.

What is perhaps more impressive is that they boast a +116 point differential, while conceding an average of less than seven points per game.

On a typically dreary winter day, Simon Le Moignan’s team kept the crowd glued to the action on field, with a breathless encounter that featured a number of highlight-reel tries.

It was a display that embodied the “jouer jouer” style of rugby, with the head coach paying homage to Harlequins prop Joe Marler’s mantra.

The French phrase describes a “heads-up” or “chuckabout” approach, characterised by a desire to play with the ball in hand, including efficient work at the breakdown to recycle play swiftly.

Le Moignan said: “We have always wanted to give our team the liberty to play free-flowing rugby and recycle the ball quickly.

“It’s clear to see that, over time, the team have developed a real confidence in their ability and it’s showing out there in the games.

“We have instilled an attitude in the side not to worry if things we attempt don’t always work.

“I am more than happy to see our girls backing themselves and having faith to try new moves.

“41-0 up at half-time. It’s the single best first-half performance I have seen out of us.”

There were 11 tries in total for the home side, with eight different scorers, headlined by a Georgina Ruellan hat-trick and a brace from Kim Hacquoil.

Credit where credit is due – Crawley battled on, but the Caesareans were too strong and too skilful for the mainlanders to live with.

Captain Lauren Lowe scored an emotional try in the corner late on, not knowing whether the demolition of Crawley would be her last home game in Jersey colours.

The prolific back, who has played for Jersey RFC’s women for a decade now, with six of those years spent as skipper – is heading to pastures new in Australia to further her nursing career.

She said: “I think this game showed how much we have improved from last season.

“To watch how much we have grown from a few years ago is incredible. It has been a real journey for this team and you can see that by the togetherness of the group.

“This performance against Crawley is probably the best team performance I have ever seen from us.

“Maybe I can step away from the side knowing that they are in safe hands moving forward.

“Every aspect of the game has improved so much.

“Handling in possession has become really solid and allowed us to score some really flowing tries this game, but also, on the defensive side, we are putting in massive shots and really making it difficult for our opponents.”

Jersey have a weekend off now, before travelling to West Sussex on 3 December to face sixth-placed East Grinstead Ladies.

Jersey RFC Women : Nicole Rodrigues-Ferreira, Lucy Hart, Holly Bertram, Willow Le Luan, Emilie Langlands, Abbie Syvret, Katie De La Cloche (vc), Kim Vallance, Emily Hart, Laura Turpin, Tina Davies, Georgina Ruellan, Lauren Lowe (c), Beth Cooper, Kim Hacquoil. Replacements: Kirsten Slatter, Ella Viera, Frankie Vautier, Helen Papworth, Bethan Hughes, Lauren Halliwell, Lisa Saout.

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