Jersey RFC Women continue promotion push

Taye Boakye-Yiadom burst through to score inside the opening minute against Seaford Ladies Picture: DAVID FERGUSON

IN what had the potential to be a ‘banana skin’ game in Jersey RFC Women’s march to Women’s NC 2 South East (South) glory, Simon Le Moignan’s team displayed all the traits required of a side with aspirations of climbing the ranks of the English rugby union system.

Second-placed Seaford travelled to Jersey with high hopes of closing the gap to the runaway Caesareans, but the hosts were in no mood to give them a sniff.

A well-rounded performance, again underlined by a dominant defence, steered the hosts to a 35-12 victory at the newly-named CoinShares Park, in front of an impressed home crowd.

Captain Katie de la Cloche was proud of her side, especially in a position “where every team is gunning for you.”

Managing a lead over the chasing pack is never an easy proposition, but the veteran forward believes her squad are “embracing the challenge.”

“We were really strong defensively the whole game,” she said.

“They managed to grab a couple of quick tries created through breakaway pace, but other than that, we were pushing them back every single time and really limited their ability to make up metres.

“It can be quite challenging being at the top of the table, because every other team is gunning to beat you.

“We have a target on our backs. Seaford came over with every belief they could beat us, so to remain focused on the task in hand and get a big victory was great.

“It is a good feeling to be at the top obviously, but it is the hardest place to be.

“This win was really important. We are in a great position now and have built a nice little cushion between us and them.

“If we play like we did, we will be very hard to beat and should be in a strong place come the back end of the season.”

Jersey have reaped the rewards of rugby’s growing popularity amongst women in the United Kingdom.

Participation levels within the Island side have increased and many fresh faces have joined the journey within the St Peter club for the current season.

While bleeding in fresh talent into the squad brings its own challenge, Jersey’s captain has enjoyed seeing locals embracing the game and joining her team’s ranks.

De la Cloche added: “We have welcomed a lot of new girls into the squad this season, who haven’t been around rugby very long.

“It has been really refreshing to see how much they have enjoyed getting stuck in and their willingness to learn.

“There are a handful of us who have quite a lot of experience and we are mixing in some fresh faces who are still learning the basics.

“It has been important to find the balance in our play. Sometimes it can be easy to overcomplicate things, but we need to make sure some of the newer players are doing all the basics right and continue to develop.

“We have already seen how much they have learned over the course of the season and for some of the older heads in the team, we want to ensure that continues and that they learn the core skills needed in each match. “

Next up for the Caesareans is a trip to Crawley Ladies this coming Sunday, who have struggled this season, with only two wins from eight played this season.

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