TRYLIGHTS: Van Breda stars on return as Reds run riot to cement top

Nathan Rogers eats up the ground through the Wild Geese defence Picture: ROB CURRIE

UTTER domination. Selecting a player of the match was a head scratcher for this affair. Throughout the Jersey 18, every player put a shift in.

Eleven tries, with a healthy mix of power up front and silky play in the backfield, it was hard to pick any faults in the league leaders’ display.

After a back and forth, the selection was Scott van Breda. The former Red had been absent since an injury suffered against Tottonians in early December, on a day he scored a hat-trick.

Over two months later, he added three more to his personal tally for the year, but his scores only told half the tale.

The backfield general was seemingly at the centre of everything, as Jersey purred their way to a convincing victory over travelling London Irish Wild Geese, to extend their advantage at the Regional 2 South Central summit to a mammoth 16 points.

Jack Macfarlane also grabbed a hat-trick, with two from Jerry Sexton and George Willmott, while Sam Harvey also scored. Aaron Penberthy’s imperious right boot knocked nine of those tries through to add the extras and rubber-stamp a stellar day in front of a sizeable crowd at CoinShares Park.

The ground was stunned to silence early on, however, as Ross Lewis opened the Irish account inside two minutes.

The very next possession, though, Jersey balanced the books courtesy of a powerful maul up front. Tim Corson secured the line-out from five metres and the pack drove to the line for an easy Macfarlane score. The hosts then took the lead soon after, again from a line-out.

Possession was held onto and quick hands across the line found Sexton who expertly jinked inside to score.

Myles Landick’s side began to assert dominance, as a turnover inside the Irish 22 led to a Willmott burst down the left and he was not to be caught.

He would pile on the misery further with a stunning pirouette through the opposition defence to score under the posts untouched.

RFC would add another before the break, which would essentially end the match as a contest.

Willmott turned provider with a stunning no-look pop pass to Sexton, who ambled across the line of a shell-shocked defence.

Thirty-five unanswered points after Irish had opened the scoring and it was party time in St Peter.

There was no sign of a let-off after the interval, as Van Breda scored his first of the day, fed nicely by newcomer Bevan Biggs.

Irish would respond, again through Lewis, who broke at speed down the left flank. The sides continued to trade blows, as Macfarlane added the next score, again by way of a maul from the men in red.

The spirited visitors endeavoured to restore some pride and Tyler Hone finished off a lovely break from James Madle.

In a sense of déjà vu, Macfarlane secured a hat-trick of tries stemming from mauls, before Irish answered back again after a mishandle from the hosts inside their own ten. A tired Irish contingent were then ripped apart in the dying embers. Sam Harvey scored the try of the day, with a pair of sidesteps to avoid desperate Wild Geese tackles to touch down in the corner.

But it was player of the game Van Breda who had the last say, with two tries in the last five minutes to grab three on the day. The first was highlight reel stuff again. A line break by Corson was passed inside to the South African, who would not be caught, running from inside his own half to score.

He then proceeded to twist and turn the opposition defence in knots to put the icing on the cake and mark Jersey’s highest-points tally of a dominant campaign.

Jersey RFC [1-15]: Joe Ridgway, Jack Macfarlane, Tom Wilson, Euan Spencer, Jerry Sexton, Evan Whitson (c), Tim Corson, George Willmott, Max Harrington, Aaron Penberthy, Bevan Biggs, Nathan Rogers, Dom Mayo, Sam Harvey, Scott van Breda. Replacements: George Thomas, Nathan Thomas, Jacques de la Bat.

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