It was going to take a miracle for the Newbury Blues to triumph over the all-conquering Jersey RFC, leaders of the SW Division, having won every game so far. With plenty of strong play on both sides and much to admire, neither team had an easy time – but the Blues could not, in the end, resist the irresistible force of the visitors and conceded defeat 5:47.
Jersey’s Number 8, George Willmott, had a fantastic day, putting down a try after 7 minutes and twice more in the first half, with two conversions by Fly Half, Scott van Breda. Willmott continued his winning form with a fourth try just four minutes into the second half. Three more were to follow, scored by his Jersey team-mates, all of them converted by the consistent boot of van Breda.
Blues Full Back, Toby Thorne, scored a consolation try in the last few minutes of the first half. Tight into the corner, the conversion was just missed.
Just like last week, the 5:19 score at half time didn’t feel out of reach. Neither side was letting much through. The Blues’ tackling was good and there were some impressive individual performances, but the bigger Jersey pack (quite a number of whom had played for the Jersey Reds professional side) continuously edged ahead in the second half and, by the close, the Blues’ ball handling was probably not the best. Both teams looked grateful for the final whistle.
The Blues have a week off before travelling away to Witney on Saturday, 2nd December. Their next home game is Saturday 9th December, when they host Wimborne. Come on you Blues!
Photos by kind permission of Peter Branch