George McGuigan was among the try-scorers

Jersey 3 Falcons 38

Saturday 29 February 2020

Newcastle Falcons tamed the conditions in Jersey on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship to 13 points, with only eight rounds remaining.

Despite playing into the teeth of a fierce gale the Falcons led 24-3 at half-time, mastering the elements and maintaining full focus on the game plan.

Dean Richards’ men kept the ball in hand and opened the scoring on 10 minutes, when a relentlessly patient period of carrying ended with Brett Connon slotting a simple penalty from in front of the posts.

His side were forced to keep the ball in hand with the weather making kicking a near-impossibility, and this policy paid dividends on 21 minutes when the Falcons advanced 80 metres downfield In a three-minute spell of possession.

It ended with a try for co-captain George McGuigan, the hooker rounding off a period of pick-and-go by planting the ball against the base of the left post.

Connon converted, but the home side responded almost instantly with a penalty from the 22 following a charged-down clearance kick, Brendan Cope slotting with the wind at his back.

The Falcons responded with more pragmatic forward play, once again keeping the ball tight and earning their reward when McGuigan ploughed over for a second converted from two metres out on 35 minutes.

Greg Peterson added the third from similar range just two minutes later as yet more tight forward play proved effective, Connon’s third conversion putting the Falcons 24-3 up at half-time.

With the wind at their backs in the second half the Falcons set about finding the all-important bonus-point try, Adam Radwan being bundled into touch in the left corner after Tom Arscott’s piercing run saw the ball worked out to the width.

Michael Young had no such worries on 54 minutes when he sped in down the right from 30 metres out, wrapping up the bonus point with Connon converting tremendously from the touchline.

Johnny Williams added try number five on 69 minutes when a period of pick-and-go near the Jersey posts saw the ball worked wide, Connon passing back against the grain to Johnny Williams who scythed through the defensive line to score.

Connon added the extras to maintain his 100% goal-kicking record, rounding off another highly effective team performance.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Adam Radwan (Ben Stevenson, 64), 13 Johnny Williams, 12 Toby Flood (Gareth Owen, 69), 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (co-captain, Sam Stuart, 67); 1 Trevor Davison (Adam Brocklebank, 64), 2 George Mcguigan (co-captain, Jamie Blamire, 61), 3 Logovi’i Mulipola (Rodney Ah You, 57), 4 Greg Peterson (Toby Salmon, 64), 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch, 7 John Hardie (Callum Chick, 18), 8 Philip van Der Walt.

Falcons scorers - Tries: George McGuigan 2, Greg Peterson, Michael Young, Johnny Williams. Conversions: Brett Connon 5. Penalties: Brett Connon.

Jersey Reds: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Auguy Slowik, 13 George Spencer, 12 Brendan Cope, 11 Leroy Van Dam, 10 Aaron Penberthy (Arwel Robson, 54), 9 Will Homer; 1 Roy Godfrey (Harry Morley, 50), 2 TJ Harris (Beck Cutting, 34), 3 Leeroy Atalifo (Alec Clarey, 40), 4 Kyle Hatherell (Liam Hallam-Eames, 50), 5 Rory Bartle, 6 Conor Joyce (Jake Upfield, 50), 7 Josh Bainbridge (captain, Janco Venter, 46), 8 Max Argyle.

Jersey scorers - Penalties: Brendan Cope.

Referee: Karl Dickson. Attendance: 1,892.

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