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Home > News > Fylde 29 - Jersey 27
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Your News Fylde 29 - Jersey 27
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30
AUG

At the end of a rip roaring 80 minutes of entertainment for a good crowd, the difference between the sides was a missed conversion. A fine sunny day and the lush Woodlands pitch were made for running rugby and both teams responded with ambition and width. Both these newcomers to National One have recruited substantially during the pre-season and both played just one pre-season warm-up game. It rather showed as both teams were a little rusty. There were errors aplenty but, although very toughly fought, it was played in good spirit.

Jersey opened in storming fashion. Their powerful frontrow, led by loosehead prop & Welsh international Ben Evans, disrupted Fylde's first scrummage and they turned the ball over. It was moved right, speedily, and debutant fly-half Ross Broadfoot broke the line to touch down. The usually dead-eye goal kicker Michael Le Bourgeois surprisingly pulled his kick but the visitors had a 5-0 lead and Fylde were rocking on their heels.

After 10 minutes of dominant play by Jersey, Fylde gradually worked their way back into the contest. The man to change the shape of the game was Fylde centre Mike Waywell who had an immense match. From a series of drives 25m out from the visitors line Waywell powered through the defence to drive over the line for a muscular try. Richard Kenyon converted for a 7-5 advantage.

Despite Le Bourgeois putting his side ahead with a penalty on 13 minutes, it was Fylde's turn to dominate. On 16 minutes a Kenyon penalty regained a lead they were never to lose. But the best was to come in eight minutes running up to half-time with two tries by the arch poacher Nick Royle. The England 7s player had one of his infrequent runouts at fullback rather than his usual right wong berth and his blistering pace and opportunism justified the selection decision.

Fylde were true to Head Coach Mark Nelson's promise of playing open, flowing rugby. Whilst they struggled a little to clear out rucks quickly enough, they did earn more than their share of possession and played their typical brand of off-loading and wide play.

On 29 minutes they worked the ball left and found some space along the touchline. Royle chipped over the flat defence and won the race to touch the ball down. Kenyon converted well from out wide. Seven minutes later Fylde were deep in the opposition half and Kenyon went right 20m out from the line. He delayed his pass masterfully as Royle picked a great line and streaked through for a superb try near the posts. Kenyon converted and Fylde had what looked like a match winning 24-8 at the interval.

Jersey had other ideas and took the initiative early in the 2nd half in impressive style. Fylde's tackling had been spot on during the first period but on 47 minutes a missed tackle contributed to a rampaging run through the home defence by the impressive, big Jersey no 8, Nick Trower and a good try. Le Bourgeois converted easily and reduced the deficit to 24-15.

What proved to be the winning try came on 55 minutes when Fylde attacked down the right again. Royle was worked into space and chipped ahead once again. He was late tackled but as it happened it didn't matter as debutant scrum-half Steve Depledge won the race to the touchdown. Kenyon missed the conversion but Fylde had a 29-15 lead.

Then came Jersey's best spell of the game as Fylde took their collective foot off the gas. On 57 minutes excellent visiting centre Donovan Sanders cut right through the home defence to score a lovely try. Fatefully, the conversion was missed. On 65 minutes Jersey attacked down the left and their pack drove over the line with flanker Guy Thompson claiming the try. Le Bourgeois converted well and took his side to within two points of Fylde at 27-29.

Fylde regained control and played out the remaining minutes with fierce tackling and some brave attacking. This was a fine advertisement for National One rugby played out by two committed sides in good spirit.

Despite the pre-match hyping of the very big Jersey pack, all the Fylde forwards responded well and matched them for energy and passion. Locks Paul Arnold & debutant Gareth Rawlings were convincing and Steve McGinnis & the 'Backrow Beaumonts' worked very hard. Peter Altham & Simon Griffiths didn't weaken the frontrow when they came on as replacements for Alex Loney and Alistair Livesey.

Fylde's 1st half advantage ultimately was just sufficient. But there was a tangible feeling of disappointment amongst their players that they hadn't closed the game out earlier and that some uncertain 2nd half decision-making had put themselves under great pressure.

Jersey seem to be in a fine position financially and, through generous sponsorship by, amongst others, a collective of banks, plus great match day organisation with big crowds, they may well be on a rather different plane to other National One clubs. On the other hand, their cost base because of their island location is much higher. The strength of their squad containing some full-time professionals, suggest they have the highest ambitions.

It was great to see as many Jersey supporters present in a rather disappointing crowd of just short of 1000. They gave their team tremendous support and set the benchmark for loyal, long distance travelling. It's to be hoped that Fylde supporters get behind their team at away games in a similar way.

Timings of scores

FYLDE

Tries: Waywell 10, Royle 29 & 36, Depledge 55. Conversions: Kenyon 11, 30, 37. Penalties: Kenyon 16.

JERSEY

Tries: Broadfoot 4, Trower 47, Sanders 57, Thompson 65. Conversions: Le Bourgeois 48, 66. Penalties: Le Bourgeois 13

Man of the Match: Mike Waywell (Fylde)

FYLDE:

15 Nick Royle; 14 Chris Briers, 13 Stephen Briers, 12 Mike Waywell, 11 Oliver Brennand; 10 Richard Kenyon, 9 Steve Depledge; 1 Alistair Livesey, 2 Jonny Roddam, 3 Alex Loney, 4 Paul Arnold, 5 Gareth Rawlings, 6 Josh Beaumont, 7 Steve McGinnis, 8 Sam Beaumont.

Replacements: 16 Tom Lavelle, 17 Peter Altham, 18 Mark Stephenson, 19 Martin Wallwork, 20 Ed Binham.

JERSEY:

15 Michael Le Bourgeois; 14 James Copsey, 13 Glenn Bryce, 12 Donovan Sanders, 11 Ed Dawson; 10 Ross Broadfoot, 9 Nick Griffiths; 1 Ben Evans, 2 Dave Felton, 3 John Brennan, 4 Paul Rodgers, 5 Nathan Hannay, 6 Graham Bell, 7 Guy Thompson, 8 Nick Trower.

Replacements: 16 James Ellershaw, 17 Charlie Clyde-Smith, 18 Steve O'Brien, 19 Dave McCormack, 20 Brendon O'Brien.

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