Jersey 35 1stXV 22, Pre-season Fixture Match Report, Aug 13
A new look Ampthill squad travelled to Jersey on the Friday, Saturday produced a glorious afternoon with perfect underfoot conditions. The coaching team chose to give debuts to 10 summer signings with some more familiar faces included in the replacements.
Amps began on top driving deep into the home side’s half before a miss-understanding in mid-field saw an interception which allowed Jersey’s eighthman Nick Haining to run 70m for their first try on 6 mins, fly half Sam Katz adding the first of 5 conversions in an immaculate display from the tee. Sadly for the visitors this was a recurring pattern as the hosts would capitalise on three further mistakes from the visitors later in the game.
The first came just 5 mins later when, again in their own half and with A’s on the attack, a turnover followed by good support play allowed right wing Ross Adair to cross the whitewash at the other end of the pitch to extend the lead to 14-0.
Although the score was less important than the opportunity for the squad to get game timie Ampthill were already facing their first test of the season, they responded by digging in for the next 20 minutes, matching their opponents physicality, defending stoutly before taking the game to Jersey.
On 30 mins wing Sam Baker took an inside ball and crossed for his first try in an Amps shirt which went unconverted. A’s continued to press for another score but almost on half-time another error saw possession change hands resulting in a third home try, this time for hooker Jack Macfarlane, the successful conversion leaving the score 21-5 at oranges.
The second half began with the visitors on the front foot but was scoreless until the 53rd minute when Ampthill flanker Joe Bercis, back from a year’s sabbatical at Moseley, crashed over with fly half Stef Jones adding the extras.
With both sides having made multiple replacements a momentum change appeared to have occurred since it took just 4 minutes before replacement centre Will Goodge touched down for an unconverted try to bring the score to 21-17.
However, that was as close as Amps got as home replacement Nick Campbell finished a well worked try on 65 mins before another interception gave Adair the chance to break away for the hosts 5th try to make the score 35-17.
A’s responded by taking the game to the home side for Bercis to cross for his second leaving the score 35-22 at no side.
Director of Rugby Mark Lavery comments “I’d like to thank Jersey’s connections for the chance to play in such ideal conditions, the great welcome received and such a great hit out. We have a number of new partnerships which need time to bed in to help cut out the mistakes, this was a very useful exercise and we are looking forward to the new season with enthusiasm.”
Jersey Backs:- Jack Cuthbert, Ross Adair, Jordan Davies,George Eastwell, Rich Lane, Sam Katz, Joel Dudley
Forwards:- Sean McCarthy, Jack Macfarlane, Jake Armstrong, James Voss, Pierce Phillips, Max Argyle, James Doyle, Nick Haining
Replacements:- Joe Buckle, Marc Thomas, Simon Kerrod, Nick Campbell, James Freeman; Kieran Hardy, Brendan Cope, Lewis Robling, George Watkins
Ampthill Forwards:- Sturgess, Ma’asi, Lutui, Gulliver, Walker, Molitika l, Bell, Molitika M
Backs:- Calder, Jones, Baker, Nawaqaliva, Hanks, Weightman, Lynch
Replacements:- Fish, Beesley, Collins, Hehea, Bercis, Williams, Tarrant, Goodge, Wilson