Six Try Bristol Earn Home Win
Bristol Rugby 39 - 16 Jersey
Bristol Rugby returned to winning ways with a bonus point 39-16 victory over Jersey at the Memorial Stadium.
Liam Middleton’s men plundered six tries in a dominant display, with George Watkins, Mariano Sambucetti (2), Rhys Lawrence (2) and Redford Pennycook all crossing for the home side.
Eager to make amends for last week’s showing, Bristol came out of the traps quickly, controlling the lion’s share of the early possession. George Watkins showed a blistering turn of pace to burst clear inside the opening two minutes, before Adrian Jarvis skewed a penalty effort wide of the upright.
Jarvis had another opportunity moments later, but the fly-half couldn’t find the target, while Jersey’s Mike Le Bourgeois also struck wide with a penalty attempt.
Le Bourgeois did break the deadlock on the ten-minute mark, landing a three pointer following an excellent solo break from winger Glenn Bryce.
But Bristol forced their way in front, courtesy of the opening try of the afternoon. Luke Eves released Jack Tovey into space and the full-back combined with George Watkins to send the winger over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Liam Middleton’s men came close to adding a second in quick succession when the pack rumbled over from close-range, only for the ball to be held up over the line. With Jersey’s front five under pressure, hooker Dave Felton was yellow-carded for repeated infringement.
The home side took full advantage with another try on the half-hour mark, Redford Pennycook burrowing over this time after a powerful rampage from Mitch Eadie. Jarvis couldn’t add the extras, so the score remained 10-3.
Le Bourgeois ensured Jersey remained in touch with a long-range three-pointer, before Bristol stretched their lead following a spell of relentless pressure. Mariano Sambucetti threw himself across the whitewash from five metres and David McIlwaine, who took over kicking duties, slotted the conversion to give his side a 17-6 lead at the interval.
The winger struck a penalty goal after the restart to nudge Bristol 20-6 in front, before former Academy centre Ashley Maggs was sent off for a dangerous tackle, leaving Jersey with fourteen men for the remainder of the encounter.
Jersey reduced the deficit through a Mike Le Bourgeois penalty goal, but the visitor’s indiscipine proved costly as Guy Thompson’s sin-binning reduced the Channel Islanders to thirteen men.
Replacement hooker Rhys Lawrence made Jersey pay, finishing off a slick rolling maul to cross for an unconverted effort. Bristol all but confirmed the victory with a fifth when the superb Mariano Sambucetti notched his second of the afternoon. McIlwaine converted to push the hosts 32-9 ahead.
Lawrence added his second late on to seal a convincing win, before Jersey’s James Voss went in under the posts for a last-gasp consolation effort - the final action in a 39-16 victory.
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, David McIlwaine; Adrian Jarvis, Ruki Tipuna; Bruce Douglas, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson, Mariano Sambucetti, Roy Winters, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 61 mins) Mark Lilley (for Bruce Douglas, 72 mins), Wayne Thompson (for Jason Hobson, 61 mins), Ben Glynn (for Roy Winters, 61 mins), James Merriman (for Redford Pennycook, 72 mins), James Grindal (for Ruki Tipuna, 77 mins), Tristan Roberts (for Adrian Jarvis, 77 mins).
Barry Davies; Glenn Bryce, Donovan Sanders, Ashley Maggs, Ed Dawson; Mike Le Bourgeois, Nicky Griffiths; Sean McCarthy, Dave Felton, James Gethings, Rob Anderson, Nathan Hannay (c), Paul Rodgers, Kingsley Lang, Guy Thompson.
Replacements: Dave Markham (for Rob Anderson, 53 mins), Richard Barrington (for Sean McCarthy, 66 mins), Jon Brennan (for James Gethings, 66 mins), James Voss (for Paul Rodgers, 50 mins), Ed Tellwright (for Mike Le Bourgeois, 74 mins), Brendan O’Brien (for Nick Griffiths, 30 mins), Chris Levesley (for Barry Davies, 58 mins).
Referee: Matt Carley