February 9 2015
Jersey's best ever result at Clifton Lane and but for the referee failing to give Jersey a clear scrum penalty 25m out at the end we could easily have ended up with an unlikely win. It would have been more than harsh on Roth if we had won however as they dominated 80% of the first half and should have been well ahead at half time. The error count by both sides was the highest I've seen this season and it couldn't be blamed on the conditions which for early February was remarkably dry and well above freezing.
Defences on both sides were excellent all day and in the Jersey forwards put in a great shift. Hodson, Lockwood & Williams had cracking games and Campbell was exceptional and had one of his best games for Jersey. Gary Graham looked formidable in the last half hour and it was great to meet his father George in the bar afterwards.
The Jersey half backs seemed to struggle to release the backs, the tactical kicking was generally below par and it would go down as a day when we never really clicked. It is a measure of how far the team has come however when on a day when there was clearly much more to come from the team they still managed a draw at a top club like Roth. That good St Ouen's lad McCrea redeemed his earlier dropped high ball with another great barnstorming try under the posts so I'm sticking to the glass half full principle and hopeful of beating Bedford next week.
For Roth I thought Rieder & Argyle had cracking games but they clearly miss great players like Socino, Mulchrone & Pearce - but are still a top half club. The club house is a classic and Iron & Steel is true quality beer well served in a proper glass. The banter in the club house was great and there was no bitterness at the result after a game Roth could easily have buried in the first half. The uncertainty over future rugby at Clifton Lane does not reflect well on Rotherham. They have a great club who have the clear potential to go back to the premiership and the ended up having to play the end of season matches in Sheffield last season! The club, team and fans deserve much better and if we keep the current form up and earn the right to visit again next season I'll certainly be back wherever they are playing.
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