Championship: Jersey Reds 24-26 Doncaster Knights

Brendan Cope
Brendan Cope joined Jersey in April 2015

Two late penalties saw Jersey Reds fall to a narrow defeat by Doncaster in a topsy-turvy opener at St Peter.

The visitors broke through midfield for Will Owen to score, but Kieran Hardy's quickly-taken penalty led to fly-half Brendan Cope crossing the try-line.

Tom James went over to give Doncaster a 17-16 half-time lead, but Jason Worrall jinked past his man to put Reds ahead.

But the conversion was missed and Simon Humberstone kicked two penalties in the closing minutes to clinch victory.

The lead changed six times in all, with South African Cope scoring all of Jersey's first-half points.

Harvey Biljon gave league debuts to seven summer signings, including new captain Scott van Breda at full-back, while five other new arrivals were named on the bench.

The match went according to last season's Championship table, which saw Doncaster pip Reds to the final play-off spot courtesy of matches won.

Jersey: Van Breda (capt); Pincus, Best, Ma'afu, Worrall, Cope, Hardy; Woolmore, Macfarlane, Armstrong; Voss, Sexton; Rogerson, Joyce, Argyle.

Replacements: Godfrey, Saunders, Atalifo, McKern, Nagle-Taylor, Dudley, Abrahams.

Doncaster: Jarvis; Bulumakau, Foley, Owen, Lewis, Humberstone, Heaney; List, Hunter, Quigley; Challinor, Hicks; Shaw, Hills (capt) Carpenter.

Replacements: Nelson, Evans, Sproston, Eames, Hill, James, Cusack.

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