Siam Cup 2024: Jersey women and men beaten in Guernsey

Siam Cup 2024: Jersey women and men beaten in Guernsey
Jersey scored five tries but lost their grip on the Siam Cup - photo credit Martin Gray

Guernsey regained both the women's and men's trophies on Siam Cup day with victories over rivals Jersey at Footes Lane.

The manner of defeat was especially hard to take for the women, leading going into the final seconds of a nail-biting contest but beaten 17-15 thanks to Chelsie Blondel's last-kick penalty.

Jersey's men scored five tries in their fixture, through full-back Charlie Hubert (2) and former Reds trio Jack Macfarlane, James Mitchell and Scott Van Breda, but they were never in front as Guernsey's Ciaran McGann claimed a hat-trick in a 49-33 win for the greens.

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The Siam Cup is the second oldest rugby trophy in the world, behind the Calcutta Cup. The cup winner's names date back as far as 1920.

In bright sunshine, Guernsey's women led after 23 minutes when their skipper Kayleigh Oliver won possession in the in-goal area and grounded the ball.

But it was Jersey who held a narrow 10-7 half-time lead thanks to Taye Boakye-Yiadom's excellent try, as the centre burst through from her own half and evaded five tackles for a memorable score.

Five minutes into the second period and teenage flanker Seren Coombs powered over for Jersey's second try, after good work from fly-half Laura Turpin. But Marni de Freitas Alves' converted try narrowed the gap to a single point.

With the seconds ticking away, and Jersey still holding that one-point lead, the referee had seemingly awarded the visitors a scrum in front of their own posts. An intervention from the touch judge, though, saw him reverse his decision and signal that it was the visitors that had in fact infringed at the maul.

Up stepped the experienced Blondel to stroke the ball between the posts for a dramatic 17-15 triumph. Heartbreak for Simon Le Moignan's side at the end of a promotion-winning season.

Jersey in Siam Cup action at Footes Lane
Jersey led 15-7 after tries from Boakye-Yiadom and Coombs - photo credit Martin Gray

In the first Siam Cup since the demise of professional outfit Jersey Reds, it was Guernsey who went into the men's clash as the higher-ranked team. They were ahead after just six minutes through wing Ethan Smith's try in the left corner.

Guernsey back-rower Hugo Culverhouse stole the ball from a line-out on the half-way line and ran in from long-range to make it 14-0, before Niall McGann's brilliant solo score further extended the hosts' advantage. It was looking like a long afternoon ahead for Myles Landick's men.

Half an hour in and Jersey were at least, and at last, on the scoreboard, when Hubert went over from scrum-half Max Harrington's quick work and pass, off the back of the scrum, to reduce the deficit.

Guernsey hit back when Tom Teasdale burst through and set fellow centre Ciaran McGann in between the posts, before Jersey grabbed the sixth try of a lively first half when Hubert latched onto a loose pass and raced in for his second. 28-14 at the break.

The visitors probably felt like they'd need to score next to give themselves a shot, but it was the Sarnians who marched on with Ciaran McGann getting his second within 20 seconds of the restart and a third soon after for an imposing 42-14 lead.

Jersey weren't done yet though, and rallied with tries from two former pros. First, hooker Jack Macfarlane crashed over from a line-out maul, then replacement scrum-half James Mitchell darted in.

With a quarter of the contest still to go, there might have been some travelling supporters wondering if the comeback was on, but Guernsey looked to have closed the door when New Zealander Jamie Dunn went over from close range.

Centre Scott van Breda superbly zig-zagged his way through from just outside his own 22 for Jersey's fifth try, with the final play, and when Mitchell's conversion slid wide Guernsey could celebrate the 49-33 win and getting their hands back on the famous old Siam Cup.

Earlier, the second team match-up for the Fallaize Cup had gone Jersey's way 28-24. Guernsey's veterans took the Nash Cup 36-12 in the opening fixture of the day.


Men

Guernsey: Callum Roberts; Niall McGann, Ciaran McGann, Tom Teasdale, Ethan Smith; Charlie Simmonds, Dale Rutledge; Sam Steventon, Tom Ceillam, Charlie Currie; Lewis Hillier (cc), Brad Webb; Matt Creber, Dom Rice (cc), Hugo Culverhouse. Replacements: Jamie Dunn, James Burger, Carter Hackett, Liam Welch, Anthony Armstrong, Sam Boyland.

Jersey: Charlie Hubert; Sam Harvey, Dom Mayo, Scott Van Breda (cc), Nathan Roger; Aaron Penberthy, Max Harrington; George Thomas, Jack Macfarlane (cc), Tom Wilson; Max Ayling. Euan Spencer; Jerry Sexton, Tim Corson, George Willmott. Replacements: Joe Ridgway, Jake Bates, Ewan Davies, Tom Tilstone, James Mitchell, Tom Bulfin.

Women

Guernsey: Liv Kenneally; Izzy Upson, Oliva Podger, India Healing, Ella Gidney; Chelsie Blondel, Yvie Coyde; Charlie Le Noury, Kayleigh Oliver (c), Megija Krasovscka; Zoe Collins, Marni de Freitas Alves; Molly Farrell, Kristi Murphy, Aideen Le Prevost. Replacements: Jillian Smith, Christine Miller, Macey Rushent, Danielle Jeffreys, Kelly Jones, Daisy Travers, Rachel Dallin.

Jersey: Kim Hacquoil; Claudia McGuigan, Taye Boakye-Yiadom, Emily Hart, Saskia Martins; Laura Turpin, Ashling Magner; Nicole Rodrigues-Ferreira, Lucy Hart, Holly Bertram; Willow Le Luan, Abbie Syvret; Seren Coombs, Katie de la Cloche (c), Kerry Bisson-Mercury. Replacements: Hannah Le Moignan, Emily Langlands, Ella Vieira, Andi Vaughan, Nancy Portsmouth, Georgina Ruellan, Tina Davies.