Jersey Reds were beaten but unbowed and although they were second best, Harvey Biljon's side could hold their heads high after a gutsy display at Headingley against unbeaten Championship pacesetters Yorkshire Carnegie.
The Reds scored two tries before half-time to trail just 22-15 and after the break they held their own with two further tries, leaving them just six points adrift of Yorkshire at the full time whistle - a result which awarded the Reds with two 'bonus' points,
Biljon said: "Two weeks on the bounce we have been down to 21 players in training and I don't know how they are doing it. Ultimately it feels like a defeat not a win but our players can come away from this with their heads held very high. This was a terrific effort on behalf of all the players. We showed we have got the ability to score tries. The platform was tremendous from the forwards and the backs took advantage.
"We are thin on the ground. We are down to 21 fit players at the club. We didn't want to put players out there injured. This is a new experience on me and I was training this week, just to put a body out there in front of the players.
"The London Scottish result a few weeks ago had been building, but we have got to start converting these close ones into wins, but we really have to close out next week with a win against Cornish Pirates."
The Reds went ahead through hooker Jack Macfarlane's early try and although Carnegie hit back with two tries of their own a touchdown by Brendan Cope meant Jersey were very much in the hunt at half-time, just seven points behind.
Ross Asair and Macfarlane added two further tries for the Reds in front of a gate of 1,914 but despite a sterling effort in the dying stages, Biljon's side could not add to their efforts, leaving them six points behind Carnegie at the final whistle.
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