Championship: Jersey Reds end Bristol's 16-game winning run with 38-34 win

Jersey Reds v Bristol
Jersey's defence earned praise from their coach after the victory at Ashton Gate

Jersey Reds boss Harvey Biljon hailed his side after they ended Bristol's long unbeaten run in the Championship.

The islanders ran in five tries in a 38-34 win at Ashton Gate.

Worcester-bound skipper Scott van Breda scored two tries and Jerry Sexton, Kieran Hardy and Tom Pincus also crossed in a tense encounter.

"I'm really impressed and proud of these players. We came with a strategy and a game plan, and they absolutely executed," Biljon told BBC Jersey.

Bristol, who were relegated from the Premiership last season, had won all 16 of their previous games and took a third-minute lead when Steve Luatua went over.

And they were 17-14 ahead with five minutes of the first half to go before Hardy and van Breda crossed in quick succession as Jersey ended the half 28-20 up with a bonus point already secured.

Pincus' try and a Brendan Cope penalty saw the visitors extend their lead to 38-20 before Rhodri Williams and Sam Jeffries crossed for the home side to make it a nervous finish.

"That was a real emotional rollercoaster. The highs and lows through that game were something else," said Biljon.

Jersey the giant killers

It was the third time in four seasons that Jersey have ended the unbeaten runs of sides previously relegated from the Premiership who would go on and gain promotion - all of the wins coming in March.

Last year they beat London Irish 15-11 at St Peter, while in 2015 they were 23-21 winners over Worcester Warriors.

"I think a lot of that is built on hard work and these boys rise to these big occasions," added Biljon.

"We knew we had to attack, we had to be brave, and if it came off it came off, and today was one of those days

Jersey Reds v Bristol
The win saw Jersey consolidate sixth place in the Championship, while Bristol are 15 points clear at the top

"There were two or three really big defensive sets that were huge for us as a club.

"We know Bristol can play from anywhere and score from anywhere, and we had to make sure we shut them down and the effort in defence was just immense.

"It's amazing how far this club's come over a period of time. To get another victory on a big stage against a big team that's Premiership ready, let's enjoy that."

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