Jersey Reds: Newcastle Falcons loss sees injury list grow

Newcastle v Jersey Reds
Defeat at Kingston Park saw Jersey Reds slip to sixth place in the Championship

Jersey Reds' injury situation has worsened after their 42-19 loss at Championship leaders Newcastle.

Fiji international prop Lee-Roy Atalifo and centre Mark Best suffered what head coach Harvey Biljon described as "serious injuries" in the defeat.

The Reds were already without captain Apakuki Ma'afu, scrum-half Liam Howley, fly-half Aaron Penberthy, and backs Tom Williams and Leroy Van Dam.

Jersey brought in South African back Brendan Owens as cover last week.

"It's a tough place to be, we're really backs against it with numbers at training and injuries," Biljon told BBC Radio Jersey.

"But fair play to the medical team and the way the boys step out, they'll play out of position, they just want to get out there and play."

'I was really proud of our players'

The injuries overshadowed a Reds performance which was not reflected by the scoreline - the islanders dominated the first half an hour and led 7-0 thanks to Brendan Cope's try.

But former Jersey player Gary Graham and Tom Arscott went over for Newcastle shortly before the break as the former Premiership side led 14-7 at half time.

Jack Stapley's try brought Jersey level soon after the restart before Nemani Nagusa, Graham and Adam Radwan went over to put the game beyond the visitors.

TJ Harris touched down for Jersey before former England fly-half Toby Flood went over for Newcastle's sixth try.

"I was really proud of our players," Biljon added.

"I know we lost, but for large parts of that game we tried to stay with Newcastle and I think that's pretty impressive from our guys.

"They're a fantastic squad enjoying a fantastic occasion today, but it's a game of small margins and you make a mistake and a team like that hurts you.

"We'll look back it and it's those two or three moments when those little bits of accuracy we couldn't execute, which means we were off plan and off script, which means it just makes it a little bit more difficult for ourselves."

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