LEEDS Carnegie captain Jacob Rowan scored two perfectly-executed tries from line-outs to help deliver his side their first Championship win of the season.
The openside twice applied the finishing touch after the West Yorkshire club saw their forward pack dominate Jersey up front just when it mattered in the first-ever meeting between these two sides.
Their ambitious opponents – who have won promotion three years running to get to within one division of the elite – showed plenty of enterprise, especially with a particularly pacey back-row.
Aside from Rowan’s predatory instinct, they also threatened in the shape of two rugby league converts. Leeds Rhinos’ Jamel Chisholm and ex-Castleford Tigers star Josh Griffin both grabbed crucial tries to make favourable impressions.
Nineteen-year-old winger Chisholm, on loan from the Super League champions, demonstrated just the sort of pace which has seen him twice voted rugby league’s fastest man to score in only his second appearance.
Griffin, who had amassed 14 tries in just 21 appearances for Castleford this term before switching codes, also crossed just six minutes into his debut.
He charged onto Joe Ford’s short pass from 20 metres out and swatted aside the initial line of defence before showing decent pace to get to the line for Ford to convert.
But Leeds, with lock Mike Myerscough outstanding, saw their early willingness to attack wide backfire with a series of careless handling errors encouraging their opponents. Ross Broadfoot and Ford exchanged penalties before the Channel Islanders levelled in the 22nd minute through full-back Mike Le Bourgeois’s try after a run from Guy Thompson.
Broadfoot converted and then put his side in front with a well-struck effort penalty in the 32nd minute.
But Ford levelled just before the break and, when Jersey saw scrum-half Nicky Griffths yellow-carded three minutes after the re-start for getting his hands in at the ruck close to his own try-line, Rowan capitalised.
Chisholm then sped onto Ford’s grubber to put his side further in control and, though Le Bourgeois struck two penalties in between, Rowan’s second made sure, Ford adding his third conversion.
Leeds Carnegie: McColl (Chisholm HT); Lucock, Griffin, Burdon, D Doherty; Ford, J Doherty; Imiolek (Harris 68), Nilsen (Graham 50), Hooper (Tussac 50), Myerscough, Hemingway (Green HT), Beck (Barrow HT), Rowan, Burrows.
Jersey RFC: Le Bourgeois; Bryce (Silcock 65), Sanders, Cooper, Copsey; Broadfoot (Maggs HT), Griffths; Barrington (McCarthy 55), Boden (Felton 80), Evans, Hannay, Markham, Vaioleti, Thompson, Trower.
Referee: I Tempest.