PLYMOUTH Albion’s Australian back Ethan Ford will be hoping his try against Jersey will be the first of many in English rugby.
Ford scored Albion’s second touchdown in their opening pre-season match at St Peter on Saturday.
The full-back, a summer arrival from Sydney-based club Randwick, raced in from the halfway line just 15 minutes into his debut after beating an opponent to a loose ball.
His effort put Albion 15-0 up against Jersey but the Championship side showed their forward strength to come back and win 43-15.
Ford, though, was encouraged by his team’s performance and is glad he has got his first try out of the way so early on in his Plymouth career.
“It is nice to get a try so early,” he said. “It’s always good to get it out of the road early in the season so you don’t have to worry about it later.”
Ford was cruising in to score before Jersey scrum-half Joel Dudley did make a last-ditch attempt to stop him.
“I didn’t really see him until the last minute,” said Ford. “I thought everyone had given up, but then he came across and I thought I’d better pick it up a gear, but lucky enough I was able to get it.”
The result might not have been what the new-look Albion side wanted, but Ford was far from discouraged.
“I think as a team there were a lot of positives to take out of it,” he said. “I know the scoreline did not show that, but I think our defence was pretty exceptional for the first hit out.
“They (Jersey) did score a lot of driving tries, but we have not really touched on that in pre-season, so we won’t worry too much about that yet.
“I thought our defence was a real positive and hopefully we can continue that into the next game.”
Albion certainly showed what they can do in attack during the opening 20 minutes. Although they scored two tries they could easily have had two more before Jersey hit back with three scores before half-time, all from line-outs, and four more after the interval.
Ford said: “I think we just dropped a lot of silly ball and gave away a lot of stupid penalties, which we shouldn’t have, and really played into their hands.
“Their game style is to hit corners and drive and that’s exactly what they did. Credit to them, but there were a lot of positives for us and hopefully we can just keep improving every week.”
He added: “Obviously everyone was blowing a bit with it being the first run out and I think the skills and communication just dropped off there.
“I think we could have put a couple of more (tries) on them and really put a foot on their throat, but we’ll work on that and hopefully come into the Bedford game better for it.”
The hot and sunny conditions in Jersey certainly took their toll on some of the Albion forwards, but Ford loved it.
“It was beautiful,” said the Australian. “It was just like playing at home. The weather suited me perfectly. If it was like that every week I would be happy.”
Albion now have a break until August 22 when they will play a double-header at Brickfields with games arranged against Bedford Blues and Weston-super-Mare.
Plymouth should have South African forward David Fisher available to play in one of those matches. The former Natal Sharks under-21 player is due to link up with Albion either today or tomorrow.