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17 Feb 2020

15/02/2020 - 1st XV vs Tonbridge Juddians

National Two South

- 15/02/20

Tonbridge Juddians

26

24

First XV

  • match report
  • league

Players and officials are to be congratulated on the fact that this match, exciting as it was, took place at all. Lesser men would have thrown in the towel long before kickoff; mind you that particular wind assisted item of cottonware would, like as not, have landed in Canterbury!

Three tries each, a bonus point for the visitors and a nudge off the top of the league for TJs sums up the arithmetic for the day; but this encounter offered much more.

Once more Albanians started slowly enough to allow supporters to think this ‘tactic’ is now written into their side’s DNA! Matters evened out as the afternoon wore on but five minutes in, the men of Kent were twelve points to the good. A smart follow up to a deft windblown kick allowed fullback Toby May the opening points and St Albans resident Hugo Watson, the leagues top try scorer, claimed the second touchdown, converted by Will Robinson. Two neat penalties by the fly half improved TJ’s lead before the half hour.

A’s, somewhat belatedly, tightened up the right side of the defence and proceeded cautiously upfield. Towards the end of the half the pack started to demonstrate ascendancy over their opponents and, indeed, made inroads into a lineout which, for either side, was going to be a lottery. Morale thus boosted Albanians drove carefully to the opposition line. Josh Hallett flew off the back of a well driven rolling maul close enough for Joe Butler to bisect the sticks in the teeth of the gale. Robinson’s third penalty made the half time score 21-7.

OAs cheerfully set about using what might have been a ’30 point breeze’ but a tactical kick went over the dead ball line and play restarted with a scrum fully 75 metres upfield. TJs were quicker to the punch and Ben Ashmore drove over after this forward foray into the Albanian 22.

Once more with a gradual buildup A’s gathered momentum and territorial advantage, scrum power getting ever more evident. The penalty try awarded just before the hour mark was just reward for the effort expended.

Suffice it to say that Butler’s conversion of scrum half Calder’s try and his monumental 55 metre penalty took his side to within shouting distance of the TJ total. That winning score just eluded Albanians and yet another meagre two point loss to a top flight outfit resulted. This means OAs meet Leicester Lions next week in the rearranged fixture with no fear and definitely much confidence. Kickoff 15.00hrs at Woollams.

Brian Quinn,

Press

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Tonbridge Juddians

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15:00

Saturday 15 Feb 20

National Two South

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