Rugby: Debutant Kendrick seals victory as Tonbridge Juddians keep cool in icy conditions

Pam Mills

THERE was a test of character for two Tonbridge Juddians Academy players as they were picked to take on Broadstreet in sub-zero conditions at The Slade.

Tom Kendrick and Paddy Ankjaer made their senior debuts against the Coventry side, who are languishing in last place in National Two South.

But Broadstreet had defied the form book to beat Worthing last time out, scoring five tries through their driving play, and the Bs began by controlling territory and possession.

The home side hardly ventured out of their half in the first period. But the TJs defence was back to its determined best after the reverse at Old Redcliffians and they kept the visitors out with a series of turnovers.

Twice they escaped, however, and both times they came away with points. After finally forcing Broadstreet back into their 22, Will Colderick caught the ball at the rear of an opposition lineout 15 metres out and raced over to score.

Liam Prescott judged the angle superbly in the icy wind to add the conversion, and five minutes later Liam slotted a penalty to make it 10-0 at half-time.

In the second half a clearance by Broadstreet found Finlay Coxon-Smith on the right wing around halfway. He bounced a couple of tacklers before rounding former TJ full-back Ben Cooper to score, and Prescott converted.

Broadstreet hit back with two converted tries to narrow the arrears to 17-14 but TJs brought on some fresh legs and the pace went up a gear.

Kendrick restored the home advantage when he scampered down the short side to score in the corner and made it 22-14 with five minutes left.

The result sees TJs climb to seventh place with five games left. Now they face Barnstaple, who defeated them back in September, at home on Saturday (March 24, kick-off 2.45pm).

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