Rugby: Galloping Watson keeps Tonbridge Juddians’ noses in front

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DRIVING FORCE: Rory McHugh powers over to score PHOTO: Adam Hookway

TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS returned to winning ways against the Islanders after suffering back-to-back defeats in National Two South.

They knew they would need to make an early impression against a powerful Guernsey squad looking to kickstart their own season after a tough start.

TJs did indeed start brightly and Will Robinson chipped, gathered, scored and converted his own try to give TJs a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes.

Guernsey hit back to make it 7-5 but Hugo Watson on the run caught an inch perfect cross kick from Robinson to go over for an unconverted try.

Then TJs broke through again from another series of phases and Rory McHugh scored with a strong drive to the line from 20 metres out after TJs had gone through the hands, Robinson adding the extras.

Watson added a fourth as the winger adeptly controlled the bouncing ball from another crossfield kick, Robinson having provided it and then converting.

So Tonbridge had the try bonus point secured as they headed into the break with an impressive 26-5 lead, but they had not really gone through the gears.

Guernsey were much stronger after the break and dominated possession despite TJs having the wind at their backs. The home side were required to make tackle after tackle to keep the visitors at bay but there was no way they could do so for 40 minutes.

TJs kept forcing the play when eating up the clock might have been a more prudent approach, and Guernsey managed three unconverted tries.

The Islanders earned a try bonus point but were left to rue those extras  as TJs were relieved to have hung on for the win.

TJs, in sixth place in the table, take on Bristol side Old Redcliffians at The Slade on Saturday [November 3, kick-off 2.30pm].

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