Rugby: Jackson double keeps Tonbridge Juddians ahead of Worthing

Rugby: Jackson double keeps Tonbridge Juddians ahead of Worthing
POWER PACK: Jimmy Stanford scores after a strong drive by TJ’s forwards PHOTO: Adam Hookway

TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS extended their winning streak into double figures against a Worthing Raiders side who were fighting to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle and were in no mood to roll over.

But the hosts’ hopes of ending the season as runners-up in National Two South and thereby gaining a place in-offs were held at bay when second-placed rivals Canterbury also won – though they did fail to pick up a bonus point.

TJs started brightly and Will Robinson converted a penalty before full-back Murray Galbraith-Lowe scythed through to set up an attacking ruck five metres out.

The pack drove a few times before the ball went right to find Ryan Jackson, who powered over to score an unconverted try.

A yellow card for Finlay Coxon-Smith and a switch at prop as the Worthing scrum got the upper hand put TJs on the back foot for a while.

But another penalty took TJs into the corner, from where they drove over for Jackson to add a second. Robinson converted to make it 15-0.

Worthing hit back with a try from the restart but TJs then did the same, Hugo Watson finding Coxon-Smith to ease over.

Another yellow card, this time for Charlie Edwards, hampered TJs in defence and Worthing scored just before the break to go in at half-time only 20-14 behind.

Worthing continued where they left off in the second half and they took the game to TJs, scoring a converted try to edge into the lead.

TJs were in need of calm heads and a Robinson penalty took them back in front. Then a strong drive by the pack allowed Jimmy Stanford to barrel over and Robinson converted to lead 31-28.

After Robinson slotted another penalty, Worthing scored their best try of the game as they attacked from their own 22 to close to within three points before time ran out.

The win puts TJs six points behind Canterbury with three games to play. The latter have to take on top side Rams, but they are likely to clinch the title next week.

TJs now travel to Redruth on Saturday [April 6, kick-off 2pm].

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