Rugby: Old Redcliffians’ powerful pack keeps Tonbridge Juddians at bay

Pam Mills

THE south-west has not been a happy hunting ground for Tonbridge Juddians in their first season in National Two South.

And so it proved again as they came up just short against the 14th-placed Old Redcliffians from Bristol.

Parts of the Reds’ Scotland Lane ground were waterlogged and there was a risk that the game might be abandoned but the officials decided to go ahead.

It was the home side who pounced first as the ball was spilled and they were able to hack through and win the race for the touchdown under the posts.

The heavy conditions meant there was little pace in the game, and hanging on to the ball was tough for both sides.

Much of the first half was played between the 22s and Reds kept the visitors out successfully.

But Nathan Holmes took an easy three points with a penalty kick when TJs’ possession paid off and the home side offended.

TJs tried to the same trick again from 10 metres out with a series of drives.

But as the ball was moved wider, Reds intercepted and good hands took them the length of the field to score, allowing them to go in at the break 14-3 up.

The hosts were enjoying a lot of success in the scrum but could not get their lineout going so TJs knew that they still had a sniff of getting back in the contest.

George Lawson and Will Colderick came on to add some energy and the latter set up a decent position close to the sticks.

Quick ball allowed Charlie Edwards to cross for the visitors’ first try and TJs were back in with a shout at 14-10 with almost 10 minutes left.

But a tiring Reds pack held out and the home side ran out deserved winners in a game that featured little excitement or creativity.

TJs remain in eighth place and now welcome Broadstreet to The Slade on Saturday (March 17, kick-off 2.30pm) for a game that was rearranged because of the snow.

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