Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians are eight straight games unbeaten

Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians are eight straight games unbeaten
GRAB YOUR CHANCE: TJs secure the ball in front of the Canterbury fans PHOTO: Adam Hookway

TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS finished the year in style as they ended Canterbury’s eight-game winning streak in National Two South while extending their own unbeaten run to eight in a row with a thrilling victory.

All four touchlines were full as the Canterbury faithful made the trip to West Kent to add to the festive atmosphere.

Conditions were heavy underfoot and defences had the upper hand for much of the game but both sides looked to spread the ball wide.

Tonbridge’s lighter frames gave them a fine start as they put on the pressure, with Will Robinson slotting an early penalty.

The flying Finlay Coxon-Smith, who was back on the wing, sat his man down before running in and Robinson converted to put TJs 10-0 ahead.

Canterbury hit back with an unconverted try but TJs soon extended their lead with a Charlie Edwards try after a series of phases and drives, Robinson adding the extras.

Canterbury spurned an easy three points by going for a try instead of a kick but the TJ line held out. However, a second penalty was slotted and half-time saw the hosts leading 17-8.

Another Robinson kick increased their lead after the break. TJs were in the box seat but not in control as Canterbury would not lie down.

TJs had the cutting edge from depth but you let Canterbury get close to your line at your peril.

So it proved as they eventually crashed over to make it 20-15 and put the game in the balance.

But Tonbridge could feel a significant win was calling and they set their defensive line much higher, pinning Canterbury in their own half and forcing mistakes.

An error led to another Robinson penalty, leaving the visitors needing two scores to win but they could only manage one kick of their own.

TJs remain in fifth place because, apart from Canterbury, the rest of the top four all won too.

But Canterbury drop to third and TJs are one win away from catching them.

Tonbridge make a trip to bottom-of-the-table London Irish Wild Geese on Saturday [January 5, kick-off 3pm].

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