TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS were back at The Slade for their first game of the new year as leaders of National Three London & South-East and they wasted no time asserting their authority against visitors Westcliff.
Tom Nicoll pounced after less than 30 seconds as Westcliff tried to clear their lines from the kick-off. Liam Prescott added the extras before a number of supporters had even made it pitchside.
TJs were soon storming upfield again and after the forwards had bashed a bit, Jon McMahon -capitalised on some space in the centre to go through and make it 12-0 in a bright and breezy start.
Westcliff got themselves into the game, however, and their big pack made life tricky for TJs at the breakdown. The hosts had the upper hand at the scrum and, to some extent, the lineout but the game became a stop-start affair as heavy conditions made it difficult underfoot for all.
The second half continued in that vein and TJs were struggling to break down the visitors’ defence. It finally cracked, though, as Hugo Watson carved out a try wide on the right and then scythed through for another score on the left. His brace of tries secured the much needed bonus point win.
Coach Pete Dankert said: “It was great to secure another bonus point win against a Westcliff side that impressed yet again with their attitude and commitment.
“The whole squad had to dig deep and once again it showed there are no easy games in this league.”
TJs will look to cement their place at the top with an away game at bottom side Amersham & Chiltern.
Despite the bonus-point shutout, Wimbledon beat Hertford 26-14 and are just one point behind. They visit The Slade on January 21 for what looks to be a crucial encounter.