Six of the best as Jackson leads stunning fightback

Tout at the double as TJs survive fightback
Tonbridge Juddians

Tonbridge Juddians 42 Westcliff 5

TJs were poor in the first period and they started by conceding early penalties – with one Westcliff shot at goal bouncing back off the crossbar.

Desperate defence and further infringements by the home side saw TJs’ Ryan Jackson handed a yellow card.

From yet another penalty the visitors won the lineout and drove the maul over the line. Initially the referee signalled held-up but after consulting his assistant the try was awarded to hooker Billy Morant; the conversion went wide.

Still grimly defending their goalline, TJs’ replacement hooker Tom Petty received was also sent to the sin-bin, reducing a rather ragged home team to 13 men – though they hung on to go in at half-time 5-0 down.

Futher disruption came from the restart as a high tackle led to another yellow card for the hosts’ Jimmy Green, though Westcliff could not capitalise. The sides were evened up at 14 each, however, when Westcliff’s lock forward Ian Dartnell was sent to the sin-bin.

No TJs sprung into action in emphatic fashion. From a lineout the driving maul saw Jackson touch down for TJs’ first points, Will Robinson converting.

Jackson scored again when another lineout was overturned near the line and the hooker only had to drop over for his second try, which Robinson again converted.

After a pick-and-drive Murray Galbraith-Lowe fed the ball to newcomer Noah Ferdinand on the wing and he beat the cover to score wide out on the right, Robinson adding the extras.

From a scrum in the centre of the field, a straightforward passing move allowed centre Finn Coxon-Smith to cruise through to score TJs’ bonus-point try which Robinson converted.

Another new boy, lock Josh Groocock, made a good impression with a storming run upfield and subsequently touched down for Robinson to convert.

TJs’ energy in defence had also improved and they denied Westcliff any further scoring opportunities before adding a sixth try by Coxon-Smith following a strong burst from flanker Jack Nay, Robinson slotting his conversion again.

The win keeps TJs at the top of National Two South as they travel to Bristol to play fifth-placed Clifton on Saturday (November 16, kick-off 2.30pm).

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