Ten tries as TJs make giant strides in debut campaign

Tout at the double as TJs survive fightback
Tonbridge Juddians

Taunton Titans 26 Tonbridge Juddians 66

TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS left their Taunton hosts stunned as they ran in 10 tries against the team placed two berths higher than them in fourth place in National Two South.

Early skirmishes were ferocious but TJs found themselves camped in the Titans half as Finlay Coxon-Smith made two line breaks in midfield within the first five minutes.

That set up a field position on the right and from a TJ scrum Charlie Edwards fed George Lawson coming on the angle from the right to crash over.

Straight from the restart TJs outjumped the Titans full-back and broke through down the left, allowing Hugo Watson to race in for his first try; Nathan Holmes added the extras.

TJs went right from the next kick-off and Duncan Tout found the gap and forced his way through to race clear. TJs had registered three tries inside the first 12 minutes.

As TJs failed to gather a high ball, Taunton moved the ball downfield and from their own scrum the left wing came in on the angle to score.

But this was just a momentary blip as excellent play from TJs saw Coxon-Smith smash through for a converted try before Tout added his second.

TJs were stifling their hosts’ every effort to escape their own half and their line speed and general quickness of thought shone through.

Hooker Ryan Jackson, who has made a massive impact on TJs this season, showed a deft touch on the left to send Rory McHugh in at the corner.

Charlie Edwards took advantage from 20 metres out when Taunton overthrew a lineout and he just made it to the line on the right.

Holmes converted from the other side this time and scintillating TJs ended the half 45-7 ahead after a haul of seven tries and five conversions.

The second half began with the home side penned in again but they managed to escape and scamper 60 metres to score.

But TJs were soon adding an eighth try as Tom Nicoll charged down a clearance from a scrum to go in under the sticks, Holmes adding the extras.

Taunton pulled out an excellent cross kick to their right winger, catching the defence out of position, and he ran it in from halfway.

Replacement Jack Mutch added some energy which resulted in an offload to Watson who scored his second after Lawson had crashed through from his wing.

Taunton hit back straight from the kick-off but TJs rightly had the final say, a galloping Rory McHugh gathering a loose ball to trot in under the posts; olmes converted again.

In the penultimate game of their first campaign at this level, it was probably TJs’ best performance of the season as everything went to hand and the passing was accurate.

They conclude their impressive debut season in National Two South when they entertain Bury St Edmunds at The Slade on Saturday (April 28, kick-off 3pm).

PICTURE: DOMINATION: George Lawson runs in another score PHOTO: Adam Hookway

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