TJs’ keep narrow lead at top

TJs' keep narrow lead at top
Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians

Tonbridge Juddians 27: Bournemouth 7

Bournemouth started brightly in terms of possession. but after Will Robinson fielded a clearing kick, wingers Tom Chapman and Hugo Watson opened up a huge gap and lock Rory McHugh charged in to score for TJs.

It was not to be a good day for kicking, though, with just one out of the home side’s five conversions being slotted over.

A strong burst from full-back Toby May allowed Chapman to show his pace and shoot past the defenders to score in the right-hand corner after 10 minutes.

But it took another 20 minutes before TJs added to their strong start, Ryan Jackson being driven over from a five-metre lineout as the backs joined in the maul, and TJs went in at half-time 15-0 ahead.

Jimmy Green crashed over from close range after a similar set-up early in the second half to secure the try bonus point.

After powerful play from captain Mike O’Sullivan, Watson was on hand take the slip pass and score, with Rob White at last adding the extras.

On the hour-mark Bournemouth finally cut through and scrum-half Mike Pope scored under the posts for a converted try.

The visitors kept up a long period of possession and concerted pressure as the game came to an end but were unable to break down TJs’ resolute defence – the hosts made a total of 321 tackles in the game.

The result keeps Tonbridge on top of the table by a point from Henley Hawks, who prevailed over third-placed Taunton Titans 33-27.

TJs now take on Taunton in Somerset on Saturday (January 18, kick-off 3pm).

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