TJs knocked off the top by tough title rivals Taunton

TJs knocked off the top by tough title rivals Taunton
Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians

TJs were presented with a golden opportunity from the kick-off when Taunton conceded a penalty but they lost the ensuring lineout, which was to become a major failing.

The match settled into a largely even contest with Taunton having the better of position and possession.

An attacking line-out close to TJs’ line saw the home side take the maul over the line for hooker Alex Spurdle to score an unconverted try.

Tonbridge’s response was immediate as speedy winger Tom Chapman wriggled his way through the home defence for a try that was not converted.

Taunton took the lead again with a penalty kick by full-back Gary Kingdom and the home side went in at the break 8-5 ahead.

Then Taunton took advantage as TJs conceded penalties and through their first effort was ruled out, a second drive off the scrum brought a close-quarters try for prop Isaac Dalton which was converted by Kingdom.

The visitors’ position worsened when Taunton scored their third try off a driving line-out, again through prop Dalton. It was was not converted.

Home flanker Ratu Vakalutukali received a yellow card  but TJs failed to take advantage when they lost the lineout again.

Taunton piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes but were denied a further try.

TJs drop to second place in the table, four points behind Henley Hawks while Taunton close the points gap on TJs to four.

Tonbridge now host Worthing at The Slade on Saturday (January 25, kick-off 2.30pm).

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