TJs struggle to make impact and lose lead

Tout at the double as TJs survive fightback
Tonbridge Juddians

Redruth 14 Tonbridge Juddians 3

Taunton Titans took over at the top by a point after winning at Clifton, while Henley Hawks are now level on points with TJs in third place following their victory at Old Albanians.

A penalty was all the visitors had to show for their long trip to the fourth-placed Cornish side, who put in a powerful defensive shift that TJs never looked like breaking down.

The visitors played into a stiff wind in the first half, which meant the ball had to stay in hand. They made good forays down the right, but the hosts were able to hold them off.

The ball was frequently turned over by TJs, and Redruth were able to clear as far as the Tonbridge 22.

From a series of penalties and lineout drives Redruth manufactured phases to allow centre Connor Gilbert to dance over, fly-half Fraser Honey adding the extras after 13 minutes.

TJs got on the scoreboard after half an hour with Robinson’s penalty to make it 7-3. Redruth had won a penalty but a bout of handbags saw it reversed.

Tonbridge would have been content with the 7-3 scoreline as they went in at half-time looking forward to having the strong wind at their backs for the second half.

But despite pinning Redruth into their own half with some good interchanges and touch-finding penalties they could not make it count.

A Robinson penalty was blown wide and Rob White managed a break down the wing but that was as close as TJs could get to the Redruth line.

On 62 minutes TJs’ Jimmy Green was yellow-carded for pulling a Redruth maul down and from the penalty lineout drive Redruth’s maul went down again.

The referee awarded a penalty try and sent Ryan Jackson to the sin-bin as well, leaving TJs down to 13 men within the space of two minutes.

On 70 minutes Robinson missed another tricky penalty and from then on he aimed at touch in an effort to claw something back, but the hosts were in no mood to give up their lead.

Tonbridge now take on Old Albanians at The Slade on Saturday (February 15, kick-off 2.30pm).

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