Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians blow Clifton away with six of best

BROTHERS IN ARMS: TJs prepare to brave the Bristol gale PHOTO: Adam Hookway

Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians blow Clifton away with six of best

20th December 2018

Clifton 14 Tonbridge Juddians 37

TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS extended their winning run to seven weeks at the halfway stage of their National Two South campaign with a comprehensive defeat of Clifton in Bristol.

TJs played into the teeth of the gale in the first half and were soon seven points down as Clifton went for the aerial route to put on the pressure.

The visitors had to be mindful any loose ball could be returned with ease on the wind, so they kept it close and went through the phases.

Charlie Edwards stole territory with a number of tapped penalties until Will Robinson was close enough to kick and give TJs three points.

The game plan continued and Mike O’Sullivan was able to finish off a series of TJ drives with Robinson converting.

Then Finlay Coxon-Smith made ground down the right before being tap-tackled as the line beckoned. The ball was recycled and Robinson darted through to score and convert.

Clifton lost their discipline and two yellow cards in quick succession gave TJs even more space as the half ran out.

Ryan Jackson turned the ball over and TJs found room on the right again for Coxon-Smith to crash over, allowing the visitors to go in at half-time 20-7 ahead.

In the second half a Robinson cross-kick found replacement winger Tom Chapman and he made good ground towards Clifton’s goalline.

In the melee that followed Robinson went over for a fourth bonus-point try which he converted.

Clifton looked to replicate TJs’ first-half game plan but the Tonbridge defence was too strong and eventually they were turned over.

Murray Galbraith-Lowe made the break, Jon McMahon supported him and then sent Duncan Tout over in the corner for another try.

Clifton did manage a converted try but by now TJs were on top both territorially and in terms of possession. The restart went long, Clifton failed to deal with it and Jimmy Stanford snaffled the visitors’ sixth try.

Considering the terrible conditions the handling by both sides was surprisingly good producing a total of eight tries.

Tonbridge, who remain in fifth place in the table, play host to Kent rivals Canterbury for their final game of the year on Saturday [December 22, kick-off 2.30pm].

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