Rugby: Tonbridge Juddians romp to nine tries against Clifton
18th April 2019
Tonbridge Juddians 55 Clifton 12
TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS’ last home match of the season saw them score nine tries in another free-flowing performance that extended their remarkable winning run to 12 matches.
However, it was not enough to secure a play-off place at the top of National Two South as Canterbury secured the runners-up spot.
Clifton scored first but TJs soon responded as flanker Ben Ashmore took charge of the ball and TJs drove the maul over for an unconverted try.
They now went into top gear with some fast, flowing rugby, Tom Chapman to dart through for a well-taken try from Charlie Edwards’ quick pass.
Four minutes later Chapman’s speedy break took him close to the line before he handed on to winger Hugo Watson to dot down.
Watson fielded Clifton’s kick and chipped the ball over the defence, caught it and passed on to Tom Nicoll, who crossed for TJ’s bonus point try.
Fly-half Will Robinson converted for the third time to take TJs into a 26-7 lead on the half-hour.
Edwards’ deft kick ahead into goal caught Clifton’s defence on the back foot and Chapman reached the ball first to score again.
Then Watson repeated his chip-kick and caught the ball to run in his second try, and TJs went in at half-time 36-7 in the lead.
After the break, TJs’ forwards produced a good scrum on Clifton’s put-in, and the ball was chipped through the defence for Nicoll to take advantage of a favourable bounce and score his own second try, Robinson converting.
A penalty kick to the corner set up a good attacking position for the visitors and No 8 Niall Gibbons, with the help of a good rolling maul, touched down for an unconverted try.
In the last 20 minutes the pace slowed but TJs were still hungry. When Clifton spilled the ball in their 22, centre Duncan Tout was first to it and bustled his way through for an unconverted try.
After a one-two passing move with full-back Toby May, Watson registered a stunning hat-trick of chipped tries, Robinson converting.
It has been another hugely successful campaign for the Tonbridge side, who have won 24 out 29 matches and finish six points off the play-offs.
As they try to hang on to third place ahead of Henley Hawks, who also have 115 points, TJs travel to Birmingham Solihull for their final league match on Saturday April 27 [3pm kick-off].