Tonbridge Juddians 24 Redingensians Rams 47
TONBRIDGE JUDDIANS came up short in National Two South as Redingensians Rams took the game by the horns at The Slade.
TJs trailed 19-0 at the break after the Rams had scored three tries, one a scrum penalty try, in a half of very few TJ chances. The few passages of forward progress for TJs came from turnover ball but they rarely got inside the Rams’ 22.
The side from Reading impressed in the scrum and their No 8 Robbie Stapley was the stand-out player on the day as TJs fell foul of the officials.
New recruits Finlay Coxon-Smith and hooker Ryan Jackson put themselves about for the hosts, the former looking like he could be a handful on the wing if TJs can find him with the ball.
TJs knew they had to be the first side to score after the break but it was Rams who did so, creating a hole in the TJ defence again and flooded through the gap for a try.
And they dotted down again to get to 33 points before TJs managed to open their account – coincidentally perhaps when Stapley was resting on the bench.
On the hour Rory McHugh scored his first from the second row and 10 minutes later it was 17-33 as Mike O’Sullivan and McHugh, again, had crossed, Nathan Holmes adding a conversion.
The TJ faithful smelt a comeback but Rams shut the gate on them with a period of pressure that saw them add to their lead.
TJs still had a four-try bonus point to go for and McHugh secured it with his hat-trick score.
Rams dominated play for long periods and with greater accuracy of passing they would surely have scored more.
TJs will have to lick their wounds and bounce back quickly knowing that even one point is better than none in a tight league
The loss saw TJs slip to ninth in the table with a record of three wins and three defeats.
On Saturday October 14 they travel to second- placed Chinnor in Oxfordshire (kick-off 3pm).