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Canterbury Rugby Club's JJ Murray glad his gamble paid off in National 2 promotion play-off win over Chester

JJ Murray’s brilliant interception try was the pivotal moment in Canterbury's 19-10 promotion play-off win over Chester, but the winger was just glad his hunch paid off.

Saturday's winner-takes-all contest was still delicately poised when Murray read a Chester pass and ran in from deep inside his own half for a try which Harvey Young converted to move Canterbury nine points clear.

Murray described the try as probably the most important he has scored in his three seasons at the club but he also knew it could quite easily have gone the other way.

JJ Murray looks for a way past the Chester defence Picture: Phillipa Hilton
JJ Murray looks for a way past the Chester defence Picture: Phillipa Hilton

He explained: “They had a few moves which we had researched beforehand and basically it was a gamble.

“I think they had a few numbers outside me so if they’d have got the pass off I think they probably would have scored, but I just went for it.

“My eyes just lit up as soon as the ball came in the air and I was never going to stop as soon as I caught the ball.

“In my head I was just saying ‘Don’t stop, don’t stop’.

“I had a little look round but they (the Chester pursuers) were a good few metres off so I was just worrying about making sure I got the ball down on the try line.

“I think it definitely changed the game in that it gave us more confidence.

“From then we had a bit more possession and everyone was running a bit harder, so yes psychologically it was a huge try.

JJ Murray celebrates scoring his breakaway try with Harvey Young Picture: Phillipa Hilton
JJ Murray celebrates scoring his breakaway try with Harvey Young Picture: Phillipa Hilton

“I’m not sure if I did that much to score the try but at least it changed the game.”

Murray admitted he still didn’t feel the game was won at 14-5 but that in the end Canterbury deserved their place in rugby’s third tier.

He added: “Chester had so much possession, and they really held onto it well.

“We didn’t play our pattern properly, nerves perhaps, they were really good at the rucks they kept taking over our ball and we couldn’t really get our momentum going.

“Even though we had the lead it was still pretty tight.

“A few more minutes extra and who knows what could have happened but we held out.”

Murray, who lives and works in London, says he can’t wait to play in League 1 next season.

He added: “Words can’t describe it really, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet but I can’t wait. It’s been just such a long season and all the hard work has paid off.

“We haven’t won each game strongly, there’s been a lot of games which have been tight, it just feels like everything’s just come together.

“It’s just been such a good year, our bond as a team has been the main factor. It’s just so good that it’s finally come together.”

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