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Sale 66 Tonbridge Juddians 10: National League 1 match report


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By David Challis

Tonbridge Juddians fell to their heaviest defeat of the season, 66-10, against Sale in National League 1 on Saturday.

It was a masterclass from an experienced side who demonstrated to TJs just how good they are going to have to be if they are to turn this season around.

Duncan Tout gets away from John O'Donnell but TJs found the going tough against Sale on Saturday. (54295592)
Duncan Tout gets away from John O'Donnell but TJs found the going tough against Sale on Saturday. (54295592)

Despite the final score, the game began brightly for the visitors as TJs won an early penalty and exerted significant pressure on Sale. However, they squandered this initial opportunity and gave the home side the chance to build into the game.

A series of set piece-based penalties allowed Sale deep into the TJs half and eventually, that field pressure turned into points as the home side's blindside flanker picked up what would become the first of his three tries that day.

TJs stayed in the fight well for the first quarter and picked up a penalty through the boot of Tom White after a period of sustained pressure. However, from this moment on a familiar pattern emerged.

TJs littered the remainder of the first half with errors around the halfway line as they tried to wrestle some sort of control back in this game. Sale waited patiently and pounced on these mistakes before bursting into life, scoring some sensational tries including a wonderful chip and chase that got the capacity crowd up to its feet.

TJs went into the break at 33-3 and knew there would need to be a sea change at half-time if they were to make any impact on the game. The away side did up the tempo nicely during the second period and looked to play with more intent.

Tonbridge Juddians' Duncan Tout takes on Sale's Matt Bradley to score in the corner on Saturday. (54295590)
Tonbridge Juddians' Duncan Tout takes on Sale's Matt Bradley to score in the corner on Saturday. (54295590)

This was successful for a while and culminated in a lovely Duncan Tout try in the right-hand corner as the backline combined well from a goal-line drop out. However, playing with this ambition came with its issues.

A number of key mistakes continued and now these began to occur deep in TJs territory. This gifted Sale a couple of tries as they began to open up as well and seemingly looked as if they could score at will in the final quarter.

Another difficult trip to Cinderford awaits TJs in a couple of weeks where a reaction will be needed to keep them going this season.

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