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Clifton fall 55-12 to clinical Tonbridge on penultimate weekend

By Mike Barber

Clifton endured a torrid afternoon against a physical and clinical Tonbridge

“We played arguably the best side in the league today and you have to be accurate and not make any unforced errors.” Mike Barber, Defence Coach

Juddians were a side pushing to reach the play-offs on the penultimate weekend of National League 2 South and their intent was clear from the first whistle. Clifton dominated the early exchanges, hammering the Tonbridge line before Gloucester Academy duo Jake Morris & Tom Stanton combined down the right wing to send Stanton over in the corner with only 5 mines on the clock, Cozins converting.

However, that would be all the possession the Lavender & Blacks would really seen the first half. Tonbridge hit right back with a catch and drive after relentless pressure saw the scores even up at 7-7.
From the restart, Tonbridge again went on the front foot, and in a 15 minute period that stunned Clifton, the Juddians scored 4 tries to stretch to a 35-7 lead before exerted pressure again saw the home side round off the half 43-7. Clifton could not keep the ball and whenever possession was handed over, Tonbridge were ruthless and clinical in attack.

With the game gone Clifton went on the hunt for a 4 try bonus point and had to take risks in their play. They got change out in the wide channels with Sam Goatley, Morris and Stanton causing problems as well as Niall Gibbons and Matthew Hall carrying hard and when Goatey thought he had scored in the corner only to be penalised for a double movement, it summed up Cliftons afternoon.

Gibbons went over late in the second half but despite digging in and not rolling over, Tonbridge stretched their lead to finish the game 53-12.

"We played arguably the best side in the league today and you have to be accurate and not make any unforced errors. We didn't keep the ball for long enough and couldn't exert any pressure on Tonbridge and when we turned the ball over, we allowed them to dictate space and tempo. It is hard lesson but I'm pleased of how we dug in the second half, this season has all been about improvement on last year and we will go away, review and then concentrate on ourselves ahead of a huge game in 2 weeks against Reds."

Mike Barber, Defence Coach

Clifton Rugby v Tonbridge Juddians

1. Callum Simpson 2. Jack Williams 3. Mark Roberts 4. Henry Harper 5. Matthew Hall 6. Dan Hill 7. George West 8. Niall Gibbons 9. Mitch Spencer (c) 10. Luke Cozins 11. Jacob Morris 12. Sam Harrison 13. Sam Goatley 14. Tom Stanton 15. Tom Francis

16. Jack Spencer 17. Beno Edwards 18. Matty Davies 19. Ross Pritchard 20. Reece Dunne

Updated 12:06 - 3 May 2019 by Roger Bealing

Where next?

U15 BJCC Final: Clifton vs North Bristol Support Your U15s @ Dings Crusaders, 7:15pm KO on Wednesday (17th)

Sun 5 May
Under 14s Combination 7s
Friendly 0 – 1
Sun 28 Apr
Friendly 22 – 19
Under 16s Minchinhampton
Friendly 45 – 25
Sat 27 Apr
League 17 – 0

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