1st XV

Civil Service make Going Tough

After an early loss to Tring and a win at home to Barnes TJs were probably uncertain as to which CS side would turn up at The Slade on Saturday. As it was they probably should not have been too unsure as CS are never easy to beat and so it proved although an 18 nil scoreline may suggest some degree of comfort.

A 3 nil half time lead probably tells a story though as both sides clattered into contact with few inches given and a lot of balls going to ground or missing hands. The second half was brightened by a well worked Ian Davey try converted by Luke Makris to go with his first half penalty. A second penalty made it 11 nil before CS held Toby Martin back (impossible normally) as he was about to dive on the bouncing ball in goal. Luke converted and the whistle blew. Not great and certainly not pretty but TJs are 3 from 3 now but that first bonus point still evades them.

Leaders East Grinstead nearly met their match in Combe but ran out 28 - 22 victors to stay top. Second placed Dorking survived an Islanders onslaught to win 30 - 20 over Guernsey to remain just behind G Force. OEs are third after a 49 - 14 defeat of Basingstoke with TJ's next opponents still in fourth after they saw off Barnes 29 - 34.

Bury St Edmunds beat Thurrock 49 - 24 and Tring thumped Barking 60 - 14 in the other two games. Those results mean that Barnes, Barking, Guernsey, Thurrock and Basingstoke are al still winless after three games.

In N2S it is the 3 Cs who lead the division after Clifton beat Ampthill 20 - 37, Chinnor beat Shelford 19 - 24 and Cambridge lost 19 - 13 to Hartpury College. The fourth C, Canterbury secured their first win with a 33 - 25 defeat of Launceston.   London Irish Wild Geese just missed out on a win as they went down 35 - 37 to Bishop's Stortford.

In London 1 South Gravesend lead the way after two games after they beat Haywards Heath 74 -5. Chichester are next after a 68 - 21 win over Hove with Cobham third after a 32 - 3 victory over Wimbledon.

In L2SE the game of the day pitched TW v Sevenoaks with the hosts squeezing in for the spoils by 28 - 24. Charlton Park lead though after two games as they beat Old Colfeians 19 - 5. Deal & B beat Aylesford 22 - 8 whilst Maidstone went down 19 - 21 to Medway. In L3SE Ashford lost 29 - 41 to and Thanet Wanderers beat Sheppey 7 - 3.


Two From Two For TJs

After an opening day 19 - 17 win over Guernsey TJs knew this next game at Combe would be a step up again and so it proved. As so often happens with a newish squad the first game can be a getting to know you affair so it was great to see TJs go in at half time with a 10 nil lead against a Combe squad who had seen off Barnes the previous weekend.

Tries from the returning Chris McNamara and prop Mike O'Sullivan could have been improved on if two Luke Makris penalties had not hit the uprights. In the second half Combe fought back and with TJs getting the wrong side of the ref, as two players were binned, the result very nearly slipped away but TJs held on for a 10 - 13 victory. THat result puts TJs 5th in the division.

Elsewhere East Grinstead notched up another 5 point bonus point win with a 16 - 31 win at Guernsey to consolidate at the top although Dorking, OEs, Hertford and TJs have all won their opening two games to date.

CS Rugby 1863 beat Barnes 19 - 12 and visti The Slade next Saturday (KO 3pm), Dorking impressed again with a 8 - 36 win at Basingstoke whilst Hertford beat Tring 15 - 13. Thurrock were swamped 18 - 54 by Old Elthamians.

Elsewhere in London 1 South Gravesend maintained their good start with a 10 - 18 defeat of Dover whilst Sutton & Epsom impressed with a 12 - 0 win at Haywards Heath.

LSE2 got under way this weekend with newly promoted Maidstone enjoying a 11 - 46 win at Warlingham whilst fellow promotees T Wells went down 20 - 16 to Deal & Betteshanger. Sevenoaks impressed with a 'gritty' 13 - 10 defeat of Heathfield & Waldron. Crowborough lost 30 - 26 at Lewes and Medway went down 3 - 10 to Charlton Park.


 TJs Open With a Win Against Islanders

A new coach, newish look squad and a new season rarely leads to a sparkling on field performance and whilst there were glimpses of what might be to come TJs had to dig p1070325 2very deep indeed to take the win and 4 league points.

A first half try by Charlie Gregory was added to by Brad Tibbits and Mike O'Sullivan in the second half with Luke Maktis adding the extras to the last two. The final kick from just inside the right touchline crept over to win the game much to TJ's relief.

Guernsey arrived with a large pack and some very solid play based on putting the phases together at close range rather than moving it too wide too often. TJs for their part had a few purple patches, most notably immediately after half time when they upped the pace and went close but managing just the one try from Brad with the aid of a nice 'on the head' moment from the scorer to breach the G defence.

Toby Martin (pictured) was deemed the Heineken Man of the Match for TJs - seen here getting the ball away

Elsewhere relegated Barking succumbed 29 - 34 to Hertford whilst TJ's next opponents Combe won a tight one at Barnes 27 - 30 to signal their intentions this season. Bury St Edmunds who many expect to challenge lost 30 - 36 to Old Elthamians whilst last season's runners up Dorking opened up in impressive style with a 44 - 15 defeat of Thurrock.

East Grinstead enjoyed the most impressive start with a 73 - 5 defeat of Basingstoke whilst Tring came from way behind to overhaul CS Rugby 25 - 23 at home - those Tring boys never know when to stop still it seems.

In N2S Canterbury lost with the last play of the game with a 30 - 32 defeat at home to Clifton. Ex TJ Charlie Harding started whilst a B Collins was in the back row. Past N3 favourites and recent promotees LIA and Ampthill faced each other on opening day with Ampthill taking the spoils with a 10 - 37 result.

Westcliff, relegated from N3 last season started their season in fine style in London 1 N with a 73 nil mauling of the once lofty North Walsham

In London 1 S Beckenham enjoyed a 10 nil defeat of Haywards Heath, Chichester saw off Brighton 24 - 11, Chobham beat N3 relegated Staines 29 - 3, Cobham lost 3 - 32 to  Sidcup. Gravesend are looking to remove all thoughts of last season's final day relegation from N3 and a 51 - 7 defeat of Hove is an impressive start whilst Havant lost 12 - 28 to Wimbledon and Sutton & Epsom beat Dover 17 - 12.

The lower leagues kick off next weekend.


Warm Ups Completed Undefeated

At this time of the pre-season you want to be building units, working on set pieces, getting to know each other and making sure people are on message and gaining confidence in one another. But that's enough about marriage/realationships with weekends about to see regular separation, how abouth the 1st XV?

After a solid performance at N2S newest LIA way back on 10th August was followed up with a lacklustre 12 - 17 victory at runaway L3SE champions of last season Maidstone nobody was too sure what would happen at the toughest hurdle, Chinnor on the 24th.

Chinnor had finished 6th in N2S last season and had ended TJs promotion hopes from 2011-12 in the play-off. An excellent measuring stick for sure and maybe, just maybe a chance for TJs to lift their efforts in the face of what would be quality opposition.

They did, with an impressive 5 - 27 victory played over three thirds in light rain and windy conditions and under floodlights. The TJ pack have worked hard on their set piece and look a better unit already after three run outs. The backs are, as is expected at TJs, a lively set with try scorers aall.

New coach, Nick Oldham and long-serving Ben Smith and Steve Farr must be pleased with three victories but they and the squad know the hard work starts now with the E&O show tomorrow and Monday followed by Guernsey at home on 7th September KO 2.30pm

A light training session too on Saturday 31st August is in play as well for final cobweb removal and a chance for Club members to watch and meet the squad as well as join in a few drills. The Bar will also be open. Training from Noon til 1pm


London Irish v Tonbridge Juddians

Tjs travelled to London Irish for the first of 3 pre-season games.  Irish who are old rivals of Tjs were promoted at the end of last season to National League 2 (South) so the away side anticipated a challenging afternoon.

The game started at a frenetic pace with Tjs, who were fielding a number of new faces, having the better of the early exchanges which were very physical and energy sapping.  The away side scored first after an incredible two and a half minute phase when new signing Tom Noott taking a scoring pass form Jon McMahon, running in from 22 meters. Luke Makris, another new face, scored the conversion.

Irish came back hard at Tjs but some outstanding defence by TJs ensured that they went in at half time 7-3 up.

Coming out for the second half the TJ game plan was adjusted to use the wind and kick for field position. After around 15 minutes Tjs broke out of their own 22 and following a powerful break by centre Jon McMahon, taken on by Charlie Gregory, Liam Chennells scored an excellent try in the right hand corner, Makris again converting.

Shortly after, Irish conceded a penalty which was again converted by Makris giving TJs a 17-3 lead.

Tjs were now beginning to dominate all phases of the game and following an excellent run by Dylan Cossley, Matt Logan scored under the posts with Makris again converting. Following this Irish came back well and scored a good try with a few minutes to go.

New Coach Nick Oldham was satisfied with the TJ performance and in particular how the team, which has a nmber of new palyers, has come together as a unit. Tjs travel to near neighbours Maidstone on Saturday KO 3 PM - a great chance to get along and see how the new squad are coming together


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