PJF struggle for continuity in a fast paced game
By Niel Kenny
Wake up call before the Cranleigh game?
PJF started this Junior Vase match against old friends Sandown and Shanklin a man to the good as the visitors turned up with 14 men. PJF with a number of changes in the backs and forwards had plenty of the ball during the match but could not reproduce the flowing rugby of earlier games. After the first frenetic 20minutes when scores were changing every few minutes Sandown and Shanklin found themselves 17 -15 to the only conversion of the match thus far being the difference between the two sides. The game then settled into a period when most of the game was played between the two 22m areas. Both sides making handling errors. Despite a steady flow of ball the lay offs and ambitious long passes were just not working for PJF and half time arrived with no further addition to the score board.
The second half started with PJF putting a sustained period of pressure on the visitors line but each promising attack fizzled out with a poor finishing pass, a dropped ball, or a wrong decision. Try as they might PJF could not unlock the Sandown and Shanklin defence. Eventually Sandown and Shanklin managed to break out a put some pressure of their own on the PJF line. From this pressure Sandown and Shanklin won a penalty in front of the posts but the kick was missed. There followed a period of play around the half way line. From this passage Sandown and Shanklin managed to break the PJF line and run in an easy try which was duly converted.
PJF returned to the attack but still could not find the killing pass to get back into the game. With the game coming to a close PJF conceded a penalty on their 22m line. The resulting kick bounced off the post into the arms of the Sandown and Shanklin following up on the kick and the ball was dotted down for the easiest of tries. The kick added the final two points of the game and PJF were left to wonder how they had lost a game which should have been easily won. All credit to Sandown and Shanklin who maintained their shape throughout the afternoon and harried and pressurised PJF attack. At the end of the day PJF just had one of those days. The good thing is that it will have shaken away any complacency that might have been building in the PJF ranks before next week top of the league crunch match with Cranleigh.
PJF hope to have a big crowd to support the lads next week. It is hoped to lay on a buffet lunch before the game. If you would like to attend please e mail Niel and book your place. Kick off will be 2.30.