PJF do everything but close out the game
Two bonus points is all PJF have to show some fabulous rugby
This match got off to a very quick start with Whitgiftians opening the score and converting only for PJF to respond with a try of their own. PJF playing with the slope harried Whitgiftians and pressurised them into errors. After some quick interchanges Chase went over for the second try and George, new to the kicking duties, slotted the extra points. A penalty followed shortly after allowing PJF to stretch their lead. Whitgiftians responded with a period of pressure just before half time that was relieved after a fumble close to PJF's line and Chase came away with the ball. After running the length of the pitch Chase touched down close to the posts and the conversion was kicked giving PJF a deserved 22 - 7 lead going into half time. The second half saw Whitgiftians respond with a try of their own taking the score to 22 - 14. PJF then played the best rugby of the match that led to two further tries. One, scored by Joe Casartelli, saw PJF turn the ball over on the Whitgiftian 22m and using the full width of the pitch take it down one flank before switching back to the other, the try being scored in the corner. With a lead of 32 - 14. PJF missed a chance to put the game out of site when a break down the line was brought up short.
With 20minutes remaining Whitgiftians got a scrum close to the PJF line, the ball squirted out awkwardly and, caught off their guard, PJF found their defence misaligned and Whitgiftians went over in the corner. So began the Whitgiftians come back. Poor game management and wrong options saw Whitgiftians get three further tries to win the game 38 -32.
There will be debates about certain refereeing decisions, but PJF should not have put themselves in the positions where the referee made the decisions, therefore can only have themselves to blame. The game was the complete reverse of the previous week where PJF didn't turn up until the last 20minutes. On this occasion PJF dominated the game for the first 60miutes only to let it slip in the last 20. This was a game that should never have been lost but some how it was and PJF only come away with a losing bonus point and a four try bonus point; a poor return for so much good work.
Notable successes during the afternoon were John Osborne's debut at fly half where he added much needed direction and purpose to the backs that resulted in the side scoring five tries. Tom Parker made his debut at scrum half during the second period of the game. After spending most of the season on the sideline with a long-term injury his performance was solid and showed a lot of promise that will give PJF more options going forward. Jack Kennedy was outstanding at scrum half during the rest of the game giving Whitgiftians all sorts of problems around the fringes. This game showed real progress over the performances of recent weeks and if PJF play the remainder of the season with the ability shown in the first 60 minutes of this game they could yet cause problems for their remaining opponents to sign off on a season that has shown much promise not yet realised.