PJF kick the league season off with a display that took the breath away
By Niel Kenny
Running rugby at its best
On a wet and blustery day at the Pightle PJF welcomed newly promoted Met Police who arrived expecting to carry on where they left off last season. After a first half display of simply the best rugby played at the Pightle for a few years, the home side were playing a form of loose open rugby that had the spectators asking who they were watching. Fabulous performances from new boys Luca Bellavia at prop and Finlay Hawes in the back row helped make sure that PJF kept the pressure on Met Police. Seaghan Davey marshalled the line with a calm astute efficiency releasing runner from all over the pitch. The first try saw Jack Kennedy backing up the initial break and dart over under the posts. The second try , which although a little fortunate came off a ball that had travelled forward saw Jack cross the whitewash again. The third try was scored by Dom Driver who had an outstanding game in the centre. The bonus point try saw Declan Williams break free from his own 22m and run the length of the field to touch down under the posts After a period of Met Police pressure when they were camped in the PJF 22m. The home defence had held firm, and PJF always looked dangerous on the break. PJF pressurised the Met Police attack causing them to fumble the ball under the constant pressure. The bonus point try came when Declan Williams broke free from his own 22m and ran the length of the field to touch down under the posts. On 37 minutes around the half way line Dom Driver was taken late and had to leave the field. The referee missed it and PJF closed out the half with fourteen men. At half time PJF reorganised and brought on subs for Dom and Declan who had felt his leg tightening up after his explosive performance in the first half.
The second half started and with the half about 10 minutes old Met Police kicked from just outside their 22m. The ball skidded off the surface beating Lewis Dennelley. While adjusting his positioning to pick up the ball he was taken out by a tackle when he was not in possession of the ball. This was clearly seen by all on the touch line. What followed was confusing and ended with Lewis being dismissed for alleged spitting. The original penalty for the foul play was reversed. Down to 14 men PJF adjusted brilliantly and changed their mentality from one of attack to a more defensive mind set. Time after time Met Police pressed only to be denied by excellent tackling from PJF. The visitors eventually were awarded a penalty try after breaking the PJF line with a move from the half way line. The player was brought down around the PJF 22m line but the tackle was adjudged to have been high and as the referee felt that Met Police would probably have scored, he awarded the penalty try. But PJF had the final word when a scrum, on the Met Police 5m line, saw Jack Kennedy dart over under the posts to collect a remarkable hat trick.
The final score was 35-7 to PJF. The question the Met Police coach asked at full time was 'do all the teams in this division play this way?' There was no doubt that it was a great PJF team effort with excellent performances by every player in the side. So well done to all. It is early days yet but the side certainly showed a lot of promise for this coming season.
Man of the match: Finlay Hawes