PJF overcome a spirited O. Ruts
By Niel Kenny
Good second half performance produces bonus point
A fine day at the Pightle with both pitches in use. On the first team pitch PJF played host to O Rutlishians who arrived at the Pightle with some very good recent results under their belt. From the kick off PJF gathered and set the ball. PJF broadcast their intention to run at O Ruts from all over the park. After about 5 minutes with PJF maintaining width thereby stretching the O Ruts central defence Callum Law took a ball on the PJF 22m line and broke the O Ruts line, carrying the ball 15 m before off loading to Brad Bosman who ran the ball in from about 60m out, but not before shrugging off the covering tackles. Pierce Fernando adding the extra points. From the kick off O Ruts were able to exert pressure in the PJF 22m causing the home side to concede a number of penalties. Having tried to penetrate the PJF defence and failed O. Ruts elected to kick one of the penalties and take the points. PJF looked a little flat and it wasn't until about 25 minutes into the half that PJF were able to build on their lead. When it came it was a beautifully taken try with the ball passed down the line and with the two men on the outside covered a deft little grubber was put through, Iain Greenwood and Anthony dos Santos raced through and touched down simultaneously. The conversion was missed.
PJF then seemed to take their foot of the accelerator. O.Ruts had some very quick and dangerous backs particularly on the wings where Anthony do Santos did some sterling defensive work together with the centre pairing of Luke Couchman and George Perry, as a result Rutlishians found it difficult to make ground in the backs. But PJF allowed them to remain in the PJF half and again went through a phase of conceding cheap penalties at the break down and after one such penalty Rutlishians managed to narrow the PJF defence and take advantage of an overlap on their right flank. The kick was missed and the score was 12-8 to PJF. From the kick off Old Ruts gathered the ball under pressure and PJF missed a tackle allowing Rutlishians to break and establish a position in the PJF half. Again PJF conceded some simple penalties and from one such penalty taken short Rutlishians probed the PJF defence, from the resulting ruck a sniping run saw Rutlishians go in under the posts. The conversion was added and Rutlishians had a half time lead with the score standing at 12-15.
Stern words were spoken at half time and PJF came out in the second half altogether more determined. Driving up the gentle slope but with the wind blowing in their favour PJF's forwards took the battle back to O Ruts and the pressure was soon rewarded when Callum Law drove over the line. With the kick PJF were back in front with a four point lead. PJF continued to push forward and were rewarded with another forward try scored by Neil Leather. During this period the front five really imposed themselves on the game with Luca Bellavia taking some crashing balls up the middle and Shane van der Schiff equally contributing to the yardage. A rare attack from O Ruts got to the PJF 22m line and their quick left winger looking for the ball came inside, but Anthony dos Santos had tracked across with him and when he received the ball in what should have been space he was clattered by one of the tackles of the game. Shortly afterwards Anthony left the field as a precaution having picked up a knock to the head. Anthony was replaced by Chase Thompson who was really fired up having been left on the subs bench and it didn't take long for Chase to make his mark. A totally different player to Anthony's swift gliding speed Chase received the ball on the half way line two minutes after taking the field and charged forward. His opposite winger was shrugged aside as Chase broke one then two then three tackles his surging run allowing him to break free and go in under the posts. The kick was added. But O Ruts never gave up and came back at PJF to claim a third try for themselves to make the score 31-20. PJF continued to pressurise Ruts and after a fine individual effort, Jack Kennedy went over for one of his trade mark tries. With 4 minutes remaining and the game safe PJF allowed O Ruts to drive into their 22m and from a 5 m scrum which came about because the ball was held up Ruts managed to claim a bonus point of their own for scoring four tries. The missed kick signalled the end of the game and PJF had come through 36-25. A great deal of credit has to go to the centre pairing of George Perry and Luke Couchman whose discipline in the centre denied O Ruts the ability to launch their quick wingers. In the second half PJF put up a real team performance with the backs being capably generalled by Seaghan Davey. In the forwards James Hickey came on for the injured Sam Arnold and put in a solid performance and Brad Bosman put in a huge shift at No 8 along with the front five. Kian McNulty replaced Joe Casartelli half way through the second half, both contributing to the improved second half performance.
Next week PJF travel to Cranleigh to take on a dangerous Cranleigh side looking for revenge after their loss at the Pightle earlier in the season.