PJF fight back to draw in Cranleigh
By Niel Kenny
Moral victory of outscoring the hosts 2 tries to 1
Cranleigh were up for this game and determined to avenge their loss at the Pightle earlier in the season. Cranleigh set off at a pace and had most of the opening play without ever looking as though they would open the PJF defence. During the first half a lot of the territorial dominance that Cranleigh achieved was self inflicted by PJF who conceded 15 penalties in the first half. The claggy pitch proved hard work for the PJF backs and a lack of accuracy meant that PJF squandered chances to break free. There was a lot of intensity in the game with neither side giving an inch defensively. The end of the first half saw Cranleigh turn around with a 3-0 lead.
The second half saw most of the early exchanges battled out between the 22m lines. From one break Cranleigh's fly half ran into traffic on the right wing and some how managed to roll off the resulting maul with the ball to run in under the posts. An odd try in that it just didn't look right and yet no offence was committed. Cranleigh now had a 10 point lead and PJF looked as though they might slip to a defeat. But PJF responded with some driving runs and deft play, they pushed deep into the Cranleigh 22m before being penalised for holding on. But PJF didn't give up and got their just reward when, from a 5m scrum, Jack Kennedy nipped in to get PJF on the scoreboard . The kick faded but PJF were in the hunt. PJF continued to play expansively but the passing wasn't accurate enough and knock ons became the order of the day with 18 being conceded during the half. The good news was that the penalty count fell dramatically to one conceded in the half. The line out was operating but on the occasions that PJF managed a 5m lineout the referee adjudged the throw not straight. Despite the frustrations PJF forced their way into Cranleigh's 22m and from a ruck 15m out the ball was spun out to prop Alex Wergrcynek who linked with the backs and PJF went over on their left hand corner. Again the kick faded short but the game was all square. Cranleigh, who had achieved some dominance in the set scrums brought back their large tight head in an effort to turn the game but PJF looked the more threatening with their defence in control, George Perry and Luke Couchman putting in a great shift. Opportunities were missed and PJF just couldn't find the telling pass and the game petered out to a 10-10 draw. PJF did manage to outscore their hosts in tries but it was a hard fought battle with both sides giving their all on a heavy clay pitch.
The next game is on March 23rd at the Pightle. Kick off at 3.00pm. Come and support the lads in what will be a season defining match. O. Blues will be looking to return to winning ways to stay in the promotion hunt having lost out to O Ruts. The match will be preceded by the past players lunch at 12.30pm for 1.00pm. If you haven't booked already please contact me by clicking the 'link' and sending me an e mail. The take up has been good, so its a great opportunity to catch up with old friends over lunch and enjoy a great game of rugby afterwards. The lads will really enjoy your support at this important game. We look forward to seeing you on March 23rd.