PJF turned up at Limes Meadow to find that they were playing a rather large pack, comparatively speaking, on a tiny pitch. Home advantage being a card that every side can play. Trinity, playing with the slope , the sun and slight breeze in their favour put PJF under pressure from the start. Whilst PJFs defence held firm Trinity were inching their way closer to the PJF line. On the seventh minute Trinity managed to force their way over the PJF line off a 5m scrum. Eight minutes later the Trinity forward pressure told again having pinned PJF in their own half through a concoction of dominance in the scrum and poor penalties conceded. Again the conversion was kicked and Trinity had a 14-0 lead. From the restart PJF managed to string some phases together and the forwards strove to create room for the creative PJF backs. Having come close a couple of times the PJF backs found the key to open the Trinity defence and Luke Couchman went over for a great backs try. Trinity then went back to their game plan and reapplied the forward pressure, PJF forwards defended magnificently but, conceding at least a stone per man, they were finding it hard going in the set pieces. It wasn't long before Trinity bundled their way through the PJF defence to take a 21-5 lead. Things could have fallen apart at this point in the game but enormous credit goes to the forwards who stuck to their tasks and battled on manfully. Luca Bellavia making some telling runs supported by the rest of the forwards. Vidu Niranjan was especially notable for his work rate and effort. PJF battled up field in the closing moments of the first half and after some well worked interplay from the backs Kareem Williams went in under the posts. Dan Wilkinson adding the extra points to bring the score back to 21-12. Knowing that the elements at least would be in their favour in the second half, PJF battled out the final minutes of the half to close it out.
The second half started and PJF had a real spring in their step and started to create some real problems for Trinity and after about 5 minutes of the second half after some close fought action in the Trinity 22m a funnel suddenly opened in front of Kareem who needed no second invitation to sprint in under the posts. The two points having been added we were into a 2 point game. PJF forwards found the going a little easier as they had the benefit of the slope and off a scrappy piece of play Dan Wilkinson on the Trinity 10m line took a drop at goal which sailed between the posts to give PJF a 21-22 lead. Trinity reverted to plan A and used their heavier forwards to make the hard yards, but PJF's defence held firm. However penalties continued to be conceded, some through somewhat inconsistent decision making by the referee, which in fairness applied to both sides. From one penalty on the PJF 10 m line Trinity took the opportunity to take a 2 point lead. The pressure continued and still PJF's defence held firm but in the last 5 minutes PJF conceded another penalty in kickable range and Trinity moved out to a five point lead. PJF mounted a last offence to rescue the game but were thwarted by minor errors . The final whistle went and PJF found that they were on the wrong end of another marginal loss to Trinity. Trinity had used their home advantage smartly and PJF, for all their effort and endeavour, had come up only just short for the second league match in a row. It was a close run thing and the lads were disappointed but not downhearted. They had all defended magnificently against a bigger and older opponent, they had matched Trinity's try count. Nevertheless PJF need to look at the penalty count against them. Cut out some of the penalties and PJF don't put themselves under such pressure. We can all bemoan referee decisions but we also need to remember that on the pitch the referee is the sole arbiter of the law, and right or wrong the referees decision is final. PJF are so close to being a fantastic side but just need to improve their game management. PJF can take lots of positives out of this game to take forward into next weeks tough home game against Teddington who were relegated last season but judging from recent results, are beginning to discover a bit of form. Come and support the lads through a tough learning curve. They have the ability they need to translate that into results and with your support they can start to do that next Saturday.
I apologise for the lack of pictures this week. The camera was working fine but your truly forgot to put the memory card back in the camera!