Tonbridge Juddians RFC

News and Events

Senior Awards Night

6th May 2018

The End of Season enables the Club to celebrate the efforts of it's senior players, coaches, teams and supporters. Here's an editted version (honest) of what was said by those who know best, with a few amendments by those who don't.

Our first season in National 2 South ended with the 1st XV men achieving 6th place. The team had more wins than 5th placed Redruth with bonus points being the difference. The team scored 749pts, 107 tries and conceded 647pts which was the 3rd best defensive record over the season behind Cinderford and Chinnor, who both secured promotion to National 1. 

For those with a statistical bent the players covered over 5000 miles during games and played 30 W 17 D 1 L 12 with five of those by less than 7 points. TJs are the highest placed promoted team ever in National 2 history.

A total of 46 players played first team rugby this year with some just playing the one game mostly over the Christmas break when the University boys numbered 8 of the 20 players in the fantastic win away at Canterbury. Six players from the Academy made not just their first team debut but their senior debut for TJs.

Using just 46 players in a 30 game league intense season is remarkable when you think that both Dorking and Wimbledon used over 55 in their debut seasons at this level. Testament to the attitude of the players to work hard and stay fit but also to Hannah and Louise and their healing hands on the treatment table and wise words each week.

Many things are needed to keep a group of men happy over the 40 weeks we are together and a large part of that is provided by supporters, sponsors and the coaches and backroom team.  A huge Thank You to everyone who has played their part.

Charlie Edwrads, Dave Irvine, Nathan Holmes, Duncan Tout, Jack Whitmarsh, Hugo Watson, Reece Conlon and Mike O’Sullivan played over 25 games each this season which is testament to their preparation and attitude to playing rugby for the club. And this season Jon McMahon, Hugo Watson and Mike O’Sullivan (pictured) all passed the 100 cap mark for TJs – incredible and well done

In such a tight squad the Players’ Player award is much coveted and and this season it went to Duncan Tout who has been so impressive this, his debut TJ season. Touty impresses everyone he meets hence his playing for Cornwall against Surrey this weekend so we gave him his award last weekend.

There are many players that deserve a special mention this season. Since turning 18, Bobby Bratton has shown that he has a bright future, RoryMcHugh has grown into a dominant line out forward and try scorer, the never say die attitude of Ryan Jackson; Tommy Nicoll playing multiple positions never performing below par, Sully stepping in to captain the side after injury to JMac, Finlay Coxon-Smith who travels to training from Brighton, the sheer hard work of Ben Ashmore to get back on the park after injury and once again Hugo Watson, the top try scorer (17) to mention just a few but many thanks to every single player.

The coachss player of the season is an award that encapsulates many things, progression, attitude, training attendance and of course playing a key role in the success of the team. Often one of the first players to arrive for training, playing through injury, keen to listen to advice, he joined the club after many scraps against us, height holds no fear for him and he would run in to a burning building to save a kitten from certain death. This season’s coachs’ player of the year is Dave Irvine.

Our Sunday 1st XV, TJs Pink Ladies, had a mixed season having played 14 Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 10. Six of the losses by 1 score, 3 of which by 1 point and 3 games lost with the final play – small margins. The squad scored 194 points and conceded 303 points

TJs Pink Ladies have reached level 3 in the Womens game and rank in the Top 40 squads in the country. We knew that would lead to a tough season as we lost several players to top flight Clubs after the leagues were reorganized and the top division ring fenced. In all we lost 20 players for a variety of reasons inc Tyrell Prem Clubs, with 2 of our ex TJ Girls playing regularly in 1st teams

Rachel Laqueretabua was a regular for Richmond and also played for England Saxons in the Dubai 7s after a quiet start to her rugby career where she could not get a game elsewhere. At TJs she developed quickly into a try scoring winger and was fast tracked upwards. Tasha Bradshaw was another who has played regularly for Harlequins. Impressive players both. We also saw Ame Roberts and Carly Walker representing the British Police

However we recruited well and started the season with a mix of 7 1st teamers from last season and 15 or so new girls. Our 1st league game won at home vs Romford and Gidea 50points to 10, a great start but tougher games followed and as mentioned we lost 10 games but if we had eeked out wins in the tighter games we could have finished a creditable 3rd as opposed to a final position 7th.

The season was Head Coach Bill Little’s last at the helm having taken over in 2012-13. Bill, plus his backroom team in Joe Sage and Ryan Redman have done so much for Ladies Rugby at TJs which has benefitted the national game as well. Hannah Reid and Katie Major will now manage and admin the Ladies

Just like the Saturday 1st XV TJs Pink Ladies rely on the support of sponsors and touchline encouragement. Andy MacDonald from Pink Lady Apples and Peter Connetta from Ellis & Co have been amazing sponsors.

Players Player, Voted by the Players: Hannah Reid
Players Most Improved: Voted by the Players: Charlie Skilton
Most tries: Danielle Leonard
Young Player: Natasha Mayhew Receives The Palm Trophy
Coaches Player of the Year for her outstanding performances, mostly out of position. For attending pretty much every training session, for her continued improvement as a rugby player, her attitude both on and off the pitch. And mostly for being a really nice human being. Carly Walker. 

2nd XV (male) season report

The 2nd team had a tough start to the season due to several players joining other clubs, players leaving the club and a couple being away travelling, the loss of the coaches early on didn’t help matters either. Many of the 3rd team players from the previous season stepped up to play against some good solid Kent 2nd team sides in the Invicta league.

The 2nd team finished a respectable 5th in the league with highlights being wins over Tunbridge Wells and the 90-12 win over Beckenham.

To get into the team, it was either be old or young with a number of Vets taking to the field such as Paul Kent, Ed Stockbridge, Dave Curtis, Richard Lamb, Alex Baldwin and Gary Holloway with the younger players doing most of the running in Edd Ansell, Matt Dampner and Calum Glendinning to name a few.

The 2nd half of the season was more stable with a couple of players returning to the side and Seb Lewis taking up the captaincy role to bring good leadership and attacking flare.

The 2nd team is grateful for the support of the 1st team players that played when available to bring a different dimension to the team and secured some good wins with their help.

Thanks goes to the 1st team coaches for supporting the 2nd team and to Nick Oldham for taking a couple of training sessions. We must also thank Steve Farr for ensuring that the playing kit is there ready on a Saturday.

Next season the 2nd team are entering the newly developed Invicta league, with teams returning from the Zoo leagues. This will make next season tougher and even more challenging but we will most definitely be up for it.

3rd XV season report

The 3rd team found it tough and finished 9th in Late Red 3 after a hard-fought season. At times we struggled to find players to fulfil fixtures and on occasions were still finding players on Friday night. The 3rd team often played with no subs and battled hard to get some good wins and some very close losses.

Thanks goes to Karl Robertson for the hard job of organizing the team and captaining the side on match days in the 1st half of the season.

The team became more settled in the 2nd half of the season with numbers increasing and more players attending training. Tom Davies took over the captaincy role on match days and led well showing his hard work and dedication on the pitch.

Improvements have been seen and at times have relied on the likes of Jack Tawney, Harvey Mountney and George Seal to use their youthfulness on the senior stage.

When at full strength, opposition would find playing against the 3rd team tough, but certain fixtures proved to be a struggle against teams that could train as a unit week in week out.

A notable performance against Leigh with 14 players showed the determination and grit of at times, a very young group of players.

Senior Men awards

Matt Damper – 2nd team player of the year

This player has been consistent throughout the season and he got his fitness back as the season went on, showing that he was strong in defence but also devastating in attack when given space. This award was also closely contested between Craig Gazard and Edd Ansell, and the top two voted players are a year or two out of the Academy. He’s scored 12 tries this season, 6 of which were scored in one match against Medway, the 2nd team player of the year is Matt Damper.

Joe Massey – 2nd team coaches player of the year

This award is not just for performance on the field, but for what this player does off the field to get to fixtures. He travels back from Cardiff most weeks to play, although we’re not sure if that’s for the rugby or just to have his washing done at home. He tackles like a loose forward and is probably one of the quietest scrum halves around. For his commitment to the team and the club, the coaches player of the year is Joe Massey

Tom Davies – 3rd team player of the year

This player has a positive attitude and is willing to play for whichever team no matter where the fixture is. He’s played for both the 2nd team and 3rd team this year and took over the captaincy role of the 3rd team half way through the season, which made him the youngest senior captain ever at the age of 19. A well-respected player by the rest of the team and has shown great leadership, the 3rd team player of the year is Tom Davies.

Dave Curtis – Trojans Cup

This award is given to the Veteran player that has played throughout the season and goes to a utility player that has covered 2nd row, 6, 7, 8 and centre. He gives his all on match days and at training and encourages the younger players and is never negative. This player balances rugby with a young family and piloting long haul flights and often turns up looking shattered, probably not due to old age. He has cried off one game this season due to a repetitive strain injury from holding the baby, the Trojans Cup is awarded to Dave Curtis.

Ben Zaug – Founders Salver

This player has been a member of the club for a few seasons now now and has predominantly played rugby for the 2nd team, but is willing to play for any team as long as he gets a game. He’s well known for his conversation throughout games with the referee as apparently, he knows more than them. He coaches one of his sons in the U10s on a Sunday morning whilst his other son plays in the U7s. He’s a well liked character, mainly thanks to his lovely rugby playing wife Lucy, and when everyone first meets him, thinks he’s from South Africa, then thinks he’s Belgian before finding out that he is actually French. A very social member of the club and will often be seeing buying a round of Jager bombs. For his commitment to the club, the Founders Salver is awarded to Ben Zaug.

Presidents Cup - the big one, literally, is awarded to someone who gives their all to the Club over the season and perhaps over many years also. Makes you wonder whi this season's recipient has not won it before so it was about time that Janet Grasby did - WELL DONE!

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