TWO NORTH EAST
Rochford Hundred 40
Frustrated Ben Scully conceded his Sudbury side gave their opponents Rochford Hundred the first half ‘for free’ as they suffered an opening day defeat.
It proved to be the anticipated tough game against a side who had declared their intention to go unbeaten throughout the campaign, but the home coach felt they made it too easier for Rochford to rack up a commanding lead.
“I think we made it a hell of a lot tougher than we should have,” said Scully. “We gave them undue respect and let them control the environment of the game.
“From the off we let them be the loudest team on the pitch. We let them gee each other up, get excited. We lost a couple of scrums, and we let them control that totally. We gave them the first half for free.”
Rochford, who have signalled their promotion aim by attracting a number of players from Southend Saxons, who play two divisions higher, and putting their senior squad on contracts, used their big pack to dominate and only one of their four tries before the break, to lead 26-3, came from the backs.
The second half was much better from a Sudbury viewpoint, with more ball in hand Austin Beckett and his brother Frazer were able to break clear, with Jonny Taylor setting up a try wide on the right.
But while they twice pulled back to within two scores of Rochford, they gifted the visitors another try shortly after scoring themselves, to end with just a losing bonus point.
“When we gelled in the second half and did what we said we wanted to do and move it around, we tore them to pieces. I think we made them better than they are,” Scully reflected.
“We don’t seem to stack positives on top of each other. We get within two scores and feel we can turn it round, and then give them another freebie.
“We get back into it again, and give them another freebie. Mentally we have a habit of switching off when we do well, and probably congratulate ourselves a little too much.”
Scully, who spent Monday analysing the match film, said: “There are a lot of lessons to be learned. It was a bit uncharacteristic, and maybe nervousness played a part. It’s a long season, there are a lot more games to come, and our season will not be determined by this one.
“But we don’t have to over-analyse. We’ll turn up for training this week, which will be just the same as if we had won. We just have to work that bit harder.”
Sudbury host Ipswich on Saturday (3pm), who won their opening game against Epping Upper Clapton, 33-22.