Sudbury 8 South Woodham Ferrers 39
LONDON THREE NORTH EAST
South Woodham Ferrers 39
SUDBURY coach Graham Richards will not sacrifice installing his rugby philosophy on his new side after seeing them end up on the wrong end of a comprehensive 39-8 scoreline in their opening game.
Richards, who has taken over from Scott Harries and Lee Cooper, believed their mistakes were the biggest factor that saw South Woodham Ferrers to a 31-point winning margin at Whittome Field on Saturday.
The former Harlequins assistant coach and director of rugby in Malta said: “I am certainly not going to rein back the way I want us to play.
“I am still playing catch-up at the minute and could keep going the same way with no progress, but I am probably a bit more ambitious in my style of rugby than what they are used to.
“They have the ability, they just need the confidence.”
He added: “While I am giving them a licence to play and be progressive in their approach, you have to know when it is right to pass the ball and when to keep it up your jumper and when to kick it.”
Richards, whose side travel to Upminster in Essex on Saturday (3pm), who beat Canvey Island on the road 41-12 at the weekend, believed the scoreline flattered South Woodham but his side must not let physicality overpower them.
“It is going to take a while, we are a very young side and I would say we got bullied,” he said. “It is something we have to work on; the ability to stand up to it.
“Saturday will be a similar game with perhaps a bigger back and back row dominated.”
Woodham moved the ball away from the set pieces at speed and created gaps in the Sudbury defence on Saturday, running in seven tries.
Sudbury struggled to cope at the scrum and the lineout and were denied quality possession throughout the game which left them playing off the backfoot, which in turn led to basic mistakes when they did find themselves going forward.
Sudbury opened the scoring with a penalty from Tom Summers in the first couple of minutes, but they had to wait till the closing minutes for Mark Bolton to score a try in what was a frustrating and disappointing afternoon.
Vice-captain Richard Lorking, who plays at number eight, is available again after holiday while full-back Nick Robinson returns after work commitments kept him out of Saturday’s game.
But scrum-half Ollie Champman incurred a potential serious knee injury on Saturday and is expected to be sidelined for some time.
The club is running a coach to Upminster, for those who wish to travel call 01787 377547 for details.
n Hadleigh Rugby Club came from behind to beat Ely 34-33 at Layham Road on Saturday on their first game in Eastern Counties One in five years, following promotion last season.
Adam Miles’ side travel to Newmarket on Saturday (3pm), a side who were relegated from Sudbury’s league last season and lost 29-8 to West Norfolk away at the weekend.