Table-topping Sudbury face a real test on Saturday when they travel to second-placed Beccles (3pm) for the match of the day in rugby’s London 3NE.
Sudbury, unbeaten in their first four games, and scoring freely — 133 points against 35 conceded — know they will be up against one of the division’s more physical sides at Beef Meadow.
“We got beaten up there last year,” said coach Graham Richards, “so this will be the test of whether we can stand up and cope physically, and not be bullied. They have to stand side by side and trust each other.”
Sudbury’s young squad — most of the players are in their teens and early twenties — are still a work in progress.
Encouragingly for the club, many of them have come through the youth system, and they are local. Every player on duty last Saturday lives in Sudbury or one of the surrounding villages.
“The boys know that we can improve. Their levels of understanding and expectation have increased since last season.
“They were very disappointed on Saturday to concede a late try,” added Richards.
Sudbury suffered a blow when forward Andy Currie went off early in the first half against Old Brentwoods, with an ankle ligament injury, which is likely to keep him out until Christmas, but the reshuffled pack more than held their own.
With several players at university prepared to come back to play at weekends, Richards cannot name his line-up until availabilities are clear.
Ben Savory and Sam Worvell may be in the squad for the trip to north Suffolk.