Sudbury make defensive reinforcements to coaching staff

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Graham Richards has strengthened his coaching team at Sudbury Rugby Club with defensive coach Andy Price arriving from Bury St Edmunds.

Price, who has also previously coached at Haverhill and Saffron Walden, joined the Whittome Field club last week, and watched his new team beat Holt 27-15 on Saturday, Sudbury’s fourth win from four starts.

“He has just come on board,” said Richards. “He had a bit of input in the last week or so and will be with us for the rest of the season. It’s great for me that I can rely on someone else looking after that area of our game.”

Richards feels Sudbury are generally defending well, but some specialist work in the area can improve that. “We are defending well, but I expect to see us get better so we become harder to penetrate.”

Ironically on Saturday they conceded three tries to Holt, after giving up just 17 points against in their opening three fixtures, leaving them still the meanest defence in London League Division Two North East.

“Holt had to work hard to get their tries,” said Richards, “and they will be a tough team to beat for a lot of others in the league.”

On the playing side there was good news for Richards with prop Sam Conning, who originally was expected to leave the club next month, now likely to stay at Sudbury for the rest of the season.

Hooker Dan Cracknell, who has been unavailable, is due to return to action in the next few weeks, and hooker Sam Maile is set to join from Bury St Edmunds. Maile is on the way back to fitness after a knee operation. There are no league fixtures this weekend, so Sudbury are not back in action until they visit Ipswich on October 24. “The key is to go away as strong as you are at home,” said Richards.

Another blank weekend follows before current Division Two North East leaders Diss visit Whittome Field on November 7.

“If the boys want to achieve anything this year, they need to be focused. It doesn’t just happen, you’ve got to make it happen, and you make it happen through hard, hard work.

“We have 18 points from our first four games. I’d have taken that at the start of the season,” said Richards. “At the end of the season we will be where we will be, but I think we’ll shock a few.”