Sudbury’s biggest loss of season

BIG BLOW: Shaun Smith, pictured in action earlier in the season, went off injured in Saturday's defeat.
BIG BLOW: Shaun Smith, pictured in action earlier in the season, went off injured in Saturday's defeat.

LONDON LEAGUE

DIVISION TWO

NORTH EAST

Cantabrigian 36 Sudbury 0

Sudbury produced an unusually poor peformance on Saturday, and were comprehensively defeated by Cantabrigian, writes Don Reekie.

Cantabs started the game at pace with the strong wind behind them, and were soon deep into Sudbury territory as their pack drove forward. Sudbury tried to run out of danger but knocked on, on the halfway line.

The first scrum revealed the power of the Cantabs pack, and Sudbury were pushed back. After four phases Cantabs moved the ball wide to the left to score after three minutes.

Cantabs enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory in the first 10 minutes, but Sudbury defended well. But once again the Cantabs forwards drove, sucked in the defence and then went wide to score, this time to the right.

The game was littered with penalties from both sides and from a penalty Cantabs kicked for touch and Sudbury knocked on at the lineout. From the scrum Cantabs put the ball into the centre with one pass and the 12 crashed through for a converted try.

Sudbury had not given up and made a good break with Shaun Smith making distance, but he was felled short of the line.

Cantabs then mounted a well executed move of their own which was met by superb defence from Sudbury on their own try line.

A five-metre scrum added to the pressure on Sudbury, but captain Justin Burton playing at 8, was alert to the loose ball and cleared the lines back to the halfway line. Cantabs scored again just before half-time from a lineout to take the score to 24-0 at the break.

For the second half Sudbury had the advantage of the wind, but they lost the rub of the green and frustration started to creep in.

Their defence remained solid, but they lost Smith with an injury, and then with the referee behind play and missing a knock on, Cantabs scored from a move which started in their own 22. Sudbury succumbed to a final try when the Cantabs forwards put together four phases of play to set up the try.

Sudbury defended well throughout the game, but did not show their usual flair on what probably was the worst surface they have had to play on this season.

n Sudbury’s second team, the Talbots, have extended their winning run to five games, each with a bonus point.

In a high scoring game played in poor conditions Mistley attempted to match Sudbury in the early exchanges but could never quite match the work rate of the hosts.

The Talbots eventually ran out comfortable winners 69-32 and are fourth in Eastern Counties Division Two South going into the Christmas break.

n Sudbury’s third team, the Tigers, won 56-14 at Mistley II in Eastern Counties Division Four South. and are second in the table.