Romford & Gidea Park 15
Sudbury produced another stylish performance at home to beat Romford & Gidea Park on Saturday to make up for the previous week’s disappointment.
Romford did not have the best start to the day due to their coach breaking down on the way, delaying the kick-off by 30 minutes. And their fortunes did not improve during the game.
They tried to use their forwards to control the pace of the game but Sudbury shipped the ball wide at every opportunity to play the game at pace and leave their opponents at a loss as to how to cope with the speed.
The hosts got off to a good start with a break down the left of the pitch seeing the ball move out to the right for Sam Rust to score after seven minutes.
Sudbury spent much of the next 10 minutes in the Romford 22 metre area, but were having trouble with their lineout and failed to capitalise on several penalty opportunities from five metre lineouts to increase their score.
On the half hour, hooker Sam Maile intercepted a pass on the halfway line and sprinted the 50 metres to score under the posts, converted by Rust.
The Romford forwards had some success moving play into the Sudbury half during the second 20 minutes of the half but were unable to create gaps in the defence and as soon as they lost possession Sudbury just ran the ball back down the park.
Finally, Romford crossed the stripe just before half-time when, after five or six phases of play on the Sudbury five, they eventually scored from close range for a 12-5 half-time score.
Jake Thurlow scored for Sudbury two minutes into the second half and then Jonny Taylor added to the tally with a good run after a scrum on the Romford 10-metre line and Rust was having a good day with the boot.
Romford scored from a penalty lineout and a rare backs move to go wide on the left.
Sudbury were now controlling both scrum and lineout, and from a penalty for a lineout infringement Henry Cowling took a quick tap and ran 40 metres to score.
Romford were now bereft of ideas and living off scraps with only 10 minutes of the half played, Austin Beckett scored twice with dashes down the wing and then Romford crossed the Sudbury line again from close range but were held up. But they did eventually score from the ensuing five scrum.
Two five scrums kept Romford under pressure and from the second the ball was shipped right across the park for Shaun Smith to finish.
Romford were now reduced to 13 players after a yellow card, and the new regulation which says the team must lose a man if uncontested scrums are called and the game was effectively over for Romford.
Two more tries from Smith and Jackson helped the score along to give Sudbury a well-deserved win.
n Halstead Templars’ 57-12 home victory over Bury St Edmunds IV on Saturday puts them two of the Eastern Counties League Division Two South table as they made it four wins from four.
Halstead gave debuts to lock Dan Bennett and centre Sam Forrest and scored four tries in each half.
Liam Surgett, Jack Pawsey Ed Merry and Matt Harwood, all converted by Brett Ballard, made it 28-12 to the hosting Knights at half-time.
In the second half, the Templars extended their dominance through scores from Craig Trevain, man-of-the-match Bennett, Ballard and Harwood got his second.
Ballard converted seven of the eight tries and one out of two penalties for a personal haul of 22 points.
Halstead are without a game this weekend.
n Hadleigh are second in Division One South after their 33-8 success, while Sudbury Talbots (IIs) also tasted victory in the same division, 29-14 at Stowmarket II.