Sudbury’s two-try winger Shaun Smith spoke to Deputy Sports Editor Russell Claydon following Saturday’s 34-12 home win over Wymondham.
Graham Richards said he was always confident his Sudbury side’s fitness levels would prove too much for newly-promoted Wymondham.
The Suds’ head coach saw his extra sessions over the summer, including competitive touch rugby, pay off as the home side ran in four tries in 16 scintillating second-half minutes in Saturday’s season opener.
A winning start was in the balance at half-time though, with the home side only having an unconverted try by Shaun Smith to show for their efforts after playing down the hill with the wind at their backs.
But their willingness to prey on their opposition’s fatigue after the break by running the ball down the wings saw them saunter to a bonus-point victory for a perfect start, with Fraser Beckett and Smith both claiming two apiece of the six tries.
“At half-time I just said if we kept the tempo high they will never keep up as they were starting to wilt off a little bit,” said a delighted Richards.
“That’s what we did and I thought in the second half we scored some cracking team tries.
“It was not just one player breaking through, it was a few phases and a quite a lot of passing.
“The pitch was good and the conditions were good and it gave us the ability to play an expansive game, which is what we want to do.”
With Alex Pears and Smith making surprise returns from injury and debutants Barry Thomas, Harry Watkins and George Murray all in Sudbury’s starting XV, they had five points on the board just three minutes in when Smith, playing with heavy strapping after a double dislocation of his thumb, finished on the right after the ball was swiftly worked along the line.
Wymondham soon enjoyed their own dominant spell, but never made any clear headway with their forward-driven approach while Sudbury could have increased their lead.
New boy Watkins crossed the line on the right eight minutes after the restart before Wymondham responded seven minutes later with their own unconverted try after also working an overlap on the right for David Martin to go over, to leave the score at 10-5.
The vital next try came in Sudbury’s favour though 16 minutes from time, with Barry finishing out wide on the right after good carrying from Ethan Wright.
Instrumental full-back Fraser Beckett ran from inside his own half down the right for the next score to bring up the bonus point and broke again for a similarly fantastic solo run with three minutes of normal time left, Summers adding his first conversion at the fifth attempt for 27-5.
Smith added his second try three minutes later after a lovely disguised pass from Beckett, with Summers converting with there just being time for Wymondham to add a soft consolation try straight from the resumption through Andy Mackay.
Richards is now hoping his side can maintain their free-scoring at Canvey Island on Saturday (3pm), one of only two sides who finished below them last season, and is hoping to secure the services of university players such as Beckett on a more regular basis.
Prop Sam Cunning is set for his debut while centre Ollie Benton and second row Justin Burton both return, though Watkins is unavailable.
Sudbury: Dedross, Birmingham, Pears, Currie, Watkins, Minter, Goodchild, G Murray, T Murray, Summers (c), Smith, Wright, Robinson, Barry, Beckett. Replacements (all used): Strett, Levett, Hume.
Free Press man of the match: Fraser Beckett.
n Log on to www.suffolk freepress.co.uk to see a video of Shaun Smith’s thoughts on Saturday’s win.