Sudbury look to open up gap on London 1 North relegation zone with victory at Luton
Sudbury travel to Luton on Saturday bidding to end a run of three defeats, and seeking a victory against the team immediately below them that would give them a little breathing space to the London 1 North relegation zone, writes Ken Watkins.
Fifth-from-bottom Sudbury, smarting from a frustrating 30-12 home defeat by North Walsham at the weekend, will, coach Ben Scully said, “be pumped up for that, wanting to put on a decent performance and a decent score” against a side they beat 54-21 back in September.
Sudbury are on 22 points after 15 games, 14 points adrift of Southend Saxons, the team immediately above them, and five points clear of Luton and Ruislip. Three teams are set to go down.
“I don’t want us to be the team that almost, you know, ‘they played great and they almost stayed up’. We’ve got to start being the team that puts our money where our mouth is, to start completing, to start executing,” said Scully.
The Walsham game, Scully said, was “the one that got away. If you had interviewed me after 68 minutes I’d have been over the moon, extremely happy.
“There’s a lot to be positive about in that game, and 68 minutes of it were perfect. They probably worked one of their tries very well, two mistakes gave them two others, but I thought we were well in
the game to get ourselves back to 12-20, and I felt very confident.
“The boys are relatively upbeat about their performance. I get that. To take the third (team in the division) that close.
“But I feel frustrated because we should have just taken our time, and we could have taken that game. I think we could have won it.
“The frustrating thing is that we had spoken in the week about being comfortable being behind and not panicking. I got that message on to the pitch – we’ve been here before, we’ve done this before, don’t panic – but that last 11 minutes... 11 minutes can be a hell of a long time in a match,” Scully added.
“As we showed with Sam Maile’s try, all it takes is 10 seconds to score a try. Two minutes later they showed us all it takes is one second to go from defending your own try line to pinning us on our try line.
“I don’t think we needed to force the play that much. They scored, we were shell shocked, and let them in for a few more.”
Walsham completed the double over Sudbury, winning 37-22 in Norfolk in September.
“That was the one that got away at the start of the season,” said Scully.
The visitors celebrated noisily in their changing room after the game.
“That’s upsetting. To come to ours and be celebrating like that,” said Scully. “It hurts, but it shows me they know they’ve had to work hard.”
Saturday’s opponents Luton will be reeling from Saturday’s defeat at bottom club Diss, which was the Norfolk side’s first victory in their 15 games.