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Neil Dachtler calls on his Sudbury players to capitalise on an excellent win over Colchester when returning from the festive break at Shelford

Buoyed by their 30-3 victory over promotion-chasing Colchester, Sudbury resume London 1 North action at Shelford on Saturday with Neil Dachtler urging his players to get the momentum going, writes Ken Watkins.

Their statement win against their derby rivals made it three straight victories heading into the Christmas break, and their head coach wants to see them pick up where they left off.

“We can capitalise on this win,” he said. “We can’t have this win and think we’re done for the season. We’re only at the half-way stage. As a squad we’ve got to keep that momentum rolling, keep working hard for each other.

RUGBY - Sudbury v Luton..Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (4337499)
RUGBY - Sudbury v Luton..Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (4337499)

“Everyone will take us seriously now, so we have to turn up. We have to turn up in every game and make sure we put the points on, and play the way we just proved we can every time we go out.

“If we can do that every time, we can improve every time a little bit as well.”

Sudbury’s players enjoyed a brief Christmas break, but were back in training between Christmas and New Year preparing for two demanding away matches, seeking revenge for a 41-21 home defeat by Shelford back in September, and aiming to complete a double over Harpenden on January 11. Harpenden were beaten 20-12 at Sudbury in September.

Sudbury Rugby Club's head coach Neil DachtlerPicture: Don Reekie (Sudbury Rugby Club) (16014029)
Sudbury Rugby Club's head coach Neil DachtlerPicture: Don Reekie (Sudbury Rugby Club) (16014029)

“After New Year we will back training knowing we are going to Shelford,” said Dachtler. “That won’t be an easy game, but Shelford, after seeing this result, will know that we are not mucking about.”

Victory over Colchester was the team’s first over their local rivals for 15 years, avenging the 8-5 September defeat at Mill Road, although much of that time has seen the clubs in different divisions.

Colchester, now coached by Ben Scully, head coach at Sudbury for the previous three seasons, slipped from second to third following the defeat, their third reverse in their last four matches.

They are now one of four teams on 47 points, 19 points behind leaders North Walsham. Sudbury are currently eighth on 40 points, nine points ahead of Shelford, and two behind sixth-placed Harpenden.

Since losing their opening three matches of the season, Sudbury have improved enormously, winning seven and drawing one of the next 11.

“We’ve turned it on, found our feet and got a lot of confidence within the squad,” said Dachtler. “There’s no-one in this league we can’t compete with.”

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