by Ken Watkins &
at Whittome Field
Sudbury moved up to third in London League Division 2NE after a 54-15 victory over Cantabrigian on Saturday, but head coach Ben Scully was left with mixed feelings.
He was happy with the victory, and another 50-point haul, but felt Sudbury’s performance in the last quarter of the game was not up to the standards that he and the players have set themselves.
Sudbury leapfrogged Harlow and Norwich, both losing on Saturday, Harlow going down 65-0 at unbeaten leaders Rochford Hundred, and Norwich losing 22-6 at second-placed Wanstead. Sudbury are now four points clear of Harlow (see full table below).
“For 60 minutes we were by far the dominant team, but in the last few minutes the game got away from us a bit,” said Scully. “Cantabs got a few phases under their belt, and it turned a bit scrappy.
“But I’m very happy with the win, and the scoreline, although we probably left a few tries out there.
“We set ourselves standards in training, in matches, but for the last 15 minutes we dropped below those standards. Scoring 50 points we are happy with, but things like that (the last quarter) will keep the boys grounded.”
Sudbury’s first-half performance went according to plan, though.
“It was high tempo, and you could see Cantabs’ front five were on their hands and knees,” said Scully.
“But we just couldn’t find that rhythm in the second half. If we had we would have blown them away. We couldn’t get our first half rhythm back, Cantabs got a few phases, a few calls went their way, and that frustrated us.
“Our discipline got a bit loose, a few high tackles crept in. Our penalty count was looking much better than recently, then we had three, four, five in a row.
“There are a lot of teams who would be ecstatic with 50 points. We’re not. But we did what we needed to do today, and got a five-point result. Job done, move on to the next one.”
Saturday’s game, in front of a healthy crowd, saw Sudbury race into a 7-0 lead inside two minutes when Charles Jackson ran clear and Colin Humphreys was successful with the kick.
Soon after the restart Humphreys dispatched a penalty before the dominant hosts went over the try line again when Henry Cowling made the metres before laying off to the supporting Louie Boydell.
Cantabs got a couple of penalties on the board between Sam Maile crossing the whitewash.
Some Cantabs pressure eventually yielded a score for Regan.
But Sudbury hit back with their bonus point fourth try via Shuan Smith, following a real team move.
A further try from Sudbury had the game effectively won by half-time at 35-8.
The second half saw the hosts come under pressure before Jonny Talyor scored a converted try.
Chris Whybrow dived over following a five metre scrum for another and Sudbury’s forwards made the next try with Taylor going over again.
With 20 minutes left to play Harry Maile was applauded on to the pitch for his first appearance since his treatment for cancer.
With Scully’s side now cruising, Cantabs’ forwards were able make use of good field position for a converted try.
n Sudbury travel to Woodford, who are bottom but one, on Saturday (2.30pm).