Ben Scully got the result and performance he wanted from Sudbury with their 47-17 victory over fellow promotion chasers Wanstead on Saturday
Third-placed Sudbury started the day six points behind second-placed Wanstead in London 2NE, but ended it just one point adrift.
They scored eight tries in a five-point win, and some superb late defence meant the visitors were unable to get a crucial fourth try bonus point.
“Only one point behind,” said Scully. “That makes the Epping Upper Clapton defeat all the more frustrating.
“We had hoped today would be the day we leapfrog Wanstead, rather than just closing the gap. But that’s why holding out at the end was so important to us.
“We had to work really hard for that last 10 minutes to keep them out. Especially the last play when we fumbled the ball from the kick-off, and then had to defend really solidly.
“It’s a hell of a result, and I’m really proud of the boys today.”
Sudbury scored four tries in each half, all from superb running rugby.
“The lads don’t seem to score many boring ones,” said Scully. “I was pleased the referee let the game flow, which he said he would, and that played into our hands.
“We said we wanted to play good rugby, and it was nice being against them on a wide pitch at home.
“We thought it would be a bit slippery underfoot. But the pitch was good, and we played some great attacking rugby.”
Wanstead, who won their home fixture against Sudbury 35-33 with a late penalty, used their anticipated strengths to score three tries in their physical mauling game.
“Away to them we forgot about the rugby and got entwined in a little side story off the ball,” said Scully.
“We spoke a lot this week about what might or might not happen off the ball.
“The boys said they were trying to get in our ears, but we just smiled and waved and stayed away from it, and we played them off the park today.”
The club’s man of the match award went to the front row.
“Our whole pack was fantastic today and gave us a hell of a platform to attack,” said Scully.
“We pushed them back at speed at the first scrum, playing them at their own game, and that set a marker for the way the game was going to go.”
Sudbury visit Romford & Gidea Park on Saturday, looking to complete a league double over a team they beat 57-15 in September (2pm).