Scully proud of Sudbury side, despite derby defeat to Colchester
Sudbury’s players could “walk into the clubhouse with their heads held high”, said head coach Ben Scully, despite losing their opening home London One North derby 37-17 to Colchester at Whittome Field.
“My message to the boys was that we should be very proud that we’ve mixed it with a stable London 1 team who are contenders for promotion,” he said.
“It was always going to be a hard game and a hard task to get something. Of course victory is our ultimate goal, but we are happy with our performance. In patches, decent patches, we showed what we are capable of.”
After a first half where Colchester took advantage of some unforced errors to move into a 29-10 interval lead, Sudbury enjoyed a better second period.
“When we moved the ball wide, when we brought tempo to the game, when we transitioned from defence to attack in the Sudbury way we had them rattled,” Scully said.
So rattled that Colchester ended the game with 11 men, following two yellow and two red cards in the dying minutes, but far too late for Sudbury to take advantage.
“In the first half we probably were frustrated, wanted to get one up on the opposite man, too direct at times, and tried to carry against a big team, whose bread and butter that is.” he said.
“I think if we played at our pace it could have been a different scoreline. I’m not saying it could have been a win. But I’m very upbeat, very positive. I think Colchester realised they had to work for it.
“I think we’ve proved to everyone that we deserve to be back here (London One).
“We’ve got to learn to trust our game plan, and we can’t be the underdogs or chasing the game every time.
“We’ve just got to learn to believe in ourselves and do what we want to do. Trust our play, play our game.”
Sudbury played well and never gave up and provided the large crowd with entertaining rugby, marred only in the closing stages by indiscipline by the Colchester side when they had the game won.
An early penalty on the Colchester 22 gave Sudbury the lead when the visitors bored in at the first scrum in an effort to prove their weight advantage and Tom Summers made no mistake with the kick. Colchester soon replied with a penalty of their own catching Sudbury offside.
Colchester were able to control the game in the first half with much of the possession having more control at the breakdown although Sudbury were never pushed off their own scrums.
A backs move from a lineout saw the Essex side score behind the posts and then again from a well-worked backs move out wide.
Charles Jackson replied for Sudbury with a good run down the wing after Shaun Smith made the initial break after 25 minutes of play.
A five scrum allowed the visitors scrum-half to nip through the defence to score under the posts and the forwards added another just before half time as they drove over the Sudbury line for a half time score of 10-29.
The second half was not so easy for the men in black, the Sudbury fitness paid dividends and they were able to keep the pace of the game high, Colchester were struggling with lineout ball, the blues were still attacking out wide and keeping the opposition honest.
An early try by Colchester extended their lead but Sudbury dug in and showed they were not going to be beaten easily.
They never let their heads drop and frustrated the Colchester attack. Colchester opted to kick a penalty midway through the half but it was in the last 10 minutes it all fell apart for the visitors, two yellow cards as they were forced to defend and then two red cards as their frustration boiled over and Sudbury ran in an easy try against 11 men as Chris Whybrow ran through to score with two minutes left.