Ben Scully to judge his Sudbury Rugby Club side on performance rather than result in derby at high-flying Colchester
Ahead of a daunting derby fixture at title-chasing Colchester on Saturday (3pm), Ben Scully has said he will be putting his Sudbury players’ performance above the result as the yardstick to judge them.
The Blues go into the return London 1 North fixture at their neighbours as big underdogs, lying eight places and 35 points behind them in 10th spot.
In fact, newly-promoted Sudbury are yet to win a match against any side above them in the table, with their four wins all coming against the four sides that sit under them.
But following a ‘frustrating’ 31-16 defeat at sixthplaced Old Priorians on Saturday, head coach Scully is looking for a display they can take heart from heading into the mid-season festive break.
“It is certainly going to be a tough environment to go to with them having 200 people booked in for their Christmas luncheon, plus it’s a local derby, so if there is some sun about I’m sure there will be a lot of people coming down,” he said.
“Since Anthony O’Rordan (Colchester director of rugby) and myself started working together at St Joseph’s (College) there has been some banter flying about.
“They are obviously going to want to finish their year on a high with a win.
“For me it is about chasing a performance.
“If we can get a good performance and get a good result off that I would look at it as a double bonus.
“I want us to go into Christmas with a result we can feel proud of and get a buzz off. That is as important as a result for me.”
Early September saw the sides resume a rivalry that had been put on hold for nearly a decade.
Colchester triumphed 37-17 at Whittome Field in a match which Scully will be revisting the video footage of this week in a bid to try to put a dent in the second-placed side’s promotion charge.
“If we can go down fighting and make as close a game of it as we did in the last 20 minutes of that game that will be as much a success (as a win) as it gives us the feelgood factor coming into Christmas,” he said.
The hosts have only lost once this season, at home to Rochford Hundred on October 27, leaving them eight points adrift of the side who still maintain a perfect record.
Sudbury had been looking to make it a trio of wins with victory at Old Priorians but, after dominating the opening five minutes, shipped four first-half tries.
“Three mistakes cost us dearly and we were 17 points down in the first 17 minutes, which we could never really recover from,” said Scully. “It was very frustrating.”
A few players were being assessed at training this week but he hopes to have a near fully-fit squad to choose from in the last game before they return to host third-place North Walsham on January 5 (3pm).