Ben Scully 'extremely happy' after Sudbury thrash Diss 52-3 in London 1 North
Pretty or not, Ben Scully is ‘extremely happy’ with Saturday’s 52-3 drubbing of London 1 North’s basement side Diss Rugby Club and hopes it can be the ‘springboard’ for a better league run.
The team (10th) are away to Old Priorians on Saturday as they look to make it three wins in a row and ‘start chasing Amersham’ in eighth.
Sudbury had overturned a six-match losing streak away to Fullerians the week earlier and head coach Scully went into the Diss game optimistic – while also admitting the club felt they had a score to settle, having lost out on promotion in the 2015/16 London 2 North East season by eight points after losing both fixtures to them.
And settle it they did, inflicting a hefty defeat over a side still searching for their first win – or even draw – this season.
Scully said: “We’re better than our form at the moment shows and that maybe came as a shock because, to them, the numbers on a piece of paper don’t have us that far apart.
“They were probably looking at our tough win against Fullerians last week, but not many wins leading up to it, as their chance to shine.
“And that was a big aspect of the game, and one we did brilliantly to hold off, we didn’t let them shine.
“We needed to string some wins together to build confidence but to also look at pushing up the league table and start chasing Amersham above us.
“A score like that is a big boost of confidence for the next game too.
“I am really happy with the way we moved the ball, and hopefully it can be the springboard for a few more results like this.”
He added that it was great to see an enthusiastic crowd of ‘maybe 250-odd’ attend the game at Whittome Field.
“And then there was a little bit of that local derby flavour about it too between us which just means a lot and especially in front of our only Christmas luncheon of December,” he said.
“Nice big crowd of maybe 250-odd on the sidelines,and so to get the win was really important.”
The fixture had been billed as a mouth-watering Norfolk versus Suffolk derby match between two rivals who had not met in three seasons, with both in need of league points.
And, while there was plenty of competitiveness on show, an eight-try haul for the home side left the final score one-sided.
It had started well for the visitors, successfully kicking a penalty from midway in the Sudbury half after just two minutes of play.
Despite moments of pressure in the 22 for Diss, they were unable to follow up with further points.
Instead the momentum changed to the home side, as they increasingly exploited space out wide, with wingers Shaun Smith and Jonny Taylor both key to the side’s attacks.
Smith scored two tries and Taylor one, with further tries from Dan Harding, Jake Sumner, Sam Rust, Andy Goodbourn and Jack Dachtler.
Scully added: “It probably wasn’t the prettiest game. We like to play good and exciting rugby and I think we showed that in patches but, at times, we had to dog it out a bit.
“We recognised that the game, for all intents and purposes, was a cup final for them – they would have backed themselves to pick up their first win against us.
“Credit to Diss as they brought the game to us at times, particularly in the second half. Their plan was obviously to be very physical and they did that.
“But we set ourselves a target of not just a win but a big and convincing one, so to get 52 points against just three and starve them of a try, I’m extremely happy with that.
“Although we’re extremely happy with the result, we’re not so happy about the way it came about though, we’re a bit frustrated by our performance.
“And that’s only a positive – a lot of teams would take 52 points and ignore the rest, but we thought it was too scrappy.
“We were striving to get more and prove ourselves more – we just have to put in a performance like that against the big boys now.
“We started the first 20 minutes really well and we were pretty clinical and dominant, but they muscled their way back into the game and it just took us a bit of time at the start of the second half to find our rhythm.
“But once we did, we took the game out of reach of them really nicely in that half.”
He had high praise for a number of players, including the club’s choice of Man of the Match in Jake Thurlow, Chris Whybrow, Goodbourn, Summers and ‘an exciting pair of wingers’ in Smith and Taylor.
He is confident the side can now push on from this result on Saturday, in their penultimate game before the Christmas break.
Sudbury: Barry, Maile, Conning, Watkins, Ponty, Whybrow, Thurlow, Goodbourn, Harding, Rust, Sumner, Summers, Taylor, Jackson, Smith, Dain, Dachtler, Johnston