Neil Dachtler warns his Sudbury players not to take victory for granted when winless Ruislip come to Whittome Field
Sudbury head coach Neil Dachtler has warned his players to guard against complacency against winless Ruislip, the London Division 1 North visitors to Whittome Field on Saturday (3pm).
Ruislip have lost all 18 of their matches so far this season, but Dachtler is well aware of the threat they pose.
“We can’t take anything for granted. We do not want to turn up half-hearted and think we are going to walk it. That’s dangerous, and we don’t want to be made to look silly,” he said.
Dachtler is expecting last weekend’s 28-20 defeat at Southend Saxons to serve as a wake-up call for his players.
He said: “They thought we were going to win. You can’t just think that. You’ve got to go out thinking we’ve got to win, we have to win, and put the work in to do that.
“It was never going to be given to us. Southend had been beaten up for the last three weeks on the bounce, and they needed to win today. We knew that, and that they would come out trying to put things right.”
The first half was even, but the game got away from Sudbury after the interval.
“We were bubbling,” said Dachtler, “and looked like we were about to push the button and score more tries. But we never came out for the second half. For half an hour in the second half we weren’t in the races.”
Dachtler was encouraged by the first half performance, Sudbury retaining the ball well – unlike the previous week. But in the second half, with Southend enjoying more of the ball, the penalty count against Sudbury mounted.
“In the first half we were cleaner than clean,” said Dachtler. “But then we were chasing the game. If you have the ball you don’t give away penalties. Let them have the ball and defend and defend, that’s when you start making mistakes, and as fatigue sets in the penalty count starts to go up.
“We know in past weeks we’ve won when we’ve been underachieving. Today we underachieved in the second half, so we lost. Hopefully it’s a bit of a wake-up call.”
Dachtler spoke to Southend’s coaches before the game. “We agreed that in this league anybody can beat anybody on their day. But you have to turn up to win,” he added.
Sudbury travelled to Southend on Saturday and after another close game just failed to come home with any points, losing 28-20, writes Don Reekie.
Sudbury drew with Southend at home earlier in the season so knew it would probably be a tight encounter, but handling errors and silly penalties in the second half saw a winnable game slip away.
On a heavy pitch Sudbury kicked off and throughout the first half enjoyed the major slice of possession and territorial advantage.
Sudbury scored first after 15 minutes when, from a scrum on the left of the home 22, the ball passed quickly through the backs to Shaun Smith wide on the right to dot down.
The home side replied immediately with a penalty after Sudbury collected a yellow card for offside.
Southend increased their lead with a converted try after a good period of play.
Handling errors prevented any Sudbury reply until just before the break when an excursion down the left saw play switched to the right, through the backs, for Jonny Taylor to score for 10-10.
Southend started the second half a totally changed side, showing more aggression and drive.
Sudbury managed to hold Southend up by the line but after driving back from a scrum to the 22 they conceded a costly penalty.
The visitors continued to compete though and were soon rewarded with a penalty of their own, kicked by Sam Rust to level the scores again mid-way in the half.
Southend kicked another penalty and Sudbury, feeling the pressure, knocked on, in a perfect scoring position.
A well worked move by the home side saw them score a converted try wide on the right and then again from a scrum in the Sudbury half they ran blind to touch down.
In time added on a Sudbury scrum just inside the opposition half saw Tom Summers break and Rust convert. But it left the Blues just short of any bonus points after a very close encounter.
More by this authorRussell Claydon