Sudbury looking to seal a play-off spot in fine style
Sudbury Rugby Club head into Saturday’s London League Division Two North East fixture at Harlow (3pm) knowing a losing bonus point would be enough to confirm their place in the end-of-season play-offs with two matches to spare.
It could even be decided before kick-off though with Wanstead, who were in third going into the weekend, having conceded Saturday’s game at Norwich due to not being able to field a front row, something that could lead to a points deduction and end their slim play-off hopes.
But head coach Ben Scully says regardless of the situation, he expects no let up in his side’s displays as they look to secure home advantage in the promotion shootout with the runner-up in London Two North West, as well as build up a head of steam for it.
“We do not know what is going to happen (with Wanstead) but we need to make sure we keep winning games and make certain,” he said, following the weekend’s 24-14 win at Cantabrigian, which Scully missed due to a training camp in his role as Norway coach, with forwards coach Neil Dactchler having been in charge of the Blues.
“Getting five points at the weekend is absolutely crucial.”
He added of their situation: “It relieves some of the pressure but regardless of that, we have set ourselves extremely high standards this year, winning games by 40 points and more and have come off disappointed.
“Hopefully we can get a win against Harlow and it is mathematically done for the play-offs.
“We would like to go to Rochford (undefeated league leaders, on April 14) with some momentum and put in a good performance to take us into the play-off match.”
On Saturday in Cambridge, Sudbury had dominated the first half to lead 19-0 at the break before a spirited second period from the hosts saw them score 14 points to Sudbury’s five, though the Blues still ending with a comfortable margin of victory for their eighth win on the spin.
Chris Kent ended with two tries and Henry Cowling and Sam Rust, who slotted over two conversions, one apiece.
The last time Sudbury met Harlow, coached by their former chief Graham Richards, they put in one of their most memorable displays of the season in a 78-10 victory.
But Scully is warning they will need to be at the top of their game to come away with the five points.
“Following that game Graham’s team talk is pretty much done,” he said.
“It will be a tough game at Harlow.”
Scully is thought to have the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from.
• Elsewhere, Greene King Division Two South champions Halstead Templars lost only their second game this season, 5-0 at Felixstowe.
Late withdrawals left Halstead travelling with only 14 players and having to play with non-competitive scrums in a match which was reduced to 30 minutes a side, due to the worsening conditions.