Sudbury win vital London 1 North clash at Luton to open up gap to relegation zone
Sudbury secured a vital 23-5 win at Luton to give them breathing space above the relegation zone in London 1 North.
The Blues ended a losing run which stood at three matches to open up a nine-point gap to the bottom three, with opponents Luton left hovering dangerously above the trio tied on points.
In the first half Sudbury played into a strong head wind but the home side failed to use the elements in that first period. For most of the first half possession seemed to be evenly spread but Sudbury always made better use of their time with ball in hand.
Luton’s big pack tried to dominate the scrums and at the breakdown but soon realised that the Sudbury defence would not give in without a fight. Sudbury were, as usual, doing well in the lineout and Chris Whybrow was making good breaks from the back of the scrum on the Sudbury put in.
A couple of scoring opportunities were missed from moves in Luton’s 22 metre area, but midway through the half a Sudbury scrum deep on the right hand side, saw the backs ship the ball wide to the left to Paul Chaplin, who outpaced the defence to score.
Luton continued to try to batter their way through with their forwards and after several scrums in the visitors’ red zone Sudbury eventually cleared their lines.
Sudbury made several good breaks towards the end of the half with Chaplin and Jonny Taylor both going close only to be stopped deep in the Luton half and the score remained 5-0 at half-time.
Sudbury had the advantage of the elements in the second half and were able to use this to maintain territorial advantage. An early penalty to Sudbury from the 22 was missed but a second attempt minutes later was kicked by Tom Summers to put Luton in a position of having to score twice.
Halfway through the period Luton picked and drove deep into away territory and questioned Sudbury once again, but the Blues remained resolute.
Sudbury continued to keep the majority of play in the opposition half and again several chances went begging as the cold wind took its toll on the hands.
Summers added another penalty to the tally and Sam Maile made a 40-metre dash to put Shaun Smith clear to score on the half hour.
From the restart Luton retained possession and took play into the Sudbury half. A well worked cross-field move started two phases of play close to the Sudbury line and eventually they spotted the gap for their only points of the afternoon after 39 minutes of play.
To finish the afternoon, a break by Charles Jackson got Charles Osborne across the paintwork and the conversion by Summers gave Sudbury a well-deserved and much needed win away from home.
Sudbury host Eton Manor (6th) on Saturday (3pm).