Sudbury sign off on home soil with a whitewash win
TWO NORTH EAST
Epping Upper Clapton 0
Sudbury got revenge against an Epping side who beat them earlier in the season with a whitewash to mark their last scheduled home game, pending if they can take an outside chance of gaining home advantage in the play-offs.
Having lost 36-31 in the reverse fixture in December, the expected close encounter never materialised with the visitors sticking to a gameplan of using their big pack of forwards to move the ball upfield, which never paid dividends.
After Epping took 10 minutes to get out of their own half and went on to miss a penalty, it was second-placed Sudbury who took the lead from a scrum on the centre line.
Quick hands put the ball wide and Shaun Smith broke with Austin Beckett close on his heels to take an inside pass to score 15 minutes in, with Sam Rust converting.
Half an hour in Epping broke from their own half and got themselves deep in Blue territory before relying on the forwards to batter the last few metres from a scrum in the 22, but the defence held firm.
With five minutes left in the half, Austin Beckett spotted a gap and called to his brother Frazer for quick ball at the breakdown in the centre of the park and shot down the wing to score.
Epping were now showing signs of fatigue and from a scrum mid-way in the half and a chip ahead Jake Thurlow scored under the posts for a 19-0 lead at half-time.
From the start of the second half the tactics of the Epping side became even more apparent and at times it seemed their forwards had spent most of the half lying on the ground.
Sudbury would tackle the big boys and the ball would be recycled back a metre and then the process would be repeated over and over again.
Sudbury fell foul of the referee at this point as they were pinged offside and hands in the ruck as they tied to get the game moving and ship the ball wide.
Harry Watkins got the bonus point try after a break from Jonny Taylor half-an-hour into the second period and then Sudbury took control of the game as the opposition slowed.
Taylor then scored himself and with a quick tap penalty on the half-way line Frazer Beckett ran past the opposition before they realised he had taken the kick to score.
Harry Maile, with his first touch of the ball, sprinted down the right wing to add another with Sudbury withstanding late pressure for their 10th straight victory.