Top four now in Sudbury head coach Neil Dachtler sights as Blues cut loose late on at home to Chingford
Neil Dachtler has called on his Sudbury side not to be complacent and to keep building towards a top four finish after another good performance saw them win at home on Saturday, writes Angus Williams.
Sudbury had to grind for an hour before cutting loose in the last 20 minutes to beat 10th-placed Chingford 42-15, who had been just a place below them in the London 1 North table coming into the contest.
The victory does not see the Blues move higher than their ninth place but does now give them the luxury of now looking up, rather than down, the table with a 14-point buffer to the bottom three relegation places.
But Sudbury head coach Dachtler has called on his side not to rest on their laurels and carry the momentum forward into the rest of the season.
He said: “We’ve not had the best warm up for this game. Last week was good, (preventing league leaders North Walsham from scoring a try during their 13-7 loss) but it was like we thought we’d won the league last weekend. So this week training wasn’t great.
“It’s a hard thing to do for an amateur side, to keep focus when you’ve had such a good game the week before. We’ve got to then keep our heads and realise we’ve got another job to do this week. Hopefully we’ll do that next week when we go away to Haberdashers.
“We’re a really good side and we have the makings of a fantastic side. We’re not that far off it. If we keep building we can certainly challenge towards the top of this league.”
Despite his side’s recent performances, Dachtler is not underestimating fifth-placed Old Haberdashers this Saturday.
“It’s not an easy place to go and play. They’re a hard side at home,” he said.
“It’s a very skilful bunch of lads down there. They don’t travel very well but they are always in this league because they have a fortress at home.”
Dachtler’s Sudbury side have only won once on the road this season, an 84-point thrashing of Ruislip, who are yet to win a league point this season.
“Before the season our target was top six,” Dachtler added. “But as we’re getting more and more into the season and seeing more and more teams I think we can go further than that and possibly even finish top four. And then if we finish top four, who knows where we can end up next season.”
At Whittome Field on Saturday the two teams were finely matched for 60 minutes.
The away side were the dominant team in the scrum and kicked the corners, pinning their opponents into their own half. But they failed to make their on-field advantage tell on the scoreboard anda scoring frenzy in the last 20 minutes saw Sudbury come out as comfortable winners.
The first try came after strong carrying took the home team into the Chingford 22 before good handling allowed Jake Sumner to swerve around the last defender to score beneath the posts. Josh Wadforth converted the try.
Chingford hit back through scrum-half Brad Comber who broke from the back of a maul and scored. Tauren Henwood missed the conversion.
Wadforth had no such problems with the boot. He kicked a Sudbury penalty from 40 yards wide on the right and then another from in front of the posts to make the score 13-5.
The away team finished the half strongly with Connor Reynolds scoring a try and Henwood kicking a conversion and a penalty to take his side into the break leading 15-13.
Dachtler said he had not been happy with his side’s performance in the first half. “It took us a half to get into the game,” he said. “We had a serious discussion at half-time with players and they came out performed in the second half.
“We ID’d where we were failing and we had to stick a bit of a rocket under our forwards to get them working again. And it worked.”
Whatever Dachtler said at half-time certainly worked as his side held Chingford scoreless in the second-half, despite the away team’s relentless pressure.
Sudbury scored the first try early in the second half when Henry Cowling went straight through the centre of a ruck. He made 60 yards before passing to scrum-half Frazer Beckett who scored the first of his two second-half tries. Wadforth converted to give Sudbury a five-point lead.
Chingford then dominated the game for 20 minutes. Pinning the home side in their own 22 and only being prevented from scoring by scrambling defence from the home side.
A sin-bin was issued to a Sudbury player for consistent offending.
But they broke out from the pressure after Sudbury spun the ball wide from an overthrown lineout deep in their own territory.
Sumner showed a clean pair of heels down the right wing before linking up with winger Charles Jackson who scored under the posts. Wadforth added the extras before kicking another penalty.
Jackson was soon in the middle of things again when he was sin-binned for a high tackle.
Chingford indiscipline followed. They conceded a penalty in front of their posts and had two players yellow carded.
From the tap penalty that followed, Sam Bixby walked in Sudbury’s bonus point sealing fourth try which was converted by Wadforth.
The game loosened up with both sides missing players to the sin-bin. Sumner capped his excellent afternoon with a second try, but man of the match Wadforth blotted his otherwise immaculate copybook by dragging the conversion wide to leave the final score at 42-15.
Sudbury’s next home game is against Brentwood on December 7.
Sudbury: Sumner, Jackson, Summers, Cowling, Taylor, Wadforth, Beckett; Dain, Maile, Grimsey, Dachtler, Rodda, Randle, Thurlow, Bixby Subs: Barry, Chaplin
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