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Sudbury challenged to start putting wins on the board in London 1 North ahead of Harpenden clash

Neil Dachtler is looking for his Sudbury side to quickly shake off the tag of ‘nearly men’ ahead of hosting Harpenden in London 1 North on Saturday (3pm), writes Ken Watkins.

The Blues head into their fourth match of the 2019/20 campaign still looking for their first win under Dachtler’s reign, having stepped up to replace head coach Ben Scully after he took over divisional rivals Colchester.

They suffered a 41-21 home defeat at the hands of Shelford on Saturday, but it was a game which only got away from his team late in the second half. And it left a familiar story, following the closely-fought 8-5 defeat at Colchester the previous Saturday.

Sudbury v Southend Saxons - the players have a team huddle before kick-offPicture: Jen McElroy (17417648)
Sudbury v Southend Saxons - the players have a team huddle before kick-offPicture: Jen McElroy (17417648)

“We’ve been the nearly men the last two weeks, but I don’t want to be saying at the end of the season how close we have come to beating teams,” said Dachtler.

“We played well in the first half, used the conditions, got ourselves into the right part of the park and attacked really well. The challenge was to get the first points on the board in the second half. We had the wind against us, but the wind didn’t win the game. They were better than us at the end of the day.”

He pointed to “silly mistakes. Silly decisions. Kicking the ball away in their 22 when we should be keeping it in hand after working hard to get in that position. We’re all human, we all make mistakes. If the ball lands sweetly you’re the best player on the pitch. We have to try things, but need to be a bit more realistic.

“We could have got a bonus point. I think that has to be a target we set ourselves. We’ve got to get four tries, win or lose. One point after three games is nowhere near enough.

“There are other teams that haven’t won and we have to make sure when we go to those teams we are the ones that pick up the points.”

Team manager Simon Dain echoed Dachtler’s nearly men thoughts. “For the coaches it’s frustration that we are so close. We compete with these teams, but when it starts to get away from us we need to find a way to dig in and get back at them.

“We are capable of it. It could have been so near to a much closer score, or even a win. If you are going to lose a tight game like that you’ve got to come away with a bonus point.”

Saturday’s visitors Harpenden are also newly-promoted and have won one and lost two of their opening three games.

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