London 3 North: Wanstead 12 Sudbury 32
Sudbury continued their winning streak on Saturday away at the Heronry, avenging last season’s defeat that ended their six-game winning run.
Veteran Scott Harries was brought in at scrum half, after a two-year retirement, and managed the close quarter encounters.
Sudbury pushed Wanstead off the ball at the first scrum – the visitors being awarded a penalty in front of the posts which was missed.
Wanstead made sure of their kick to go ahead, the hosts being awarded a penalty after some back chat with the referee.
Toby White suffered a re-occurrence of his hamstring injury and was replaced by Shaun Smith who scored after he received Tom Summers’ pass.
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Wanstead had a man binned for persistent fouls in the red zone and were warned by the referee who had travelled all the way from Yorkshire for the match.
Just before half-time, Sudbury took another five-metre scrum and passed the ball quickly through two pairs of hands for Smith to touch down wide on the right, George Murray converting.
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Sudbury squandered two penalty attempts, early in the second half, while the home side converted their one attempt.
Twenty minutes in, Sudbury were awarded a penalty-try, the Wanstead player receiving a red card for a second yellow card offence.
Sudbury were enjoying themselves as the backs were chipping the ball over the Wanstead defence which was struggling to cope with the close-quarter game.
Justin Burton touched down as the forwards drove over in the far right hand corner.
Under pressure, Wanstead were now giving away penalties and pulled the maul down as Sudbury drove from a five-metre line-out.
Another yellow card reduced Wanstead to 13 and Andy Curry touched down from the ensuing line-out.
Wanstead upped their game in the last five minutes, scoring a try with the last move of the game.
This Saturday is the big one as leaders Sudbury take on second-placed Cantabs at Whittome Field.