Shaun Smith grabs a brace as Sudbury see off Norwich
London 2 Sudbury 22 Norwich 15 Sudbury secured a home win in front of a large crowd on Saturday but missed out on vital bonus points, leaving them one point behind Norwich in the league, instead of one point ahead, writes Don Reekie.
Early exchanges were played out in the centre of the park until the 15 minute mark when Sudbury broke from their own twenty two, a move involving Zahid, Lewis, Jackson and finally Shaun Smith who touched down, Chris Lewis converted.
Norwich missed an opportunity to put points on the board with a wayward penalty kick in the windy conditions but did get a try against the run of play, breaking from mid-way in their own half to score a converted try to bring the scores level.
Austin Beckett then made a telling run down the wing to put Smith clear for his second try and again Lewis was on target with the kick.
Sam Maile was playing a great game impersonating wingers as he ran 30 metres with ball in hand – not bad for a hooker – which moved play deep into Norwich territory and a penalty gave Lewis three more points with a kick.
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Sudbury continued to pressure the visitors but their defence held firm and kicks to touch with the wind kept Sudbury at bay until the break.
From the restart Norwich caught Sudbury offside and were then able to keep play deep in home territory. Some loose play by the Blues did not help their cause and a penalty kick reduced the deficit.
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Sudbury crossed the Norwich line but were called back for a forward pass – then from the restart Sam Maile scored when the ball was moved from left to right the width of the park after 15 minutes of the half.
Disaster struck for the Suffolk side shortly before the end when Norwich put up a high ball and Smith and Jonny Taylor collided leaving them both prone on the pitch and Norwich grabbed the loose ball to score.
Both players were carried from the field with leg injuries, hopefully not too serious. The try however did give Norwich the bonus point for being within seven points at the finish.
A win, but not the clinical display of previous weeks.