Sudbury defeat South Woodham Ferrers to get back to winning ways

Sudbury v South Woodham Ferrers - rugby action.

Sudbury v South Woodham Ferrers - rugby action. - Credit: Archant

Sudbury got back to winning ways in style on Saturday in London North 2.

The first-team entertained South Woodham Ferrers at Whittome Field, in London 2 North, and were prepared for a tough game, with Woodham close behind them in the league.

Graham Richards still had to work around injury and availability issues but again the youngsters stepped up to the plate.

Sudbury kicked off down the slope and with the stiff breeze. Woodham secured possession and put together seven phases of play to work their way back to the halfway line before being penalised.

Sudbury kicked for touch and took play back to the visitors’ 22, attacking from the line-out. Woodham defended well but were still under pressure. However, a scrum in the Woodham half leading to the first Sudbury score after six minutes, Jonny Taylor finding a gap, Chris Lewis converting.

Woodham were looking strong when they had ball in hand and several times put six or seven phases of play together with tight rucking and crisp passing. However, they failed to gain any useful distance, moving only five or 10 metres at a time after a lot of hard work.

Sudbury, on the other hand, always made ground when they had the ball, either by penetrating bursts of speed or by deep kicks into the Woodham half.

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A penalty line-out on the five-metre line gave Sudbury their second score when they secured the ball and passed out quickly to put Colin Humphreys free to score under the posts, Lewis again converted after 16 minutes of play.

South Woodham scored when a Sudbury player was given a yellow card for a dangerous tackle five metres from their own line after a rare period of pressure from the visitors. South Woodham’s forwards picked and drove from close-range to score, with 26 minutes on the clock.

Sudbury finished the half in style. Another five metre line-out put pressure on the visitors, but they knocked on, the ensuing scrum resulting in a Sudbury penalty.

The tap-penalty gave Will Nankivell the opportunity to drive over and again, Lewis converted for a 21-7 lead at half-time.

Sudbury would not have the advantage of the wind in the second half so kept ball in hand and drove deep in the Woodham half.

Five phases of play from the drive put Nankivell over for his second try and the bonus point just a few minutes into the second period. Sudbury kept running at the opposition at every opportunity to keep play in the visitors’ half. Even with ball in hand, Woodham were still struggling to make ground even though they were able to retain possession with efficient recycling of the ball.

Jake Thurlow completed the Sudbury points tally when he scored after another penalty move in the 22 and then three phases to move the ball wide with 16 minutes gone.

On the hour there was a prolonged break whilst the referee received treatment for a leg injury and, after the restart, the game never seemed to get going again.

Possibly the cold wind was to blame but both teams settled to defend and Sudbury allowed the visitors more territorial advantage in the last 10 minutes than at any other time in the game.

Chris Whybrow was never out of the action for Sudbury and the Sudbury defence was instrumental in containing the Woodham attack throughout the game.

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