Sudbury push unbeaten champions Rochford Hundred all the way
- Credit: Gregg Brown
London 2 North Rochford Hundred 31 Sudbury 17 Sudbury lost their final league game of the season when they travelled to league champions, undefeated Rochford.
The game was played at close quarters for much of the time with both teams giving away penalties as they vied for possession so the lineout became an important battle, with Rochford having the best of the contest at first.
Sudbury were first to score after 27 minutes when Jonny Taylor crossed the stripe after a scrum ten out and quick hands left to right for an unconverted try.
Rochford replied with a push over try when they rolled the maul from close quarters and took the lead with the conversion.
Sudbury then had a man binned for not releasing the ball in the red zone whilst under pressure but the home side kicked the ball dead giving Sudbury back the advantage.
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It was noted that Rochford failed to score when they had a man advantage, showing just how tight both defences were.
For the first ten minutes of the second half Sudbury held territorial advantage but Rochford scored from a five-metre scrum to stretch the lead.
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Rochford then wound up the pressure and from a five metre line-out were able to roll the maul over the line.
Sudbury fought back with a second try from Taylor from a scrum in the opposition half and quick hands across the park after 26 minutes of the second half.
Jack Dachtler scored another to reduce the deficit and Sam Rust converted to bring the gap down to four points with 10 minutes left.
Shaun Smith was unlucky not to put Sudbury in the lead with a darting break but was taken down just short of the line. This would have given the Sudbury side the two bonus points required for the play-offs.
Rochford again raised their game and after five or six phases of play across the face of the Sudbury line they eventually found the gap to score deep in time added on.
With the final move of the game they scored again to remain unbeaten in their campaign, but had been tested by a determined Sudbury side.