Sudbury Rugby Club lose first home game since March 2014
- Credit: Archant
Sudbury suffered their first defeat of the season against London 2 North league leaders Diss, but it was by the narrowest of margins, one penalty kick.
The closeness of the score, Sudbury’s first home defeat since March 2014, reflects the progression of the match and predicting the outcome was impossible.
Sudbury kicked off up the slope and immediately put the visitors under pressure, forcing them to give away three penalties in the red zone in the first three minutes. However Diss eventually gained possession at the ruck and kicked to clear their lines after a jittery start.
At the first scrum, Diss showed their power and pushed Sudbury back but knocked on. From the reset scrum, Sudbury won the ball and Charles Jackson made metres down the blind side, but once again Diss were able to clear their lines with a twenty-two dropout.
After 10 minutes, Diss moved play into the Sudbury half for the first time in the match and used their forwards to drive deep and eventually cross the line after 14 minutes of play, wide on the right.
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Diss were using all their experience to slow the game down and keep the Sudbury backs in check. Eventually the referee issued a yellow card to the Diss five. With the extra man, Sudbury immediately scored wide on the left with a powerful run from Austin Beckett 20 minutes in.
Diss replied with a pushover try, Hall claiming the points and Lelieve adding the extra two.
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Diss were enjoying their best period of the game and just before half time scored again, from a scrum in the twenty-two. When the shove came to a halt they shipped it wide through the backs for McLure to cross the stripe.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Diss had two front-row players binned which should have benefited Sudbury as uncontested scrums were now in force, but somehow the Blues could not take full advantage during the 10-minute advantage.
Shaun Smith did score from the restart of the game with a darting run down the right wing, but handling errors were creeping in, ending some good moves and seeing possession lost to the Diss scrums.
Twenty-five minutes into the second half the Sudbury backs mounted a good attack from just inside their own half and shipped the ball right across the park for Smith to score his second, Colin Humphreys converting to bring the scores level.
A silly penalty in the Sudbury half was to be the decider with Diss opting to kick to take a three-point advantage.
Both teams upped their game for the last 10 minutes but Diss were visibly slowing.
The referee added time on when the Diss pack were slow to get to the set pieces but with the pick and drive they slowly and patiently worked their way to the Sudbury line.
For the last five minutes the Sudbury defence was superb. Diss crossed the line but were held up with less than a minute left, Sudbury holding on to earn a losing bonus point.
Diss played to their strengths and were helped a little by the wet conditions which did not help the Sudbury style of play.