Sudbury RUFC U16 19 v Bury St Edmunds RUFC U16 29
By Kirk Bonas
Our last encounter with Sudbury prior to Christmas had thrown up a particularly one sided scoreline, a weakened side was comprehensively outplayed and had little answer to the Sudbury onslaught. Upon arrival, again with a reduced squad due to illness and injury (mostly from skiing!), things immediately took a turn for the worse as an additional two players became unavailable, leaving only 14 players! However, Sudbury kindly offered an additional player, ensuring an equal contest.
From the outset it appeared that this encounter may follow the pattern of the pre-Christmas game. Buoyed by the strong wind on their backs, Sudbury exerted territorial advantage from the kick off and quickly raced into a 12-0 lead. However, having soaked up significant pressure the team grew into the game, forcing Sudbury back through excellent linked phases and accurate running. The final play of the half resulted in the team securing the ball deep in their own 22, returning the ball the length of the pitch to secure a deserved try under the posts. Half-time, 12-7 in Sudbury's favour.
Reinvigorated by the late score the team started the half with renewed passion and determination, strong running, excellent ball presentation and well organised defence and attack created mistakes in the Sudbury play. Everything asked by the coaching team was put into practice on the pitch, 12-7 soon became 12-12, however a lapse from the restart again provided Sudbury with the lead. Yet this was to be the last time they would have any real impact in the attacking half, so good was the defence that they struggled to exit their own half apart from restarts. Excellent team rugby, combining forwards and backs resulted in an additional 3 thoroughly deserved tries, final score 29-19 to the team.
Every player who stepped upon the pitch today showed all the characteristics required to be successful. Against a strong opponent, with a psychological advantage from the previous game, no one hid from making the tough tackle, running hard or supporting their team-mates, giving the 100% required to secure a win against a strong Sudbury team. Everyone should be exceptionally proud of their performance today, when required you all stepped up and matched or bettered your opposite number. Collectively you were awesome! Thanks to Sudbury for hosting us today and providing an enthralling encounter. This season has seen 3 matches, very different in outcome, yet all interspersed with passion, determination and no lack of quality. Thanks also to our parents, your continued support is greatly appreciated.