Match report - 10th Feb 2018
Sutton Coldfield 20 pts v Burton RFC 39 pts
Team: Sean Harrison(Capt), Dean Ginn, Dave Smith, Harry Moxon, Lamaar Lawrence, Mike Burns, Peter Meachin, Tom Foulsham, Ollie Green, Ben Morgan, Jack Wells, Tom Harris, Paul Spiby, Chris Duckworth, Tom Burrows. Subs(used): Jonah Falconer, Thomas Allwood, Scott Toy.
SCRFC 1st XV Team Manager
The precision and luck that Sutton 1st XV produced to secure the excellent 43-17 win over Rugby Lions the previous weekend deserted the team in last weekends game against league title contenders Burton but whilst under pressure Sutton still produced another spirited performance in the 39-20 home defeat to a very strong and well balanced side.
Unfortunately, Sutton paid the price for a hesitant 1st half display that allowed pacesetting visitors Burton the luxury of a 32-6 half time lead but Sutton responded in kind to produce a much better 2nd half performance from the men in green, who played at a higher intensity and made the second half a real contest outscoring their opponents by 2 tries to 1 (14-7) in the second 40 minute period.
Prior to kick off the home side’s cause wasn’t helped when potential match winner Nathan Burchell failed a lunchtime test on his hamstring and things went from bad to worse during the game when early injuries to key players Ollie Green at scrum half and inform outside centre Paul Spiby forced them from the field to be replaced by Jonah Falconer and Thomas Allwood respectively, with Tom Harris moving from inside centre to fill the vacancy at scrum half.
Burton opened the scoring as early as the 3rd minute when they broke out of their own half and attacked up their left flank before swinging the ball to the right creating an over lap for 2nd row Joe Gazzard, who raced in to open the scoring to the right of the posts. The score remained at 5-0 as the conversion was missed but playing some fine rugby Burton added a further 4 tries by the break through left wing Chaz Bunting (2), Jack Brooks and right wing Nick Oxley with full back Will Simpson converting two of them and also adding a penalty goal.
Sutton’s response was positive but they struggled to rekindle the fluency of the previous week and all they had to show for their efforts in a daunting first half were two well struck penalty goals from the boot of fly half Ben Morgan. The first penalty goal on 25 minutes was from 40 metres for a score line of 3-8 and the second from the edge of the Burton 22 on 37 minutes gave a score line of 6-20. That left the visitors with a lead of 32-6 at the interval, with concern all around that this could turn into a rout.
However, as it transpired, the 2nd half was far from that and indeed it’s fair to say Sutton won the 2nd period both in terms of the scoring and in the contest itself. With the incredible Spiby bravely rejoining the fray the intensity levels markedly went up and suddenly there was a real contest with the visitors, who were previously cruising now found themselves being pressurised into mistakes, which were capitalised on as Sutton crossed for two well deserved tries through captain Sean Harrison, who scrambled over from close range after a fine Sutton attack, which took play from the halfway line deep into the Burton 22 with excellent interplay between backs and forwards through key ball carriers, 2nd row Harry Moxon and centre Paul Spiby respectively, who took play up to the try line allowing their skipper to finish the job 22 minutes into the second half and then 71 minutes into the game Sutton's outstanding 2nd row teenage partnership of Harry Moxon and Lamaar Lawrence combined to set up an outstanding try. Prominent in the build up, 2nd row Harry Moxon gained possession and again burst down the Sutton left wing to set up his second row partner and Sutton's exciting new prospect, 18 year old Lamaar Lawrence to score his first try for the 1st XV with a superb effort. Morgan expertly converted both tries and with 9 minutes to go the deficit had been reduced to 32-20 with perhaps an unlikely losing bonus point in the offing. However, sadly for the brave Sutton side it wasn’t to be as a miss hit clearance kick from close to the Sutton try line intended to relieve the pressure, dropped at the feet of left wing Chas Bunting and presented an opportunistic 3rd try for the visiting left wing, who raced in unopposed to deliver the final killer blow with Simpson adding the extras to leave the final score at 39-20 to Burton.
Congratulations to Burton who fully deserved their win and in truth were the better team on the day; however, once again Sutton showed what they can do when their backs are against the wall and they restored some pride with a fine 2nd half performance and let the title favourites know they had been in a real contest at the close.
It would be remiss not to mention the superb motivating performances put in by back rower Peter Meachin, ably assisted by the young 2nd rows Lamaar Lawrence and Harry Moxon, with all action replacement Jonah Falconer also distinguishing himself the more the game wore on, along with Tom Foulsham, who over the past two games has stepped into the difficult no8 slot and performed exceptionally well.
Thanks to all the supporters of both teams who turned out in good numbers on a filthy day and good luck to Burton for the rest of the season as they press for honours.
This weekend Sutton are on their travels again as the team head to the Potteries to face a Stoke-on-Trent side buoyed by their great win over league leaders Dudley Kingswinford last weekend, kick off 2.15pm.
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