1st XV - Match report - 6th Oct 2018
By Ken Sims
Newbold-upon-Avon 53pts v Sutton Coldfield 3pts
SCRFC 1st XV Team Manager
Newbold-upon-Avon 53pts v Sutton Coldfield 3pts
Following their excellent start to the new season with 4 wins out of their first 5 starts, last weekend an out of sorts Sutton 1st XV stumbled to a disappointing uncharacteristic defeat away to second place Newbold RFC, with Sutton slipping from 4th to 6th in the league table after the unexpected 51-3 heavy loss.
The heavy score line was not a true reflection of the game as Sutton competed well throughout the keen contest but while the home side took their chances with confidence, Sutton were slow to settle and made life difficult for themselves with simple handling errors and basic mistakes costing them possession and handing the initiative back to their opponents just when they were starting to create something.
Having to change both props, fly half and outside centre for this key game, with second playing fourth, was unsettling in itself and although the new look Sutton pack played well and matched the renowned all powerful Newbold pack in the scrums, the Sutton lineout play failed to match up to its recent success and behind the scrum the backline failed to find the spark that had carried them to victory in their last four games...and so it was the home side who rose to the occasion in front of their understandably partisan crowd to extend their unbeaten run to 6 out of 6, taking them to the top of the table.
Already without their unavailable captain and inspiration, Sean Harrison at the loose head prop the visitors pack was dealt a further blow with the late withdrawal of tight head prop Liam Hills, who was suffering with a leg injury, meaning starts in the front row for Steve Crane and Scott Toy, who both toiled manfully throughout the game under extreme pressure, as did lock forward Jack Ward when asked to prop after Toy was forced off in the 2nd half.
Newbold had kicked off in a steady drizzle that persisted all afternoon on a good pitch that was surprisingly firm considering the rain it had taken, so no complaints about the playing conditions as the Sutton side and their long serving supporters returned to a ground that held many memories both good and bad for both clubs going back over many seasons
The tone of the afternoon was set after just 3 minutes when to their credit Sutton won the ball against the head at a scrum just outside the Sutton 22 but unfortunately the clearing kick down the right touchline failed to find touch and flanker KJ Henry was able to evade some questionable defending before touching down for the opening score that fly half Dan O’Brien converted to give the home side a 7-0 lead.
Joel James, in at fly half for the injured Ben Morgan, kicked a penalty goal after 7 minutes to reduce the deficit but that was about as good as it good for the visitors with the hosts extending their lead at the break to 25-3 thanks to further tries from centre Ethan Wookey and prop Nick Walton with O’Brien adding a further conversion and two penalty goals.
Sutton showed much more determination in the 2nd half but it was just not their day as winger Lee Lightowler scored just 2 minutes into the second period, followed by Ed Scott, Ben Dawes and Phil Reed who added further scores, three of which O’Brien converted, the last converted try falling deep into injury time to leave the final result 51-3 to Newbold who take over the leadership of the table thanks to their superior points difference to Bromsgrove.
This weekend Sutton take a break from league action as on Sunday 14th Oct Sutton again face Newbold-upon-Avon RFC but this time in the Warwickshire Cup semi-final at the neutral ground of Broadstreet RFC, kick off 2.15pm. All support welcome as Sutton seek to redeem themselves at the illustrious Broadstreet setting.
Team: Steve Crane, Dean Ginn, Scott Toy, Josh Bailey, Jack Ward, Peter Meachin, Rhoss Price, Luke Stewart(Capt), Ollie Green, Joel James, Jack Wells, Jack Duthie, Dave Roberts, George Creed, Tom Burrows. Reps(used): Will Smewin, Sam Harris.
SCRFC Development Side
Newport RFC 2nd XV 41pts v Sutton Coldfield 2nd XV 25pts
North Midlands Reserve League - Division 2
The Sutton Development Side also travelled to Parkfield Road to take on the strong Newbold second string and although Sutton struggled in the first half trailing 23-8 at the break, Sutton responded well in the second half recovering to 29-25 going into the closing period but circumstances conspired against them with the home side scoring 12 points in the final minutes to flatter their win with a 41-25 score line.
The Sutton points came from Zac Tyler, who scored 2 tries with Mike Ivanowicz adding a try plus a penalty try and a penalty kicked by TJ Allwood.