SCRFC 1st XV Team Manger
Sutton Coldfield 12pts v Whitchurch RFC 43pts
Last weekend Sutton slumped to another inexplicable result to continue their recent run of surprise defeats, this coming after another impressive first half performance against 4th place Whitchurch, who trailed Sutton 12-10 with Sutton on the up at the break.. but just I minute into the second period the visitors scored a shock try to retake the lead 15-12 and try as they may Sutton never recovered their composure in the remaining 39 minutes of competitive play, allowing Whitchurch to dictate the scoreboard in a calamitous second half leading to a misrepresentative 43-12 score line, with Sutton conceding 14 points in the final 4 minutes to distort the correct reflection of the balance of play throughout the game.
Sutton kicked off at the RSG, Walmley Road, in front of a large expectant crowd swelled by representatives from new sponsors Ansons on Sponsors Day and Sutton responded to the occasion by applying all the early pressure in the visitors 22 with some excellent rugby but although Sutton came close on many occasions during the opening 10 minutes they were unable to breakdown the Whitchurch defence and when they did come even closer Sutton were penalised for not releasing the ball after a desperate last ditch tackle within a metre of the try line allowing Whitchurch to clear the danger and take play into the Sutton half for the first time in the match.
Encouraged by resisting the Sutton opening onslaught Whitchurch stepped up their game and a ball stolen from a Sutton lineout on the Whitchurch right wing the visitors spun the ball across the field from right to left creating an opening for outside centre Luca Owen-Youens to race into the left corner for the opening try after 15 minutes of play dominated by Sutton.
The difficult conversion was missed but the visitors took a 5-0 lead into the next period of play during which Sutton again stepped up their play and dominated with good lineout work and strong scrums against formidable opposition setting up a catch and drive from a lineout on the 5 metre line on the Sutton left wing following a penalty accurately kicked to the corner by fly half Jack Duthie and from the clean lineout Sutton drove strongly for the try line with prop Liam Hills peeling off to score the deserved try. Unfortunately the attempted conversion hit the left post and bounced back into play denying Sutton the extra pints so after 20 minutes of play the teams were level at 5-5 but from the restart Whitchurch played advantage from a Sutton knock-on and they moved the ball into space on the Sutton left for fullback Matt Davies to race to the try line on an overlap, scoring in the Sutton left corner. The challenging conversion to the right of the posts was missed and the score moved onto 10-5 with 22 minutes played.
However, Sutton again stepped up to the plate and reasserted themselves during the next period then with halftime approaching Sutton set up a driving maul following a lineout on their left wing but as the maul was held up on the Whitchurch 22 Sutton's lively scrum half Ollie Green gathered the ball from the maul and exploited the blind side with an excellent run to the line and with just the fullback to beat he deftly leaned right then rounded the defender to the left stretching through the tackle to place the ball over the try line for an excellent score. Fullback Joel James added the extra points with a well struck conversion to take Sutton into a 12-10 lead with 1 minute left on the clock before the break.
Sutton ended the first half in the ascendancy but by contrast the start of the second half was a calamity as Whitchurch restarted with the kick off to the Sutton left and they quickly recovered the ball spinning it across the field where they found space for winger Tom Skone to exploit an overlap and score a shock try in the right corner after just one minute of play. Again the conversion was missed but the score gave Whitchurch a 15-12 lead and the psychological advantage going into the next period of play.
Although Sutton responded positively to the change of fortune and tried to reassert themselves, their game would not flow and errors crept into their play with hard won penalty kicks missing touch and handling errors/options keeping the Sutton defence under constant pressure allowing Whitchurch to take full advantage of the Sutton difficulties and run in 4 more tries over a period of 39 minutes.
The first of the four further opposition tries came after 9 minutes of play in the second half when scrum half Joe Mullock squeezed over from close range then on 14 minutes centre Luca Owens-Youens raced down the right wing to score his second try of the day before Sutton stemmed the flow at 29-12 over a 23 minute period but the flood gates opened again with a brace of tries scored on 37 minutes and 40 minutes respectively, claimed by prop Steve Bloore and then Luca Owens-Youens completed the try fest with his hat-trick try and fly half Danny Nicholas converted all four tries to account for the final score line of 43-12.
Once again Sutton can take some positives from the game as they make preparations to face high flying league leaders Bromsgrove at Finstall Road next weekend with just 3 games left to the end of the season. KO 3pm.
Sutton other team results:
The Sutton's Women completed their league campaign the previous weekend with another unbeaten league season to put them in the promotion play-off on 7th April 2019 (watch this space!), with no game last weekend or this weekend, ahead of the play-off game.
Likewise the Sutton Colts had a rest weekend so the only other Sutton teams to play last weekend were the Sutton Casuals, who played under floodlights at the RSG but lost an entertaining game 17-43 against a strong Walsall 2 XV then on Saturday the Sutton Development Side travelled to Wolverhampton and suffered a 43-17 defeat against another strong 2nd XV.