SCRFC 1st XV Team Manager
Match report - 5th Oct 2019
Ludlow RFC 50pts v Sutton Coldfield 26pts
Sutton's woes continued last weekend when they made the long coach journey into darkest Shropshire to face a jubilant and confident, high flying Ludlow side, who have gained two promotions in the last three seasons to rise to level 6 and put themselves back in contention with Sutton after many years of being kept apart by the league structure.
Unfortunately it was not a happy experience for Sutton or their supporters, returning to a ground that holds many good memories of many games played over many seasons of rugby, for although Sutton started brightly following their kick off deep into the Ludlow half and applying all the early pressure in good, dry playing conditions, crucially they failed to score during these early exchanges, although they came close on a number of occasions. First fly half Jack Duthie made a darting run through the Ludlow 22 taking play up to the try line but unfortunately the ball was lost forward in a try saving tackle on the line and the chance was lost. Then 5 minutes in Sutton threw in at a 5 metre lineout on the Sutton left. The ball was won and driven to the try line but the maul was held up and the ball turned over for Ludlow to clear to touch.
However, the home side were still pinned in their own half with Sutton continuing to apply sustained pressure but without reward and Ludlow clearly gained confidence from preventing Sutton making the breakthrough they strived for in the opening period of play and a breakout by the Ludlow backline on 15 minutes took play into the Sutton half for just about the first time in the game. It was now Sutton's turn to put up a strong defence, which they did successfully as Ludlow drove forward but unfortunately Sutton were penalised in mid field for not releasing after the tackle and right wing Will Sparrow landed the 40 metre penalty, with a great kick to give the home side a 3-0 lead after 16 minutes of play.
After falling behind against the run of play, Sutton tried to reassert themselves and although they won a long range penalty themselves that would have levelled the scores mid-way through the first half, the attempt dropped short and from that point on Ludlow dominated the play scoring 3 tries and 2 conversions up to the break.
Fullback Joe Doyle started the trio of tries rolling as he raced in for the first try on 24 minutes following a lineout on the Ludlow right wing inside the Sutton 22 , which was won and the ball transferred across the Sutton 22 for the fullback to race in to the left of the posts. Winger Will Sparrow converted to stretch the lead to 10-0 before opposite wing Tom Amphlett raced in on a weaving run down the left wing to score close to the posts for Will Sparrow to again add the conversion taking the score to 17-0 with 13 minutes to play to the break. Then to compound a frustrating first half as Sutton gathered a kick through in their own half and shaped to set up a counterattack down their right wing a misunderstanding between the two players involved gifted the ball to winger Will Sparrow, who had crossed from his right wing on to the left wing and gathered the loose ball to race down the left wing to touch down wide out to the left of the post with just 1 minute to play.
The conversion was missed but Sutton went into the break trailing 22-0 and counting their injuries with prop Sean Harrison having to leave the field with a recurrence of a knee injury to be replaced by the irrepressible Dave Smith and Jamie James, who was having a great game in the Sutton second row had to end his valuable contribution early when his hip took a hard hit.
Sutton rearranged their line up to fill the spaces and set about the daunting task of reeling in the 22 point deficit, which was made more difficult when 5 minutes after the restart outside centre Jack Innes ran a good line in the Sutton 22 to score in the corner and Will Sparrow landed an excellent conversion to take the score out to 29-0 before Sutton opened their account with a well taken try by fly half Jack Duthie 8 minutes into the second half. In the build-up to the Sutton try good interplay between backs and forwards took play close to the Ludlow try line and then the quick thinking Sutton fly half saw the chance to take the ball on over the try line to the right of the posts. Scrum half Ollie Green kicked the conversion to put Sutton on the scoreboard at 29-7, with 8 minutes of the second half played.
Encouraged by the score from the restart Sutton engaged in the game but there was no stopping the bright Ludlow backs with centre Jack Innes going in for his second try on 54 minutes then 2 minutes later left wing Tom Amphlett completed his brace of tries with another weaving run and with both tries converted by Will Sparrow the lead was extended to 43-7 with 56 minutes played.
Although facing a daunting score line, to their credit Sutton continued to compete and produced some of their best rugby at this late stage in the game. Winning a penalty in mid field Jack Duthie kicked accurately to the left corner and Sutton won a good lineout to set up a strong drive for the try line. The drive was stopped short but young Harry Moxon picked up from the base of the ruck and was driven over for the score to close to 43-12 with 19 minutes to play and two more tries required by Sutton if they were to take anything away from a hard fought game.
With Sutton true to their pedigree, the Moxon try was followed 5 minutes later by a try for the hardworking and versatile Jacob Jones, who started at outside centre having played flanker in previous games and here he was able to show his finishing power when he supported a break by centre Chris Hendley, carried on by Tom Harris to set up the score for Jacob Jones, which was quickly followed by a powerful try for no8 Jack Woodcock, who picked up from the base of a 5 metre scrum to power over for Sutton's fourth try securing an all important bonus point for 4 tries and with Ollie Green converting the last two tries Sutton closed to 43-26 with 8 minutes left to play.
Unfortunately it was the home side who made the most of the time remaining as they set up a ruck on the Sutton right and as they drove for the try line open side flanker Jim Alderson squeezed through the ruck to score a 7th try and Will Sparrow added the conversion to bring up the magic 50 points.
Once again Sutton had to test their strength in depth with regular fly half and goal kicker Ben Morgan resting after a head injury assessment and with Joel James out through injury Sutton turned to the talented Jack Duthie, who moved in one place from 12 to 10 to become fly half and playmaker with scrum half Ollie Green stepping up to take the unfamiliar goal kicking role, which he performed admirably, converting three of the 4 tries scored. Also Jermaine Toques made an excellent debut for the 1st XV slotting into the back row alongside gifted no7 Jack Wells and the outstanding Jack Woodcock at no8. New boy Jamie James also impressed making a positive contribution from the second row and proving to be Sutton's best and most dynamic ball carrier until he was forced to leave the field with a hip injury and with Luke Hennessy continuing to impress in the front row with his commitment and improved fitness after his hard work in the pre-season preparations... when things click they should go with a bang.
This weekend Sutton welcome Newbold RFC, their players, officials and travelling support, back to the RSG, Walmley Road to continue our fiercely fought and respected rivalry, which has persevered over many years covering many seasons including league games at various levels and Warwickshire Cup contests dating way back. A chance to renew old friendships and rivalries. KO 3 pm - all support welcome.
Wolverhampton Colts 45pts v Sutton Coldfield Colts 14pts
North Midlands Colts League - Division One
The Sutton Colts made the long and tedious journey to Wolverhampton and were caught cold in the first half conceding 17 points without reply and although the Sutton visitors manufactured two excellent tries for George Bonnell, converted by Tom Bishop for 14 points, in the second half, in the final event with a scoreline of 45-14, the game and league points went to the home side, with the Sutton side looking for better things to come in their future games.