Heartbreak for Sudbury with defeat at the death
PUBLISHED: 14:53 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 11 December 2017
Richard Marsham - RMG Photography Tel - 07798 758711
London 2 North
Epping & Upper Clapton 36
Sudbury had their good run of wins ended at Epping, writes Don Reekie.
A big, heavy pack and a well organised defence outsmarted Sudbury in the first half leaving them a lot to do in the second. Sudbury kicked off into a stiff, cold breeze and immediately took the game to the home side.
Two early scrums were taken by Sudbury and they were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts with Sam Rust making sure of the points.
Epping scored a try after a quarter of an hour with a kick ahead and a lightning run down the wing after several phases of play from the halfway line.
Despite the size of their pack they were playing the game at pace and causing Sudbury problems. Again when Sudbury got near their red zone they gave away penalties and again Rust opted to kick to regain the lead.
Poor handling in the cold conditions from both sides lead to many scrums which Sudbury handled well but Epping out-jumped Sudbury in the line-out.
A second try came when the forwards rucked and mauled their way down the centre of the park and then a third from a penalty line-out in the 22 which the forwards battered through for a 19-6 lead at the break.
Sudbury started the second half in more determined mood and soon added another penalty to their tally.
Epping then out ran the Sudbury defence and good handling produced another try.
From the restart Sudbury scored when Jake Thurlow collected the kick to dot down, then a break from Austin Beckett, who ran round behind the posts, reduced the deficit with half an hour played in the period.
Harry Maile then crossed the stripe after the backs made the metres and Sudbury were back in the game. The purple patch continued with a further try from a kick ahead to take the lead with only seconds left on the clock.
Epping needed a try to win so from the restart they pressured the Sudbury line.
Sudbury needed to get the ball out of play for victory, but instead gave away three penalties, quick taps each time allowed the forwards to batter forward for the inevitable try.
Two bonus points helped but a win was within their grasp.