Sudbury 17 Brentwood 41
Success on the road
Sudbury 17 Brentwood 41
Last Saturday Brentwood made the trip up the A12 to take on Sudbury in a London North1 fixture, the visitors sitting 2nd in the table, with the prospect of promotion to the National leagues in their sights, whilst Sudbury occupied one of the relegation spots, and defeat in this game would make it mathematically impossible for them to avoid relegation.
Head coach Steve Killington rested some of the key members of the squad and brought into the side some of the fringe players for what on paper looked like a routine fixture against a side who have struggled all season to adapt to the demands of level 6 rugby, following promotion. It was good to see both Jed Roman and Matt Whaley given game time.
Sudbury kicked off and from the start, the casual observer would have thought that they were the team competing for promotion, as they gave Brentwood a very uncomfortable opening 10 minutes, and were unlucky not to score, as the Brentwood side weathered a difficult opening period, with some very unaccustomed poor tackling on display.
On the 10 minute mark, they finally put a period of quality play together, as young full back Sam Cappaert, making one of his infrequent first team starts made a telling break, and fed the ball to Brentwood’s maestro utility back Henry Galligan, playing on the wing, who beat three Sudbury players to dive over the try line. Centre Henry Bird duly converted giving Brentwood a 7 – 0 lead.
Sudbury came back into the game and continued to make Brentwood’s afternoon uncomfortable, the away sides tackling improved and they were always looking to counter attack, and run the ball out of defence. Charlie Chambers made one excellent break, and put winger Ed Hornby away, to relieve pressure, and as Brentwood began to dominate play Sudbury were penalised at the break down, and Henry Bird slotted over the penalty kick taking Brentwood to a 10 -0 lead. Further pressure from the now confident Brentwood pack lead to prop Tijde Visser crashing over the line, and with half time beckoning Brentwood lead 15 – 0, looking comfortable and expected by the large contingent of Brentwood spectators, to take full control of the game. However just before half time a good break by Sudbury lead to them scoring a well-deserved converted try, score at half time 15 – 7.
Brentwood made an excellent start to the 2nd half, and nearly scored in the opening seconds when the hardworking Billy Aldous charged down a poor Sudbury defensive kick, and Sam Cappaert was stopped from scoring by some fine Sudbury tackling. Class began to tell and the away side ran in two further tries, firstly when Henry Galligan, now operating at scrum half raced away to score, and secondly when the majestic Josh Stannard, who had so far had a quiet game by his normal high standards, latched onto a pass from Cappaert to score, both tries were converted by Bird taking the away side into a commanding lead by 29 – 7.
Coach Killington used the bench well bringing on Pratley, Hobbs, and Thomas, to add some fresh legs to the proceedings, but collectively Brentwood took their feet of the pedal and let Sudbury back into the game as they dominated for a period scoring two good unconverted tries reducing the arrears and adding some respectability to the score, now 29 – 17 in Brentwood’s favour.
Brentwood attacked again, and after good work by the forwards Adam Thomas jinked over to score a further try converted by Bird, sealing the game for Brentwood score now 36 – 17.
Sudbury did not give up and through everything they had at Brentwood, unfortunately a dropped pass in the centre was hacked on by Adam Thomas, for Stannard to beat the covering defenders and score Brentwood’s 6th and final try.
All in all a good win for Brentwood, who kept their control and discipline at all times, and all credit to Sudbury who played with spirit and fire, but the club lack that little bit of class needed to survive at this level. A hard day at the office for the home side, who gave everything, and suffered many injuries during the match which kept their medical team busy, pretty much from the kick off.
Following run away league leaders, Trings surprise home defeat by Chingford, the table looks very interesting. With 4 games left Tring are 7 points ahead of Brentwood, who in turn are 8 points ahead of Chingford, and with games against both these teams in April, Brentwood’s destiny is very much in their hands.
Their next game is at home, against Chelmsford, who are fighting against relegation, on 25 March kick off 3pm at King Georges
John Smeaton / President Brentwood RFC