THREE NORTH EAST
Sudbury 28 Stowmarket 15
STOWMARKET RFC coach Nigel Seaman has welcomed the upcoming Christmas break from league action after watching his side get comfortably beaten 28-15 by rivals Sudbury on Saturday.
It was the second time this season that Sudbury have been victorious over Stowmarket in the derby and despite a more positive display in the second half in which Stuart Hill and Joseph Field scored a try each and Thomas Searles kicked five points, the visitors failed to cope with Sudbury’s clear strength advantage.
Tries from Fraser Beckett, Matt Griffiths and two from Josh Rix, as well as eight kicked points from Tom Summers, secured Sudbury an ultimately comfortable derby victory, and condemned the visitors to their second consecutive defeat in the London Three North East table.
There will be a break in league action until the 7th January when Stow host Harlow and after watching his side fall to another derby defeat, Seaman is looking for a response after taking the break to re-group as a squad.
“I am very disappointed if I am honest with you, we didn’t play to our strengths at all,” he said.
“The players know themselves what they have not done and what we should have achieved, so we will now just have to get ready for the new year and look to get back to winning.
“It is good to have a break because winning becomes a habit but so does losing and to have that break now after two defeats on the bounce will settle our heads and allow us to come back fresh.”
Stowmarket, after an opening 10-minute spell of pressure, were almost always second best.
Rix opened the scoring, picking up from a ruck on the line to crash over in the 17th minute, Tom Summers narrowly failing with the conversion. Summers punished a high tackle with a penalty in the 34th minute, putting Sudbury 8-0 up at the interval.
Stowmarket hit back with a try in the first minute of the second half, Hill finding acres of space to go over comfortably, and Searles enjoying an easy conversion.
Summers and Searles traded penalties to keep the margin to one point until, in the 58th minute, Beckett scored a magnificent solo try, jinking past four defenders to score.
Sudbury then kept play almost constantly deep in the Stowmarket half, but failed to capitalise on that dominance until the last minute, Rix again on the scoresheet as Sudbury’s pack drove over.
Fourteen minutes of injury time were played, and five minutes in Griffiths scored his first try for Sudbury, taking a pass from Beckett and racing round the defence to touch down exuberantly under the posts. Summers converted.
At 28-10 it was finally game over, but Sudbury briefly lost concentration three minutes later, allowing Joseph Field to break clear down the flank and reduce the arrears. But that merely reduced the margin before Sudbury took the game back into the Stowmarket 22 and ran down the clock.