Suffolk Rugby round-up: Sudbury, Woodbridge, Haverhill and Diss

Jono Cooke Woodbridge

Jono Cooke Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

Sudbury secured their most important win of the season against third-placed Harlow on Saturday to make it six in a row, with a 22-15 win in London 3 North.

JP Hart runs for Woodbridge

JP Hart runs for Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

Sudbury immediately took play deep into the Harlow half. Two quick scrums saw Louie Boydell pick up from the base of the second and a swift pass out to Shaun Smith gave Sudbury their first points wide on the right.

The hosts were unable to play a flowing game and gave away silly technical penalties as they were denied their usual amount of possession.

Harlow gained territory and from a penalty lineout, midway in the Sudbury 22, they drove and levelled the score.

Sudbury replied with a try from and went in at half-time leading 10-5.

Harlow started the second half well with a try and conversion from a lineout, followed by three phases by the forwards to score.

Sudbury were still picking up penalties and eventually gave one away, in range of Harlow’s kicker, which allowed the visitors to stretch their lead to five points.

Most Read

In the last 10 minutes, Sudbury should have scored from three consecutive scrums on the Harlow five metre line, before Boydell did get over.

In the dying seconds Tom Summers scrambled over from a scrum, dodged a couple of tackles, and scored under the posts, before converting his own try.

Next week Sudbury need to do a good job at Old Brentwoods to put down a marker for their next big test away at Wanstead.

EASTERN COUNTIES 1

Woodbridge Warriors 8 Swaffham 10

Woodbridge hosted Swaffham in a nail-biting encounter that resulted in a narrow victory for the visitors.

Eager from the whistle, Woodbridge piled on the pressure and contained the game for the opening 15 minutes.

Brave Swaffham defence extinguished scoring chances and the visitors were able to counter attack and were rewarded with a try finished by Ross Downs in the 20th minute. Joseph Milligan converted.

Woodbridge wasted no time in replying and quickly made their mark on the scoreboard with a penalty converted by Jamie Smith.

Woodbridge pinned Swaffham until their defence finally gave way in the 30th minute, JP Hart scoring following a 22m drop out; that gave Woodbridge a slim 8-7 lead.

In the dying minutes of the half, a dangerous tackle by Swaffham’s Ed Jones on Hart saw the visitors go into the break one point behind and with 14 men.

Despite the one-man deficit, Swaffham held a strong defensive line and looked dangerous in attack for the beginning of the half; the scoreboard remaining unchanged until Jones rejoined the match.

Swaffham’s Piers Fountaine scored the first points of the half in the 65th minute with a penalty kick that gave the visitors the lead.

Woodbridge fought back and spent the remaining minutes of the game within the opposition’s half.

Potential-winning points slipped away with two unsuccessful penalty kicks. though and tension remained until the final whistle when Woodbridge were given a 40m penalty in the last play to win the match.

However, Smith’s kick narrowly missed the posts to seal a 10-8 Swaffham victory.

EASTERN COUNTIES 2 (West)

Haverhill 64

March Bears 14

Haverhill embarked on a try-fest at the Castle Fields.

With their first scrum, Haverhill demolished the Bears’ set-piece.

Six minutes in, Darren Lister stormed through the Bears’ defence and laid off cleverly to Jake Jeffs who scored and converted his try.

On 13 minutes, the Bears’ tight-head prop limped off and Haverhill’s dominance in the scrum was knocked out through uncontested scrums.

A Jeffs penalty on 20 minutes was chased by Doyle Onley and after two difficult bounces, the ball dropped perfectly in the winger’s arms and over for 12-0.

Dave Quinney featured in the next try, breaking out 20 metres for Hunt to score under the posts, Jeffs converting.

Bears hit back for 19-7, but Jeffs nipped back with a superb try and conversion to take the score to 26-7.

The Bears’ 10 crossed the line again for 26-14, but Haverhill were not finished and a fantastic angled run by Hunt was met with the perfect pass from Jeffs. Hunt broke through and scored under the posts for 33-14 with a conversion.

The second half became a procession of tries with Hunt scoring twice, Jeffs converting the first try.

Skipper Micky Lansdowne then released Collins Musavengana for a solo run and try.

Danny Harris scored his first try for the team, Hunt converting, before, in the final play, Zee Chilufya scored his first try for the club. Jeffs converted.

London 2

Diss 43 Holt 10

Diss secured maximum points against Holt with an emphatic performance.

The hosts should have scored within the first 15 minutes but were held up over the line twice. Holt however took a three point lead following Diss ill-discipline at a ruck.

Diss settled into a much more cohesive pattern of play and attacked Holt through both backs and forwards alike.

Jamie Burroughs was beginning to pose a real threat from the base of the scrum and, following an outstanding break, released Giles West, who scored out wide on the left.

West scored a further try following excellent work from the Diss back five. The scrummaging power of Groom, Craven and Bray was also now having an real influence.

Following a dangerous move from Holt, Tom Holt was able to intercept in midfield and run clear to score a further try converted by Jack Peacock.

The hard graft of the first half soon began to take effect as Diss began to play a brand of rugby that had the home support purring.

Fraser Hall was able to run clear at regular intervals and link with a three-quarter line that was now beginning to really express itself.

Jack Peacock was controlling the game and set Josh Ludkin and Jack Keppel off on a number of direct running lines into the Holt 22.

Gus McGrath was yet again outstanding from the full back position and a real threat to Holt, when he had the ball.

The front five were now in total control with Matt Richards adding a wealth of experience when replacing Tim Groom.

Further tries were scored by Tom Holt, Gus McGrath (2) and Fraser Hall, with Jack Peacock securing four second half conversions.

Holt scored a deserved try late in the game following an excellent period of Diss defence.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter