Sully Sports RFC 1sts get back on track - and 2nds win too
8:00am Thursday 17th January 2013 in Sport
SULLY SPORTS RFC 1st XV 31pts WHITEHEADS 0
AFTER five weeks since their last fixture, which was their only league loss this season, Sully Sports Rugby Club's 1st XV were champing at the bit to get back on track.
Playing with the strong, bitter wind at their backs, Whiteheads piled on the pressure from the start, but Sully Sports dug deep and were dogged in defence. And, when in possession, they kept the ball tight to deny the visitors possession and territory. With Whiteheads failing to make best use of the wind through kicking for territory, and the Sports playing it tight, the game was almost won by half-time as the home side established a 17-0 lead.
Whiteheads dominated the game in the opening 20 minutes without creating a try, and missing three easy penalty kicks. Having weathered the storm, winger Nathan Szuchnik gathered a kick in his own 22, broke out on a 30 metres weaving run, found support, and a combination of inter passing by the backs and forwards culminated in a try for full-back Wayne Jones.
Another counter attack brought a try for winger Jake Williams and, just before the break, from deep in their own half, the Sports drove upfield through a series of mauls, rucks and inter passing which saw prop Jamie Griffiths crash over for a try, converted by outside-half Chris Cummings.
In the second period, the Sports opened up the game, and it was Whiteheads who demonstrated the heroics in defence to limit the the home side to two tries, both of which came from clever quick line outs. With 20 minutes left, Jake Williams set up Wayne Jones for his second try, converted by Cummings, which gave the Sports a bonus point. In injury time, Cummings added the icing on the cake, scoring a try and conversion.
It was difficult, and possibly unfair, to single out players as the whole XV on the pitch played out of their skins in defence and support play, but winger Nathan Taylor, probably the smallest player on the pitch, made some outstanding tackles and breaks. The back row of Jason Evans, John Thomas and Dean Russell, epitomised the workrate and defensive qualities of the Sports this season, especially when the home side were under the cosh in the first half.
ST PETERS 3rd XV 12pts SULLY SPORTS 2nd XV 17
The Sully Sports side achieved the 'double' over the Saints in their second titanic league tussle of the season. This was all the more sweet as the Rocks 2nds, with their away game cancelled, returned to their Harlequins ground just after kick-off,and requested to play “rolling” subs. This was acceded to, and enabled them to field 12 of their 2nds at some stage in the game, and thus put unwarranted extra pressure on the Sports squad.
Ground conditions were heavy and boggy and, with a strong icy wind, the game was a hard fought slog, which again gave the home outfit the edge in being able to call on so many fresh legs/bodies.
Outside half Mike Saunders landed a tricky penalty to put the Sports in the lead, but the Rocks hit back with a try, taking a quick penalty and catching the visitors disorganised, for once, in defence. This gave them a two-point advantage at the break.
In the second half, an interception try by centre Gerald Cordle, converted by Saunders, put the Sports back in front.
A period of pressure from St Peters, with more than a dozen phases, produced an unconverted try to regain their two-point lead.
With under 10 minutes left, Sports' full back Craig Hanley broke out of his 22, creating an attack that involved most of the side, at least once, before a half gap was created for winger Dave Stillman, who outpaced and sidestepped around a floundering defence for a try. Saunders again added the extras.
The Rocks threw everything at the Sports who held solid.
In the dying moments, the Sports should have increased their winning margin, and secured a try bonus point, when they broke upfield. However, with the goal-line wide open, the “scoring” pass was knocked on.
* With the 1st team vying for top spot in the Sixth Division (lying third, six points behind the joint top two, but with two games in hand), and the Seconds on top of their league, it is unfortunate that due to the anomalies of the leagues, and the onset of the Six Nations, that neither side has a fixture for another seven weeks. A pool fixture is being sought; contact the club for details.
* The whole club was shocked to hear of the death of Jason Newland's mother, and thoughts and sympathy go out to him and his family.