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A Slow Start by Sutton

Sutton Coldfield 15 v 22 Scunthorpe 22

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2015 04:13pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Another slow start saw Sutton leak 4 tries and a conversion to trail 22-3 after 30 minutes of play against a much travelled Scunthorpe side but 2 well taken tries by centre Jonny Raistrick either side of half time sparked a magnificent recovery by Sutton but in spite of their spirited efforts they fell frustratingly short in a 22-15 defeat, which secured a losing bonus point but failed to gain the all important win, which has eluded them in recent games.
Scunthorpe kicked off in bright sunshine with perfect playing conditions underfoot and although there was a blustery wind, all was set well for a keen contest between two strong teams, noting that Scunthorpe are now benefitting from a 3 year rebuilding exercise after losing a host of key players, whilst Sutton are in the first year of their own reinvention.
Sutton took the ball from the kick off and showed early promise with a blistering run up the left wing but they conceded a penalty at the breakdown and play was returned deep into the Sutton half. Scunthorpe won the lineout and drove for the try line with flanker Jeff Dyson grounding the ball to give the visitors a 5-0 lead after just 3 minutes of play.
Again, encouragingly Sutton made ground up the left wing following the restart but were forced into touch and Scunthorpe regained possession from the lineout taking play back towards the Sutton 22. The ball went to ground in midfield and as Sutton defended the edges of the ruck, Scunthorpe picked up and drove through the middle, racing towards the posts and a clever off load sent fly half Tom Foster in for a good try, 8 minutes into the game.
The conversion was missed but Scunthorpe were ahead 10-0, which minutes later they extended to 15-0 with a third try, scored again by livewire flanker Jeff Dyson, following another well executed catch and drive from a lineout on the left wing after Sutton surrendered possession through a penalty at a scrum in mid field and the visitors took full advantage with a kick into the corner.
25 minutes into the game Sutton were awarded a penalty following a high tackle by Scunthorpe in mid field 30 metres out and centre Alex White duly slotted the kick to close to 15-3 but Scunthorpe struck again 10 minutes before the break through another kick to the left corner and a well practised catch and drive was driven towards the Sutton try line. This time Sutton stopped the drive but the ball was spun to the right across the face of the posts and right wing Will Harrison raced in for a try on the overlap.
Fullback Steve Johnson added the conversion to stretch Scunthorpe's lead to 22-3 but 3 minutes before the break Sutton struck back with an excellent try by outside centre Jonny Raistrick, who raced outside the Scunthorpe defence to ground the ball wide of the posts on the left wing. Unfortunately centre Alex White injured his groin in the build up and had to limp off the field to be replaced by fly half Ben Morgan whose first action was to attempt the very difficult left footed conversion, which just skimmed the outside of the post and Sutton had to be content with a 5 point try and a 22-8 score line going into the break.
Sutton had a difficult start to the second half and they just managed to survive when an attempted clearance in their 22 was charged down but their scrambled defence was reprieved when an over eager Scunthorpe were penalised and Sutton cleared their lines taking play back into the Scunthorpe half where a series of strong attacks put pressure on the Scunthorpe defence. During a period of continuous play Sutton first attacked up the right wing and then swung play to the left in front of the Scunthorpe posts before the ball was again spun back taking play to the right and centre Jonny Raistrick sped forward to squeeze over the try line for an outstanding try. Josh Rolls stepped up to add the conversion, which put Sutton in reach at 22-15 with just 10 minutes of the second half played.
With everything to play for Sutton stepped up their game in the remaining period, with the Sutton pack starting to dominate the scrums, which had proved troublesome in a traumatic first half but the superior Sutton fitness told over the heavier and bulkier Lincolnshire men who looked weary during the closing period of the game. However, in spite of their dominance during this period of play Sutton were unable to force the try and conversion which would level the score and set up a dramatic finish.
But to their credit Scunthorpe held firm and an entertaining contest came to an end with Sutton having to reflect on the consequences of another poor start.
Sutton have a welcome break from league rugby this weekend returning to action on Sat 21st March with the short trip to local rivals Lichfield, who are enjoying life back in the National Leagues sitting in 9th place one place ahead of Sutton in 10th. KO 3 pm.   

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