Nuneaton Turn the Tables on Sutton

Sutton Coldfield 1st XV 21 - 52 Nuneaton 1st XV

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2015 05:54pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Sutton Coldfield 21 pts v Nuneaton RFC 52 pts
National League 3 Midlands
After an encouraging win the previous weekend, in their game last Saturday Sutton played well for 70 minutes against a good Nuneaton side, who made a strong start but with Sutton closing to 21-26 midway through the second half and in the ascendency during the closing stages, the home side looked set to secure another victory but a disastrous final 10 minutes saw Sutton concede 26 points for a final score line of 21-52.
Although Nuneaton played well and took their chances in style, it was agreed by all that the final score line flattered the visitors, who started the game positively taking a 7-0 lead after just 5 minutes of play but Sutton stayed in the hunt during a close contest, closing to 18-21 just after the break, then after Nuneaton scored a try to stretch the lead again the home side recovered to 21-26 with 58 minutes played and Sutton looked en route for victory after a period of inspired play. However as Sutton pushed forward chasing a winning score, simple mistakes cost them and in the final 10 minutes Nuneaton ran in 4 tries, 3 of which were converted, to snatch the game away from Sutton putting the threatened recovery on hold for another week.
Nuneaton kicked off in perfect conditions both overhead and under foot, with the existing Sutton first team pitch in front of the clubhouse having been brought up to International standards as a reserve pitch to the new first team pitch, which has been laid in the adjacent field over the brook and was used by Samoa and Romania for their closed training sessions but it will now be rested allowing it to recover before regular use next season. Raising the quality of the existing pitch to International standards as an alternative was insisted on by the RFU and RWC officials, when Sutton were accepted as a Host Club for the Samoa and Romania teams during their World Cup preparations. The Sutton teams and their visitors are now enjoying the benefits of the hard work carried out over the summer by the Sutton ground staff, led by Tom Jones and the Morgan family. 
Following the kick off Nuneaton won a scrum on the halfway line after a knock on by Sutton and no8 Roche picked up making a mini break before releasing fly half Joe Wilson, who raced into the Sutton 22 and fed outside centre Elliot Brown to score on the overlap to right of the posts. Joe Wilson added the conversion for a 7-0 lead after 5 minutes of play but Sutton fought back and on 8 minutes fly half Alex White cut the arrears to 4 points with an excellent 45 metre penalty, when the Nuneaton backs were caught off side in mid field, for 3-7 and upbeat Sutton nearly added a try from the restart. Sutton fullback Nathan Burchell gathered the ball and raced up the right wing taking play into the Nuneaton 22. The flying fullback was supported by hooker Dean Ginn and no8 Matt Dickerson and they were joined by prop Stuart Collard to force the ball over the try line but the referee judged a knock on over the line and denied the try allowing Nuneaton to clear the danger with a relieving scrum.
After a passage of even play with the Sutton pack contesting the forward exchanges well, matching their illustrious opponents in the scrums but proving to be inconsistent in their lineout play, midway through the first half the game was evenly poised until a Sutton knock on in front of their posts gave Nuneaton a scrum 5 metres from the Sutton try line and no8 Roche picked up from the base of the scrum to force his way over from close range. Although there was a question of whether he bounced the ball as he reached out, the try was awarded and with Wilson adding the simple conversion Nuneaton extended their lead to 14-3 with 20 minutes played.
Sutton responded well and won a penalty, which was converted by Alex White for 6-14 just 5 minutes later but again it was Nun's who scored next to stretch their lead to 21-6 with a try and conversion by fly half Joe Wilson, who raced in under the posts after a well worked scissors move in the Sutton 22. However, with half time approaching Sutton rallied and from a penalty kick into the corner, the Sutton line out was cleanly caught and driven towards the Nuneaton try line with prop Stuart Collard claiming an excellent first try for the 1st XV. Alex White added a well struck conversion allowing Sutton to close to 13-21 at the break.
Sutton made a strong start to the second half forcing play into the Nuneaton 22 and a hurried clearance kick was charged down by Sutton's bright young 2nd row Josh Bailey, playing in only his 4th game for the senior side having graduated this season from the Sutton junior ranks. The young lock smartly gathered the ball and reached over to score a fine individual try, which brought Sutton right back into the game at 18-21 just 8 minutes after the break.
Unfortunately the conversion drifted wide and within 2 minutes Nuneaton capitalised on a missed touch and missed tackles to run the ball back down the left wing for winger George Adams to exploit a big overlap with a try wide out on the left. The conversion was missed but the try restored the visitors lead to 18-26, however positive play by Sutton lead to a third penalty for Alex White and a score line of 21-26 with 22 minutes to play.
With a sense of victory in their grasp Sutton stepped up their game and exiting runs by wingers Ollie Chitnis and Miles Gregory on their respective wings plus penetration through the middle by French centre Ben Ollivier and Sutton captain for the day Jonathan Raistrick put some zing into the Sutton play but unfortunately unforced errors and simple mistakes all too often brought the promising play to a premature end and cost them possession and territory allowing Nuneaton to counter their challenge.
With 10 minutes to play Nuneaton turned the tables and a second try for centre Elliot Brown followed immediately with a try for right wing Boshi both converted by Joe Wilson extended Nuns lead to 21-40 before the nails were driven in deeper by a fine solo effort by left wing George Adams led to his second of the day and a 7th try for Nuneaton who closed the game with a scrambled try under the posts by substitute forward Gibbs and the inevitable conversion in front of the posts by Joe Wilson completed the score line of 21-52 with the last kick of the afternoon.
Sutton take a break from league rugby next weekend, allowing them to nurse their bruises before returning to action away to Old Halesonians on Sat 24th Oct 2015. KO 3pm. The next home game at the RSG, Walmley Road is Sat 7th Nov against Old Northamptonians RFC. KO 3pm.
Sutton other team results:
Unfortunately the Sutton 2nd/Development side were unable to find suitable opponents last Saturday and had to sit out the weekend without a game. This weekend Sutton 2nd XV should face Barkers Butts in the Warwickshire 2nd Team Trophy but the rumour is that Butts are to concede the cup tie and the Sutton side could be left without a game again.
However, whilst the senior side slumped to defeat, the 3rd XV were flying the flag for Sutton with a convincing victory over a Lichfield 3rd XV on Saturday. 


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