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Sutton Coldfield 36 v Broadstreet RFC 3

National League 3 Midlands

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2013 07:26pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By David Daniels
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Following successive victories at the start of the new season, Sutton 1st XV swept to the top of the National 3 Midlands league after a comprehensive 36-3 victory last weekend over a fancied Broadstreet side, who were amongst the pre-season favourites for the league title. 

Having previously out pointed Bournville with a 42-34 point victory in their opening game, the two high scoring victories against strong opposition have made Sutton the early pacesetters and the defeat of a strong Broadstreet outfit by 6 tries to nil gives a measure of the Sutton credentials in the long race for the league title.

The 6 Sutton tries were shared between the backs and forwards with 4 for the backs and 2 from the forwards. Sutton skipper Dave Edwards led the way with the first try after 15 minutes followed by fly half Josh Rolls who raced through a gap in mid-field to score by the posts and all action second row Steve McCormack scored to close out the first half. Centre Alex White provided 2 conversions to give Sutton a 19-0 half time lead before Broadstreet fly half Lee Chapman claimed the visitors solitary score with a penalty in front of the posts when the Sutton backs were caught off side but Sutton were unfazed by the Broadstreet renewed challenge after the break and responded with tries by centre Ian Miller and blindside flanker Brook Davies respectively, with the final try falling to winger Nathan Burchell, which centre Alex White converted... but whilst recognising the try scorers, credit should also go to the last ditch try saving tackles made in turn, by open side flanker Marcus Harewood, who had an outstanding game, inspirational skipper and winger Dave Edwards, who used his exceptional pace and awareness in attack and defence and the remarkable Mark Rayner, who had another great game at scrum half. All chased back and pulled off timely tackles when opposition players had broken clear but were hauled down just short of the Sutton try line and the Sutton cover defence did the rest!!

This weekend Sutton travel to 3rd place Hinckley, who are also unbeaten and only trail Sutton on points difference, for what should be another close contest between two inform sides. KO 3 pm. 

 

The story of the game...

Sutton kicked off in this critical early season fixture, which was played in perfect conditions with the sun prevailing over the rain clouds and the pitch and surrounding areas at the RSG were a credit to the work of the dedicated Sutton ground staff led by Tom Jones, Simon Yeo and the Morgan family. With a perfect pitch and overhead conditions, the scene was set for the game that was about to unfold between two free running successful sides who enjoy playing open running rugby and the watching spectators were royally entertained by a compelling contest.  

After the opening round of matches both teams were unbeaten with maximum points but Broadstreet sat 2nd in the table with Sutton in 5th place on points difference. It was therefore a confident looking Broadstreet who came to Sutton clearly intent on seeking revenge for last seasons double defeats and on edging further ahead of their hosts in this seasons league contest... but in spite of a spirited start and offering a strong challenge in the opening 10 minute period, the visitors were thwarted and Sutton prevailed to lead 19-0 at half time.

Although the visitors threatened a brief revival at the start of the second half when they won a penalty to close to 19-3 some 8 minutes after the restart, Sutton reasserted themselves to out score their illustrious opponents by 6 tries to nil, with fly half Josh Rolls and flanker Brook Davies keeping up their fine achievement of scoring in all of Sutton's competitive games this season including 3 tries each in the two league outings plus scores in the opening round of the Warwickshire Cup when Josh Rolls scored one try and Brook Davies bagged a brace. 

 

In spite of a flurry of yellow cards which were handed out to both sides, with 3 in the first half and 3 in the second half, the game was played in a good spirit and the standard of play was a credit to both teams. From the kick off the fired up visitors charged back into Sutton territory, with powerful play by the forwards plus strong running by the backs they threatened to overwhelm their hosts putting Sutton under pressure in their own half in the opening exchanges. But the Sutton defence held firm under the initial barrage and the early pressure was relieved following great play down the Sutton right wing when 2nd row David Merlin came away with the ball in his own 22 and powered his way up field before passing to right wing Nathan Burchell, who took the ball on at speed to within 5 metres of the visitors try line but Sutton were denied a try and a 5m scrum was awarded to the visitors who cleared the danger.

Unfortunately during the next phase of play, Sutton conceded a number of penalties, which cost them field position and kept play in the Sutton half but the referee ran out of patience with what he considered repeat infringements and Sutton suffered a yellow card on 8 minutes. However, Broadstreet failed to take advantage of the extra man with fly half Lee Chapman failing with a kickable penalty and a drop goal attempt also drifted wide. Reduced to 14 men Sutton strengthened their defence and discipline, holding out against a fresh onslaught and 15 minutes into the game they turned the tables when a fumble on their 10m line by the Broadstreet backs as they ran the ball at Sutton was expertly picked up by left wing Dave Edwards, who burst through the Broadstreet players to race down the left wing beating the cover defence for a superb score in the corner. Alex White added a perfect touchline conversion to give Sutton a deserved 7-0 lead but somewhat against the run of play.

The score lifted the home side's belief and appeared to put doubt in the minds of the Broadstreet players as Sutton upped-the-anti to test the Broadstreet defence over the next 20 minute period. The Sutton pressure was finally rewarded when the Sutton pack won a line out in the visitors 22 and the forwards drove powerfully for the try line. As the forward drive stalled the ball was fed quickly into mid-field and fly half Josh Rolls spotting a gap in the back line raced through for a smart score under the posts. Alex White added the simple conversion and Sutton moved into a 14-0 lead 4 minutes before the break.

With Sutton very much in the ascendency the ball was carried back into the Broadstreet half following the restart and Sutton switched play across the field with great interplay between backs and forwards taking play to the edge of the Broadstreet 22. The ball was swung from mid-field over to the left wing where livewire 2nd row Steve McCormack was lurking with intent and the tall second row stretched his legs to round the desperate defenders confidently ignoring the player running in support, to score a great try in the corner extending Sutton's lead to 19-0, which they carried into the break.

 

Revived by the break Broadstreet made a positive start to the second half and followed the ball into the Sutton 22 putting Sutton under immediate pressure. From the ensuing play Broadstreet re-gathered the ball and their player raced through a gap in the Sutton first line defence looking for a certain try but a superb cover tackle by open side flanker Marcus Harewood stopped the player short of the line. Sutton were in quickly to claim the ball at the breakdown 5m from the try line but Sutton 2nd row player David Merlin was harshly judged to have lifted the ball out of a ruck and a yellow card was brandished reducing Sutton to 14 again for the first 10 minutes of the second half. 

The visitors failed to take advantage of the extra man following the restart but 8 minutes into the second half Broadstreet fly half Lee Converted did convert a simple penalty for their solitary score, when the Sutton backs were caught off side in front of their posts closing the scores to 19-3. But then Sutton really turned on the style with centre Ian Miller scoring Sutton's 4th try for the all important bonus point following a Sutton line out on their right wing. The ball was won cleanly by the Sutton pack and fed out to Josh Groom, who had replaced Josh Rolls at fly half and was making a welcome return after injury proving the perfect replacement as the ball was spun out to the outside centre who raced in for a fine and all important try extending Sutton's lead to 24-3, 15 minutes into the second period.

Just after the mid point of the half the yellow cards were out again as a player from the front row on each side was given 10 minutes on the touchline after a gentleman's disagreement and both packs were reshuffled to accommodate the necessary changes to the front row personnel.

At various times and for various reasons Sutton reorganised their pack with Brook Davies moving from flanker to his familiar role at open side prop, Fraser Tait moved from no8 into the second row and the ever present Simon Millard came off the bench to take the key no8 role with the reliable Jeff Large joining the front row off the bench to bolster the performance of the Sutton pack in the latter stages of the game. It was also pleasing to see Liam Hills continue to impress at blindside prop and Tom Lucas has settled comfortably into the fullback role impressing with his defence, confidence under the high ball and attacking qualities. 

Mid-way through the final period flanker Brook Davies powered over to maintain his prolific try scoring record this season, with a try in the right corner following a catch and drive from a Sutton line out in the Broadstreet 22 on the right wing, to stretch Sutton's advantage to 29-3.

Following the restart Sutton kept up the pressure with an outstanding 50 metre break down the left wing but as centre Alex White gave the final pass for winger Nathan Burchell to race in over the try line, Sutton were called back for a forward pass and Broadstreet cleared their lines taking play back into the Sutton half. Back in Sutton territory Broadstreet mounted a promising attack and suddenly they broke through the Sutton defensive line. The Broadstreet right wing found himself racing into the Sutton 22 with the line at his mercy but Sutton's skipper Dave Edwards was alert to the danger and raced back to pull off a brilliant try saving tackle to deny Broadstreet who had to settle for a scrum in the Sutton 22. From the scrum Sutton's lively scrum half Mark Rayner gathered the ball and set off on a 40 metre run down the left touchline taking play deep into the Broadstreet half and setting up a fine attacking position for the Sutton team. With the pressure back on the visitors Sutton drove play up the mid-field channel before it was swung left into the hands of centre Alex White who made a telling break before passing to winger Nathan Burchell who raced in for Sutton's sixth and final try with 10 minutes left to play. Having made the try Alex White then added the extra points to take Sutton up to their winning total of 36-3.

However, the final 10 minutes still saw some lively action with a yellow card handed to each side and the final action of the game came when Broadstreet broke clear running in for a try under the posts but this time Sutton's outstanding scrum half Mark Rayner capped a great performance with a spectacular try saving tackle under the posts to deny brave Broadstreet a consolation try.

The ball was lost forward in the tackle and Sutton won the ensuing scrum allowing them to clear their lines and close out the game before celebrating a notable victory over strong and illustrious opponents, which bodes well for the future but it is still early days in what could prove to be a long season!.. but so far so good and no team can not do better than top the table at this stage in the season.

This weekend Sutton travel to 3rd place Hinckley to defend their top of the table status in another challenging contest. All support welcome for what should be another unmissable contest between two strong sides. KO 3 pm

 

Sutton other team results:

Sutton's young development side travelled to National 2 Bromsgrove to try out against their strong 2nd XV but in spite of  producing a great performance against strong opposition, Sutton lost out to last minute penalties. Sutton's 3rd XV were also unlucky to lose 24-21 away to Moseley Oak but Sutton's 4th team opened their new season with a fine 38-18 victory over a Whittington XV. Sutton scored 6 tries through James Heagarty, Mark McEvoy, Matt Mallion and Dan Wells with Callum capping a fine game with a brace of tries.   

   

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