Sat 20
1st XV
71
-
26
League
Sudbury
J Clark (2), J Downie (2), I Sanderson (2), S Miller (2), C Johnson, H Briffitt
Tries
I McGhee (9)
Conversions
I McGhee
Penalties
Old Habs 1st XV vs Sudbury 1st XV

Old Habs 1st XV vs Sudbury 1st XV

By Stephen Blundell
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OH win against Sudbury


Old Habs welcomed Sudbury to another spectacular day on the school 1st XV pitch (with Croxdale Road still under repair). Sudbury – an unknown quantity having played the top four teams in the opening six fixtures – with Habs looking to pick up again from their excellent start to the season after a week off.

Habs started well, applying pressure for the outset, which led to a penalty from Ian McGhee (whose place kicking with excellent throughout) followed by a short range finish from Ian Sanderson.

From there though, Habs relaxed the pressure on the opposition an, despite withstanding for a period, Sudbury struck twice in quick succession (including a fortunate break away from a loose ball) to lead 14-10. Notwithstanding a couple of late tries for Sudbury, that was the last time they came close to Habs.

Habs' response was swift – Miller stepping through the defence to start the rout, followed by an excellent break down the right from John Downie which James Clark did well to track taking the opportunity to finish when Downie was caught and then Harry Briffitt storming in from his wing to finish a sweeping move across the pitch.

With Sudbury looking forward to the respite of half-time, Habs won a late penalty; It was kicked to the corner and Habs completed a lineout drive (though it was less than text book with Ian Sanderson unwilling to put the ball down until the maul was significantly passed the try line). 38-14 to Habs at half-time.

Shortly after half-time, Ian Sanderson intercepted the ball near the halfway line and, with the try line beckoning, stormed away; realising that he wouldn't make it, Ian lifted the ball to James Clark who beat the remaining Sudbury chasers to the line.

A well-executed lineout drive was clinically finished (far better than the first half attempt and claimed by Cian) to increase the lead to 50-14. Followed by the ball being spun wide to Charlie Johnson to skip through the Sudbury defence – 57-14.

Credit has to go to Sudbury for sticking at it through the second half and they responded with a couple of tries in the last quarter (to snatch a bonus point), split by a Josh Downie finish in the corner to continue his try scoring battle with Clarky.

With time running out and a Sudbury player going down injured requiring extended attention on the pitch, there were suggestions that the ref should blow up; however, Sudbury's coach insisted that his team would finish the game. This gave Habs one last opportunity to polish the result with Miller breaking through Sudbury's backline to touch down with the last play of the game. – Habs 71 Sudbury 26.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 20, Oct 2018

Kickoff

TBC

Competition

London 1 North

League position

5
Old Haberdashers
11
Sudbury