Sudbury travelled to the heart of the City of London on Saturday to play rugby in the most regal setting in the whole of English rugby. Unfortunately their performance was not as entertaining as the guided tour of the ceremonial guns used for Royal Salutes at the Tower, prior to the game.
Perhaps overawed by the venue Sudbury never got into their stride and a slick, well drilled side out played them right from the off.
In blustery conditions HAC attacked from the start and had scored within four minutes of the start after several phases of play in the Sudbury red zone their captain nipped through the gap to score.
A Sudbury mistake at the restart gave the initiative back to the home side and again Sudbury were under pressure. A five lineout and a rolled maul led to the second try and still only six minutes in. Play continued in the Sudbury half and they weathered the storm but each time the blues made any progress they would make a mistake and the move would end. The whole game was littered with penalties with both sides equally guilty and on the stroke of half time the home side opted to kick to finish the first period 17-0 up.
Five minutes into the second half Sudbury were awarded a penalty and the kick failed to make touch, HAC ran back from mid-way in their own half to score. The second half was played at a slightly slower pace but the home side still dominated possession and territory and scored the bonus point with a well worked try using their backs to work the ball through the hands mid-way through the half. The only successes of the day for the visitors were in the lineouts and from a five line Sudbury took and rolled the maul but the defence held firm until Sudbury shipped it wide and knocked on in the act of scoring, their best chance gone.
With only five minutes left HAC ran three more soft tries against a tiring Sudbury side, the last of which had an outrageous forward pass which the referee did not see but which made no difference to the result.
A day to remember but a game to forget.