The old maxim about the bounce of a rugby ball unfortunately proved true for Charlton Park when, in the first half, three Sutton clearance kicks bounced into the hands of one of their chasing players who then outstripped the Charlton defence to score tries.
Playing with the benefit of the natural conditions it was Sutton who made the better start of the two teams and from the outset the difference in league position was evident. It was an error from Charlton, when trying to run the ball out of defense saw them concede a penalty which was duly kicked to give the visitors a lead. Charlton immediately had an opportunity to level the scores but the resultant kick was caught on the wind and drifted wide of the posts
Despite an occasional excursion into the Sutton half, one of which that saw BJ Bridges being tackled into touch deep in the visitors’ half, the majority of play was in Charlton’s half. It was a combination of errors committed by Charlton, allied to astute kicking by Sutton out of their half, that saw them score five tries before half time, three when the ball bounced into a chasing player’s arms, and a superiority in the scrummage setting up attacking positions for the other two.
The second half saw a revival in Charlton’s fortunes as they began to show glimpses of their attacking potential with the ball being taken up field through a combination of driving play and also more attention and accuracy entering into their play. It was following Charlton gaining possession in loose play, that a drive from Mark Harlow-Singh set in motion a series of phases of play and it was scrum half Tom Grocott who finished the passage of play when he scored Charlton’s first try of the game.
Charlton’s continual defending through out the first half was to affect periods of play late in the match when, following yet another kick into their half from Sutton, the visitors were awarded a five metre scrum close to the Charlton goal line. A simple pick up at the back and drive saw Sutton score their sixth try and it was following another scrum that a seventh was scored.
It was, however, Charlton who scored the last points of the match when following them fielding a Sutton clearance kick, the ball was run back and Reion Raybe showed his pace when he outstripped the Sutton defence to score Charlton’s second try of the game.
Next Saturday Charlton entertain Chiswick at Broad Walk. Kick off is 2.15