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Belief growing at Sudbury Rugby Club that promotion can be achieved this season



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Sudbury head into Saturday’s home game with Old Haberdashers (3pm) with their head coach admitting there is growing belief they can sustain a surprise promotion push.

The Whittome Field outfit had finished in a mid-table seventh position in London 1 North in 2019/20 – the most recent campaign played due to Covid-19.

But since South African coach Craig Burrows, previously with higher-league Bury St Edmunds, came on board the Blues have only lost one of their opening 11 matches to top the table.

Sudbury’s players have only lost one game in their opening 11 matches this season Picture: Mecha Morton
Sudbury’s players have only lost one game in their opening 11 matches this season Picture: Mecha Morton

Shelford remain two points behind after they managed to come up with a last-gasp score to claim a 13-all draw at their Cambridgeshire base on Saturday.

“To be honest, leading the game for 71 minutes we should have had the win but the boys had dug in in the terrible conditions and did really well,” said Burrows.

“We just keep building week after week.”

Sudbury head coach Craig Burrows has been delighted at the way the players have adapted to his methods since arriving in the summer Picture: Mark Westley
Sudbury head coach Craig Burrows has been delighted at the way the players have adapted to his methods since arriving in the summer Picture: Mark Westley

Asked if there is a growing belief in the dressing room that they can keep hold of their lofty position and get promoted, with two games now left till the halfway stage, he replied: “Yes, there definitely is but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

“We are just training hard every week and are going through the patterns of play and structures, adding new ones in.

“The team is adapting really well to new plays and things I am bringing in.

“We are definitely doing well but once again, like I always say, we are work in progress. If it (promotion) comes, it comes, we will be more than happy with it.”

The next level up would take Sudbury to the top tier of the London Leagues, the London & SE Premier – just one promotion away from the National Leagues.

And Burrows revealed their flying start has helped to recruit further additions to the squad to help bolster it for the winter fixtures.

He said: “We’ve got new players joining weekly so our squad is getting bigger allowing us to build depth which is phenomenal.

“If you are looking at going up a league you certainly need that as injuries do take their toll.”

They will have to make do without influential kicker Chris Lewis for a while though, with the fly-half having an MRI scan this week to determine how bad a knee injury is which forced him off in the closing stages on Saturday.

“He was phenomenal for us kicking in those conditions,” said Burrows.

“He will be missed but it will be an opportunity for someone else.”

Meanwhile, Ben Murphy is one of the new additions who could make his debut on Saturday.

Burrows said: “He’s been on the sevens circuit and previously played with Colchester.

“Ben is training with us Tuesday and should be looking at getting game time this weekend.

“He plays in midfield or on the wing and is a hard, strong runner.”

Old Haberdashers are currently 10th in the table and go into the game off the back of successive defeats, losing 8-0 at home to Southend Saxons last weekend after a 29-27 reverse at Eton Manor.