SEAFORD entertained Newick at the Salts on Saturday in the 16th round of Sussex 1, but ended up on the losing side by a scoere of 27 points to 10.
Both teams were very aware of how physical the game would be after the previous fixture away at Newick which resulted in a number of altercations and yellow cards. Seaford took the points on that day and knew the visitors would hold nothing back on the return fixture and, with some key players missing from the starting line-up, Seaford knew this would be one of the toughest fixtures so far.
Seaford were soon on the receiving end of the fast and powerful Newick backs when after just five minutes their big centre took a great running line to cut through the defence and score.
Near enough from the restart and only after a couple of fast phases, Newick exploited the quiet Scarlets defensive line and found themselves with an overlap; the wing ran from the halfway line and looked to be in at the corner but was flattened just short by Steve Dann. Newick recycled the ball quickly and used their forwards to crash the ball in and drive over the Seaford line for a second time. With the conversion successful it bought the score to 12-0 in Newick’s favour.
Seaford now started to play a bit tighter and the communication that had been lacking began to emerge.
For the next 15 minutes, the Scarlets attack was ferocious and consistent but no way could be found through the Newick defence.
Seaford were awarded a penalty 20 metres from their objective and, with a dummy run coming from the forwards, scrum half Dan Kristiansen popped the ball to Ben Cox who ran across the defensive line to score in the corner.
Seaford went straight back at the visitors and again camped in their half for another 10 minutes, but were eventually turned over. The ball was kicked deep into the Seaford half and, with a good kick and chase, Newick were on the score sheet again.
But thanks to the Burns twins, Paul and Chris, plus Mike Upton, Cox, Dann and the Scarlet monster Danny Newby, the visitors found it increasingly difficult to get through the defence without a lucky breakaway – and their tactics soon turned to a kicking game. This quickly took its toll on Seaford, with the constant sprinting from side to side and back and forth causing errors to be made.
Newick were awarded a scrum in the Scarlets 22. With a good push, the Seaford scrum was put under pressure and the visitors had the upper hand. The No 8 broke on the blind side, where the Newick centre was put in at the corner to take the score to 5-22 at the break.
From the restart the physicality intensified and lock Sam Diplock had to leave the field with a blood injury, making way for Shaun Brewer.
For the next 25 minutes, both teams were held with no merit, some superb attacks were thrown at the Newick team but were never quite finished to produce a score but the defence from the home side denied some equally great running from the visitors.
It took a while for the next score, which came again from kicking. The Newick scrum half chipped the ball from the back of a scrum to the opposite corner where the home side were without a defender, Dann made it from the back of the scrum to collect the ball just a couple of yards from his own try line but was hit by two players instantly; the ball was kept out of the try area and placed down but, with the Newick players quicker to the breakdown, the ball was turned over and Newick scored in the corner.
With 10 minutes remaining, Dann, who, on his first game back in the front side after four months injury, made way for player/coach Leslie Hunter.
Seaford carried on with the relentless attacking and Cox was again finding his way through the visiting team.
After making more than 30 metres by stepping and bouncing his opponents, he was finally tackled just a few metres out from glory. But with support present, Cox popped the ball up and Hunter found himself in possession with nothing more to do than place the ball down for a well-deserved Seaford try.
With a losing bonus point in sight, Seaford showed one last burst but fell short of time, after a very fast and physical match Newick left with the points and Seaford left frustrated with themselves.
Man of the match was shared by the colossus Newby and the in-form Cox. Seaford remain in fourth place and are set to play a friendly against Lewes 2nds tomorrow (Saturday) and hope to welcome back to the team James Anderson, Ben Lane and Josh Shepperd – who has bene out after losing a nail two weeks ago.
TEAM: Parker, B Lewis, Wilson, Diplock, P Culshaw, Upton, Dann, Newby, Kristiansen, Cox, Tait, P Burns ©, C Burns, Jackson, Dimmer. Subs; Brewer, Hunter.
Newick II 80 Seaford II 0
SEAFORD 2nd XV travelled to Newick with a hugely depleted side after losing players to the suffering first team. Fielding eight players on their debut and many more with little experience, Seaford never gave up and found in true Scarlet fashion till the death.
The seconds also play Lewes in a friendly next when they face the third team of the local rivals.
SEAFORD RUGBY CLUB are holding a charity event at the end of the month. The event is for the Mayor’s mad march charity organisation and is a night at the rugby club on Saturday, March 31 with a live band The Fabulous Baker Boys. Tickets are £5 per couple and all proceeds got to the Mayor’s charities.