SUNDERLAND were taught a hard lesson in attacking rugby as Medicals ripped them to shreds 46-12 at Ashbrooke.
The visitors were dominant in the first half as they racked up a 39-5 lead.
Sunderland put up a better fight in the second period but the damage was already done.
The Medicals backline was too quick for Sunderland and some superb handling, allied to some woeful Sunderland tackling, gave the visitors an unassailable lead.
Medicals’ first two tries came from deep in their own half with Sunderland unable to deal with their offloading in the tackle.
A shell-shocked Sunderland were stung into action and Ryan Buckley reduced the deficit with a close-range pick and drive to bring the score back to 12-5.
Sunderland looked to have upped their game but on three separate occasions they failed to give the final pass when presented with the overlap.
Sunderland were punished when having failed to take advantage of one such overlap, Medicals turned the ball over and raced the length of the field to score their first try.
A penalty and two further tries gave Medicals a first half bonus point.
Things got worse for Sunderland after half-time as Medicals added a sixth try within seconds of the restart.
Although already well beaten, Sunderland competed well for the remainder of the second half and after a number of squandered half chances scored the only other points of the half through a Dan Abraham try.
Sunderland finished the game with 14 men when Jake Belfield was sin-binned for an offence at the maul but more worryingly for Sunderland, both Matt Francis and Ian Dobson were forced from the field with injuries in the second half.
And with their availability in doubt for next week, Sunderland’s already depleted backline will be stretched even further.