IT WAS another frustrating day for Sunderland as once again they failed to pick up any points in a 34-22 defeat to Consett.
Unlike recent weeks, where Sunderland have competed for the first half and fallen away in the second, it was the opening 20 minutes of the game when the damage was done.
After an early let off when Consett had a try disallowed they followed up with some strong play which resulted in a try and two penalties to take an early 13-0 lead that Sunderland would never come close to pegging back.
Sunderland did get some points back in the first half when Gaz Roberts powered over on his debut from close range but almost immediately Consett hit back with a second try.
Despite extended pressure on the Consett line at the end of the first half Sunderland were unable to make it count and turned round losing by 20 points to 5.
Looking to continue where they left off in the first half Sunderland were shell shocked when poor tackling let Consett extend their lead with a move that started inside the Consett half and finished underneath the posts.
At last Sunderland were spurred into action as they went on the offensive but found Consett a tough nut to crack. Extended pressure on the Consett 22 resulted in a lineout 15 m out and Joe Arrowsmith got his hands on the ball at the back of the resulting maul. As the maul was driven towards the line Arrowsmith broke clear and powered over to peg Consetts lead back.
Arrowsmith then provided the inspiration for a mini reviaval providing the impetus for Sunderland take the game to Consett to score two more tries, one more for Arrowsmith himself and one for Jake Belfield.
With a bonus point guaranteed any thoughts Sunderland had of taking all the points were shattered when once again they switched off and Consett scored under the posts to make sure of the victory.
That wasn’t the end of the action those as Sunderlands day got even worse with Jake Belfield shown a straight red card for what was deemed a dangerous high tackle with the last play of the game. The red means Belfield will be banned for at least the next two games until he goes before the county discipliniary panel.
Sunderland seconds and thirds also both lost out. The seconds lost out to Westoe thirds 22-19 and the thirds lost 32-21 to Consett thirds.