Rugby: Sunderland rue missed chances as Edmundson try is not enough in defeat to Rockcliff

Sunderland (white) battle against Whitley Bay Rockcliff at Ashbrooke on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson.
Sunderland (white) battle against Whitley Bay Rockcliff at Ashbrooke on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson.

Sunderland slumped to their fourth straight league defeat on Saturday, falling 31-19 to Whitley Bay Rockcliff at Ashbrooke.

The Wearsiders have only been kept off bottom slot in Durham/Northumberland Division Two by winless Winlaton Vulcans.

Sunderland’s coaching team were again counting the cost of missed opportunities in their first league home game of the season on Saturday. The blow comes on the back of consecutive away defeats.

And with a fixture at undefeated league leaders Acklam looming this Saturday, Sunderland are aiming to put things right on the training field this week in preparation for their toughest fixture of the season to date.

Chairman Paul Geehan said, “Sunderland did not keep to the game plan and were beaten by the better team.

“Early pressure from us came to nothing and Rockcliff soon capitalised on our errors. Four penalties and one try just wasn’t good enough on the day.”

Micky Walton kicked the penalties for Sunderland, plus a conversion after Marc Edmundson’s try, which followed a fine break by Jack Hope, which cut the deficit to 28-19 which 27 minutes to play.

Anth Dodds returned, having missed all but three minutes of the campaign thus far. The rangy forward made his presence known, carrying ball well, particularly in the opening exchanges.

Rockcliff completed the scoring with a 59th-minute penalty.

Sunderland could not close the gap as Rockliffe converted a penalty on 59th minute taking scores to 19-31 in Rockliffes favour.

Sunderland seconds, meanwhile, recorded an impressive 27-22 win away to Houghton Boars, despite having only 14 men.

Sunderland Flames Ladies succumbed 44-7 away to a strong Birkenhead Park outfit, who dominated yesterday’s Women’s North Division Two clash.

The home side raced to a 12-0 lead before the visiting Wearsiders switched on and kept the score stable until half-time.

After the break, the Flames pressed and Kirsty Patterson came off the back line to score a try, which was converted by Keshia Brennan

The Flames’ score stung the hosts into action, and they responded with a show of strength, bagging a further 32 points.

Sunderland captain Amber Stonehouse said: “Despite the scoreline, we have picked up from last week and it did not always reflect in the result. We need to utilise the ball we have and follow through with our chances.

“Our potential is there, so, with time, it shall be interesting to see what is to come.”