AFTER a promising first-half performance, the all-too-familiar second-half collapse saw Sunderland thumped 51-20 at Gosforth on Saturday.
Sunderland should have led at half-time thanks to some impressive kicking from Matt Francis, who kicked five out of five penalties but a lack of concentration allowed Gosforth two simple tries which, combined with a conversion and a penalty, meant the sides turned round level.
Sunderland were confident that they could kick on and claim their first victory of the season but it proved to be all one-way traffic in the second half as Gosforth ran riot, running in six tries to claim a bonus point victory.
Although two of those tries owed a little to good fortune, the simple fact was that Gosforth were better than Sunderland in just about every area of the game in the second half.
Pressure from the Gosforth pack forced Sunderland into mistake after mistake and invariably Gosforth capitalised on those mistakes with some clinical finishing.
Jake Belfield scored a consolation try for Sunderland with the last play of the game but by that point Gosforth had the game well and truely wrapped up.
Sunderland seconds were left disappointed after Westoe III’s called off their game at short notice while the thirds were victorious in a fiery encounter with Blaydon Bricks. Sunderland’s points came through tries from Cowans, Chris Jones, Dom, Josh Wright and Brian Green. John Grainger added one penalty in their 28-7 win.