A DEPLETED Sunderland side crashed to a 52-19 defeat in soggy conditions at Peterlee Pumas.
The red and whites, without key players Raymie Elliot, Gary Peel and Johnny Urquhart, were first to score when Dan Rundle outpaced the home defence and touched down, with Chris Laycock adding the extra points.
Sunderland got on the attack straight from the restart and James Pocklington scored a drop goal to extend the lead.
However, Sunderland’s joy was cut short when Peterlee bullied their way over to score two quick tries to take the lead.
Geordie Spencer broke through and scored for Sunderland, giving Chris Laycock an easy kick at goal.
But then the heavens opened, severely hitting Sunderland’s style of play.
Peterlee took control and scored two more tries to lead 22-13 at the interval.
The conditions worsenend in the second half and Peterlee were the more determined team, running in tries to kill off the Sunderland challenge.
Sunderland did score a final try through skipper Chris Laycock, who also kicked the conversion – but Peterlee added further points to seal the win.
The visitors also suffered injuries to Rundle and James Pocklington, with David Williams and Mark Wilson also picking up knocks.