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County Championship Shield 2012
SURREY 20pts SUSSEX 10 pts
In a tense, nervy match played in atrocious conditions, Surrey’s pack started in determined mood and bossed the scrums from the start. Surrey prop Tom Bristow was in dominant form and had his Sussex counterpart in all sorts of trouble, while Charlie Connor was also prominent in his personal battle with experienced Sussex campaigner, prop Nick Shopland.
It was no surprise when Sussex prop Phil Veltom was yellow carded for persistent scrum offences. Soon afterwards, Surrey scrum half Steve Mumford was just short with a penalty attempt. Then after being driven back in several scrums by the home side’s rampant pack, Sussex eventually conceded a penalty try, after the referee ran out of patience. Mumford added the conversion to put Surrey 7– 0 ahead.
After good work by Sussex lock Sam Hill and flanker Callum Armstrong, Fly half Tom Stokes slipped in his run up and hit the bar with a penalty goal attempt. Back came Surrey again and after a clever touch kick from Ryan Jeffery and good work by the forwards winning another penalty, which Steve Mumford calmly slotted over to give the home side a 10 – 0 lead.
With half time approaching, a good driving maul by Sussex led to a mistake in the Surrey backs and let in Sussex centre, Ed Court for a try, which was converted by Stokes, to bring the interval scoreline to 10 -7 in Surrey’s favour.
The second half saw Sussex reshuffle and up their performance level and driven on by a gutsy performance from scrum half, Billy Toone, they began to threaten. Nevertheless, Surrey’s defence held firm until they conceded another penalty , which fly half, Tom Stokes slotted over to bring the scores level.
Both sides began to make more use of the rolling substitutions, but it was Surrey who looked the more dangerous. Flanker, James Tubaesei who was outstanding throughout, then smashed through several tackles and scored Surrey’s second try, after good support from replacement hooker, Nathan Kemp. Again Steve Munford added the conversion to push Surrey ten points ahead.
With the game drawing to a close, Surrey replacement flanker Rob Fee and Sussex flanker Callum Armstrong were both given yellow cards, after a disagreement at a ruck.
SURREY: Ryan Jeffery, Richard Kemp, Alrich Mueller, James Faulkner, Ryan Lucas (all Dorking), Neil Brown (Aylesford Bulls), Steve Mumford, Tom Bristow, Sam
Substitutes: Ben Knight (Dorking), Nathan Kemp (Wimbledon), Rob Tait (Wimbledon ), Rob Fee, Richard Booth, Robert Clark, Adam Cooper (all Dorking )