HEREFORD RFC showed their rustiness as they were beaten 39-31 at Sutton Coldfield in the Papa John’s cup.

After the disappointment of two cancelled home games due to the late withdrawal of their opponents Hereford finally made their debut in the cup at Sutton Coldfield.

A competitive match transpired with the lead changing hands on six occasions and the win only consolidated in the final eight minutes of play.

“It was a very evenly contested game in the Papa John’s cup between Hereford and Sutton Coldfield,” said Hereford head coach Scott Sturdy. “Both teams put on a pretty good attacking display with some really fantastic tries, but it wasn’t a day for defence coaches.

“That was definitely the area which let us down. We have not played for the last five weeks and you could really see the boys starting to flag a bit, in the last 20 or 30 minutes. It was a keenly contested game and great to play in a national cup quarter-final.

Hereford took the lead with a converted try after 11 minutes through Jack Goodwin, converted by Dean Powell. Sutton replied immediately before taking the lead through a converted penalty for the breakdown.

Hereford responded at once and regained the lead through man of the match Luke Yarranton and Powell converted. The lead changed hands again, when a Sutton centre picked up a loose ball and in a mazy run, beat several tackles to cross under the posts for a converted try.

Sutton consolidated their lead with a third try in the corner, the try was improved, but before the interval Hereford clawed their way back to within a point as Matt Wilson dotted down.

Hereford started the second half well and moved back into the lead with a try from Iwan Holder with Powell adding the extra points.

Sutton put in some determined running and were rewarded with a brace of tries, both of which were converted giving them victory.