Sunderland RFC claimed a valuable 20-10 home win on Saturday against relegation rivals Winlaton Vulcans down at Ashbrooke pitches.

Before the game, Sunderland were sitting second bottom of the Durham/Northumberland Divison Two ahead of Winlaton, this win has seen Sunderland move up one position to 12th in the league. Which currently sees them escape relegation, as that happens to the bottom two teams in the league.

Sunderland looked nervous throughout the game, which is understandable due to their league position and they just needed a win for confidence. It appeared their hammering of Jarrow the week before had helped them confidence wise, at times they were moving the ball from side to side with real quality.

There were moments of dominance for both sides, Sunderland seemed to edge out Vulcans at the set piece and particularly in the scrum, while the limping line-out had definitely improved since last league game against Whitby.

Winlaton’s aggressive blitz defence made it hard for Sunderland’s attack, but they did find holes, mostly through the footwork of Mark Smith, the outside centre, who can also play across the back three. He touched down twice for tries with two good solo efforts with the rest of points being kicked over by winger Leon Davies.

Winlaton at one stage made the score 10-10 which made Sunderland visibly edgy, but RFC rode through the tricky period and managed to get on top of the Vulcans again.

Looking forward for Sunderland RFC, their next game is at home against seventh placed Sedgefield on Saturday. Sunderland have been playing well at home this season while their opponents have not travelled particularly well this season.

Sunderland RFC will be hoping for a home victory to propel them further up the table and away from the scary prospect of relegation.