Colts strong in the scrum
11:40 22 February 2013
Sidmouth RFC Colts 14, Barnstaple 10
The Sidmouth Colts have a reputation for pace, but this league win hinged on an excellent scrummaging performance against a big Barnstaple pack.
The Sidmouth front-five were outstanding, the scrum was rarely moved and indeed had the edge to create the platform for the team.
Barnstaple started the game fired-up and one particular late tackle would have normally incurred a card but, perhaps being so early, allowed the referee the benefit of the doubt. The disciplined and positive reaction from Sidmouth was crucial and this focus meant they concentrated on the rugby and created most of the best chances through the first half.
From a scrum on halfway the ball was moved to the right and excellent passing under pressure from Locke and Dyer, gave Cawthera one defender to beat and some space on the outside. Cawthera rounded his man and had the composure to beat the fullback with an inside pass to Bramley. Ben Ward converted and Sidmouth looked to be taking control of the game with good ball retention and good field position. The lead was increased thanks to Ward, who spotted the Barnstaple defence out of position, and made a long inside pass to Bramley to give the flanker a well deserved second try.
Leading to half time the next score was crucial. Sidmouth looked like they could pull away but Barnstaple were still physical and making clever use of the offside line. Getting a foothold deep in the Sidmouth 22 it was another backs-to-the-wall five minutes for the home side whose defence has been good and was typified by a finger-tip tackle on the opposition scrum half who looked certain to score having found a gap close to a ruck.
At 14-0 in the second half Sidmouth had a golden opportunity to stretch the lead and hunt down a bonus point. With an overlap on the Barnstaple 22 they missed their chance shifting the initiative to Barum who had their best phase of the game. They converted a penalty and soft tackling allowed the fly half to ghost through from 40 metres to close the gap to 14-10. With five minutes to play, Sidmouth regained control and were organised enough to keep Barnstaple deep in their own half and close-out the game.
Generously sponsored by The Sidmouth Garage, the Colts travel to Okehampton this Saturday for an eagerly-awaited top of the table clash and your support would be most welcome.