Thursday, February 27, 2014
Sidmouth 2nds 8, Ivybridge 2nds 27
With the score at 8-12 and Sidmouth making all the play it seemed reasonable to be optimistic about another successful outcome for Sidmouth Quins on Saturday at The Blackmore, writes Robert Baugh.
However, two Sidmouth tries, both adjudged to be held up, and two gifted tries to Ivybridge made the final score extremely disappointing for the home side.
With several of the second team regulars making the trip to Coney Hill with the Chiefs, there was a bare 15 available to start and without enough experienced props it was uncontested scrums throughout.
The game plan should have been simple – don’t try and mix it up with Ivybridge’s bigger and probably better drilled forwards but get possession to the backs to play open rugby.
Sidmouth’s three-quarter line looked an exciting prospect with Ben Dobson back from injury at fullback, Jamie Balloch and Adam Squance on the wings, Dom Hawke and Giles Dixon at centre and Ben Pratt playing fly half.
There was a vacancy at scrum half until Alex Dunn, back home from University, put himself forward and played so well in his new found position that he earned himself one of the coveted pink t-shirts!
In the early exchanges Sidmouth appeared rusty which in light of the three week gap since they last played was understandable, however despite considerable pressure the 15 minute mark came up with no score either way and a couple of the Sidmouth stalwart’s regretting the 4.30am free bar of the night before!
Sidmouth found it difficult to move the game away from Ivybridge’s forwards and put in some extremely robust defence to keep the visitors at bay. The front five on “light” duties were able to cover the ground, not only making their hits but also making some yards when the opportunity presented itself. Captain Stuart Bickerstaff was as industrious as always with back-row colleagues Josh Reed and Martin Osbourne in support. With no recognised lineout specialist, it functioned reasonably well, Chris Otway winning virtually all his own ball.
On reflection Sidmouth created enough opportunities in the first half to put the game to bed, Ben Dobson, Dom Hawke and Jamie Balloch all making long runs but being snuffed out short of the try line.
After the break, playing up the slope, the Quins start brightly forcing a penalty which Adam Squance converted, he was then involved with the next score, after making good yards, drawing two defenders his pop pass was gathered by Ben Pratt who scampered in from 30 metres for an unconverted try. The comeback looked on course until the visitors got the try that effectively killed off the game.
The Quins are off to Tiverton this Saturday for a friendly fixture