Friday, March 7, 2014
Wadebridge Camels 45, Sidmouth 5
The Chiefs team that travelled to Wadebridge, was once again much-changed and youthful, writes Terry O’Brien.
They played with great enthusiasm and endeavour, but their inability to convert promising opportunities into points was in sharp contrast to the clinical finishing of the home side.
An enterprising willingness to run the ball created two clear overlaps in the opening minutes, but inaccurate handling and an aimless kick saw them go to waste. However, when Wadebridge were awarded a penalty, they kicked into the Sidmouth 22 and camped on the line until a forward forced his way over. The try was converted.
The Chiefs responded with a fine handling move to the right, which was switched to the left. Tim Phillips was on the overlap but was stopped just short of the line and his pass failed to find a supporting player.
Wadebridge took control of the second quarter, helped by a high Sidmouth error count. They scored three tries, all by the influential hooker, and all from close range after concerted forward pressure. Two were converted to make the half time score 0-26.
Wadebridge extended their lead early in the second half after they had advanced the ball through several phases from halfway to the Sidmouth line, where they set up a maul to drive over. Again the hooker got the touchdown and the try was converted.
The Chiefs eventually broke their duck 15 minutes into the half. Josh Bess won a lineout inside the opposing 22 and Tom Irish peeled around the back before offloading to Gavin Pearson, who applied the finishing touch.
A replacement flanker scored Wadebridge’s next try, when he picked up from a ruck on halfway and found the blindside unmarked. He ran in almost unopposed from 50 metres.
The Chiefs showed good fighting spirit, and some good rugby, in the final quarter. Good work by the backs gave Jevon Astley-Jones a run down the right and a few minutes later the same player initated a move, when he fielded a kick in his own half. The ball was worked to Dan Colson on the left. He seemed to be breaking clear when he was tap tackled inside the 22. A similar move sent Dominic Hawke sprinting up the left, but again they could not find the finishing touch.
Wadebridge added a seventh try in injury time, when a forward drove over from close range after heavy pressure on the line. The conversion was followed by the final whistle.
On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Bridgwater and Albion. The kick off at the Blackmore Field is at 3pm. The Quins travel to Crediton whilst the Colts take a 37-7 advantage into the second leg of their Devon Colts Plate game at Tiverton.