Friday, March 7, 2014
Brixham 10, Sidmouth 17
Sidmouth Under-15s booked a last four berth in the Devon Plate with a fine all-round performance at a wet and windy Brixham, writes Jason Allen.
Handling was difficult in testing conditions, but it did not hinder a powerful Sidmouth start that saw them into an early lead with a converted try from Wright.
Brixham came back strongly, but got little change out of a solid Sidmouth defence.
When the young Chiefs were awarded a penalty, Down kicked deep towards the Brixham try line. The player who caught the ball was immediately tackled in a combined effort by Lau and Johnson-Graves who had raced to get there, but Sidmouth’s chance of a try by Barnett was held up. There was plenty more Sidmouth pressure, but no further scoring and half-time arrived with the seven points separating the teams.
After the break the home side started well and a brace of early second half tries saw them take a 10-7 lead.
Sidmouth rallied and solid play with good hands led to Wright powering over for his second try and once again the lead changed hands!
Brixham countered and tried to kick the ball deep into touch, but it was charged down by Lau. Sidmouth, holding a narrow lead, were again threatened when Brixham threaded the ball along the line of their backs, but a fumble sent the ball wide and they lost their momentum. At the other end another Barnett surge ended with a tackle followed by a ruck fro which Hughes picked the ball up to edge it closer. He was held up, but there as Sidmouth club-stalwart Chugg-White to gather the ball and take himself over the whitewash to seal a thrilling victory and a last four place in the competition.
Skipper Down was inspirational throughout and kicked well. The Sidmouth scrum was strong especially the second row of Bright, Cornish and Hartley. All players looked committed to both to rucks and tackles and Wright was especially impressive and clearly his skills have been further developed with his work with the Devon squad.
Davies too impressed. Yes, this was a mighty fine all-round show by a team playing for each other from first whistle to last.