Chiefs beaten by a powerful second-half from league leaders
- Credit: Sidmouth RFC
Sidmouth Chiefs built up an impressive 17-point lead within 15 minutes of the kick off with some excellent rugby as they caught league leaders Chew Valley cold but the visitors’ bigger, hard runners, along with their superiority in the scrum, eventually won the day.
Sidmouth took the lead in the third minute after forcing their opponents to concede a scrum and then a penalty close to their line. George Jarman took a quick tap penalty and darted over before the defence was organised. Cole Monaghan added the conversion. A few minutes later, a long-range Monaghan penalty increased the lead.
Phil Dollman’s well-timed pass found Cian Warren in space on the wing and the youngster left the full back in his wake as he sprinted over to touch down near the posts to leave a straightforward conversion.
Chew Valley opened their account when the inside centre ran a good angle from a five-metre scrum to cut through the defence for a try under the posts, which was converted.
The Chiefs responded with a spell on the attack but could not add to their score, and Chew Valley produced a good handling move out of their own half. Dan Retter, at full back, produced a try saving tackle before an attacking player was held up over the line. However, the referee awarded a penalty in front of the posts, which proved to be the crucial turning point of the game.
The pack withstood four attempts at pushover tries before conceding a penalty try and losing captain Haydon Down to the sin bin.
With ten minutes to go the Chiefs were a man short and drained of energy as the Chew Valley right winger finished off a sweeping handling move started deep inside his own half to give his side a two-point lead.
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The lead was extended to seven points with a bonus point fourth try following a 70-metre run by the inside centre, finished by the winger, and Sidmouth were denied a bonus point, with a try from a move which included a strong hint of a knock on. Sidmouth 17 Chew Valley 31.