Chiefs ticked all the right boxes pre-season
The Chiefs completed their warm-up programme with a convincing win against National Two Launceston's 2nd team which will send them into the league campaign in buoyant mood,writes Terry O'Brien.
The Chiefs completed their warm-up programme with a convincing win against National Two Launceston's 2nd team which will send them into the league campaign in buoyant mood.An opening blitzkrieg, which matched the ferocity of the weather, produced five scintillating tries in 25 minutes to blow the visitors out of the water which soaked the Blackmore Field.The Chiefs defied the downpour, which started soon after the kick off, to produce a devastating display of 15-man rugby. The forwards piled into the opposition straight from the start to pin Launceston inside their 22. When a clearance kick failed to find touch in the third minute, Sam Meadham ran the ball back to link up with his forwards. Good runs by Steve Wallace and Dan Trim took play through two rucks before new signing Nathan Hannay powered his way over from close range.A few minutes later the Launceston fly half reduced the arrears with a penalty. However, the Chiefs were soon back on the attack and a clean break by Will Finch at outside centre sent Simeon Lewry sprinting in at the left corner. Jack Pyne produced a typically strong run to cross the try line but he was unable to touch down. From the resulting five metre scrum a back row move was halted but, when the ball was recycled, Dan Trim forced his way over for try number three.As play entered the second quarter Launceston were penalised just inside their own half. Dan Retter kicked to the corner. From the lineout catch the pack set up a maul and drove over for Rhys Thomas to get the touchdown. From possession on halfway the backs moved the ball swiftly to the left to send Simeon Lewry sprinting down the touchline. As the cover closed in, he timed an inside pass perfectly to send Dan Retter in under the posts. The fly half added the conversion with his only successful kick of the match.The Chiefs were unable to sustain the intensity of their play and a high penalty count enabled the visitors to get into the game. They finished the half well and scored a deserved try when the fly half made a break inside the 22 to create an opportunity for the full back. The conversion made the halftime score 27-10.Sidmouth continued to concede too many penalties after the restart, allowing Launceston to control territory. They closed the gap further with a second penalty but any thoughts of a dramatic comeback were dispelled with an outstanding home try 14 minutes into the half. With the Sidmouth scrum under pressure on their own ten metre line, Nathan Hannay picked up and linked with replacement scrum half Jon Gardner. He made ground before linking with Ashley Cooper on the left wing. A return pass to Gardner took play to the 22 before Hannay appeared to finish the move off in the corner.With the Sidmouth scrum under increasing pressure, Hannay and Andrew Eustace were yellow carded in close succession for persistent infringements. Down to 13-men the Chiefs did well to resist two pushover attempts from five metre scrums but inevitably Launceston eventually found an overlap for the left winger to score a converted try.As soon as Sidmouth were restored to their full complement, Launceston lost a player to the sin bin. This took the pressure off and the Chiefs seemed to have scored again when Jon Gardner touched down from a kick and chase but the referee recalled play for a previous offence. However they played out the remaining time comfortably.l On Saturday the Chiefs take on one of the favourites for the league title when they travel to Torquay. They can go with some confidence but there will be question marks over the scrum and they will need to improve their discipline at the breakdown to reduce the penalty count.l At the Blackmore the 'Quins entertain Torquay 2nds in a Merit Table game kicking off at 3pm. l The Colts play Torquay Colts at Sidford, also kicking off at 3pm. l The 3rd team travel to Torquay.l Thinking of starting to play rugby or returning after a break? Sidmouth Rugby Club has begun training sessions for those who want to play but prefer to ease their way back to fitness. The sessions take place at the Sidford ground every Wednesday at 7pm. All who attend are guaranteed a game for the 3rd team as soon as they feel ready. For details contact Hakim Bakrim on 07875 240343.