Friconnet try and Retter conversion seals Sidmouth Chiefs floodlit win at North Petherton
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Chiefs continued their move up the league table with a first-ever win at North Petherton in a match played on Friday night under floodlights, writes Terry O’Brien.
A good turn out of Sidmouth supporters help nullify the distinct home advantage as the Chiefs recorded a splendid 23-19 success.
After a bright start, the Chiefs were guilty of a high penalty count, which handed the initiative to the home side. Clearly the right words were spoken at half time.
Discipline was restored and with it they regained control of proceedings apart from an aberration deep into injury-time.
The Chiefs kicked off in good conditions and went straight on the attack. With play confined to the North Petherton half, they retained possession well through several phases until the defence was stretched. The ball was moved swiftly along the back line for Luke Wells-Burr to profit from the overlap with a try in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
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North Petherton showed that they could also keep possession well through the phases inducing the Chiefs to concede penalties. One of these was kicked for a lineout in the corner. They worked a peel around the back, which was well supported and the number four finished off with a converted try under the posts.
On a rare visit into opposition territory on the half hour, Luke Bess executed a classical outside break from a scrum. He was eventually stopped close to the line, but Ollie Pyne was on hand to finish the move off. The try was unconverted.
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The Chiefs were forced to defend for the remainder of the half. North Petherton's persistence and good control of the ball was eventually rewarded with a try in injury time. The successful conversion gave them a 14-10 half-time lead.
With the Chiefs improved discipline play was evenly matched in the early stages of the second half, and they found a way to subdue the influential home number eight. They began to gain the upper hand and were rewarded midway through the half with a Dan Retter penalty.
From the restart kick, Rabbie Hansford launched himself on a powerful run from his own 22 into opposition territory. Tom Hodge was on hand to carry the move on. When he was stopped, North Petherton were penalised at the resulting ruck and Dan Retter kicked his side into a two-point lead.
With the Chiefs now in control, Francke Friconnet powered over after backs and forwards had combined to advance the ball to the line. Dan Retter's conversion left North Petherton needing two scores.
The Chiefs kept control until the referee indicated that time was up. An attempt to kick the ball out of play to end the match went badly awry, turning into a cross kick for the home winger. He was stopped but the ball was moved to an overlap for the number six to score a try to earn his side a bonus point.
On Saturday (November 16) the Chiefs travel to Thornbury.
At Blackmore, the Quins entertain North Tawton 2nds. The kick off is at 2.30pm. The colts travel to play Plymstock Albion Oaks.