Great rugby but no killer punch

Avonmouth OB 1st XV 18pts, Sidmouth 1st XV 9pts The Chiefs will be kicking themselves for letting this one get away after the forwards produced their best performance of the season. For the second week running, they took the lead deep into the secon

Avonmouth OB

1st XV 18pts,

Sidmouth

1st XV 9pts


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The Chiefs will be kicking themselves for letting this one get away after the forwards produced their best performance of the season.

For the second week running, they took the lead deep into the second half, only to give it away in the final minutes.

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On a wet surface, the Chiefs kicked off with the breeze at their backs but, once again, failed to use the advantage effectively.

Too often kicks went direct to opponents rather than into space. The error was compounded when the return kicks were spilled, giving away scrums in attacking positions.

Thus most of the action took place in the Sidmouth half.

Fortunately, the Sidmouth eight frequently had their opponents going backwards in the scrums and competed well in the lineouts, so denying Avonmouth a solid platform from which to launch their attacks.

On the couple of occasions they managed to breach the first line of defence, solid cover tackles by Andy Matchett and Giles Dixon brought the move to an end.

The Chiefs took an early lead thanks to a long range penalty kicked by Glenn Channing.

This was soon cancelled out by a much more straight forward one from the Avonmouth full back, but he missed two more kickable efforts.

Late in the half, Channing put his side in the lead with a second penalty and the score remained 6-3 at half time.

Using the wind more effectively, Avonmouth were soon camped in the Sidmouth 22 and levelled the scores with another penalty three minutes after the restart.

The Chiefs' defence absorbed a lot of pressure but, showing good discipline and organisation, never looked like breaking.

As the game progressed, their superiority in the forwards began to tell as they pressurised the home side into a series of errors.

At last they were able to launch a concerted attack and were rewarded when Glenn Channing kicked a third penalty to put them in the lead with 12 minutes to go.

Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as they conceded a try almost immediately.

From a ruck on the halfway line, a long pass found the left winger marked by a forward. Following an uneven contest, he burst clear down the touchline before kicking ahead as the cover closed in and won the chase to touch down for an unconverted try.

The Chiefs were soon back on the attack and created two clear-cut scoring opportunities, only to waste them.

First Ben Damen, then Chris Higgs, broke clear into the opposing 22, only to suffer from white line fever with Andy Matchett unmarked outside of them.

On both occasions, they were cut down by the cover, conceding a penalty and scrum in turn.

To rub salt into the wound, Avonmouth increased their lead in injury time with a well-worked move from a scrum just inside the Sidmouth 22.

The full back timed his run perfectly to cut through and score to the right of the posts.

His conversion was followed by the final whistle.

l On Saturday, the Chiefs entertain much-improved Brixham, who are currently in third place.

The kick off at the Blackmore is at 2.30pm.

The Quins travel to Brixham for a Merit Table game and the Colts travel with them for a friendly.

The 3rd team play Brixham 3rds at Sidford with a 2.30pm kick off.

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