Junior rugby round-up

Sidmouth RFC U14s 27, Cullompton 19

Sidmouth U14s beat a good Cullompton side in another terrific match. They played particularly well in the first half and it was not long before a break from Allen put Kennaugh in space and he was not going to be denied from scoring, writes Chris Woodruff.

Sidmouth kept applying pressure, but it only took one mistake and Cullompton’s flying centre was at the other end under Sidmouth’s posts. From their restart however, Syrrad showed he had pace as well as brawn and he scored. Counsell, (welcome back from injury) converted. The forwards were exceptionally good at securing the ball today and it was from their efforts that Counsell was given the space to power over. Tails were up and again they managed to secure quick ball and Down, who was superb at scrum half, fired it out to Kennaugh for his second.

There were six substitutions at half time from this squad of 21 and even losing a lot of weight in the scrum Sidmouth still managed to dominate. Cullompton were under huge pressure from Sidmouth’s back row and a mistake allowed Counsell to pounce and score.

Cullompton found a gap and scored. Sidmouth continued to play well and in Cullompton’s half, but again, one mistake allowed the Cully flyer to score at the death. Another excellent effort though from Sidmouth.

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Sidmouth RFC U13s 38, Tavistock 7

Sidmouth U13s hosted Tavistock in their opening Cup encounter at Sidford. Suitably primed by the coaches, the boys opened the match on full throttle with some impressive and sustained pressure in all areas which resulted in early tries from Hubble and Lowe.

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Tavistock gradually offered more resistance in the middle period of the first half but with Sidmouth scrumming and rucking with total commitment; it came at a price – reducing the away team to 14 men which Sidmouth sportingly matched. A number of runs from Fisher, Harris, Malec and Mead were eventually rewarded as Hubble secured a further try and Harris converted for a second time to end the half 19-0. Sidmouth continued the pressure in the second half with Stokes, Tidwell and Lowe (J) opening up the defence to allow Lowe (S) to secure a deserved try. Strong rucking and follow on from Woodruff on two occasions was unfortunate not to be rewarded with a try, but Stamp, head down, powered through moments later to make amends and was followed speedily by the elusive Mead – Lowe (J) converting two. To their credit Tavistock refused to lie down and a last minute try and conversion restored some dignity.

to the away team. This was dominant display by Sidmouth, from all quarters. The team has an air of confidence that on current form is richly deserved.

U11s -Sidmouth’s first 12-a-side competitive match started well with the green army gaining greater control of all aspects of forward play.

However, a breakaway try for the visitors soon sounded a word of caution.

The strategy of trying players in different positions is thought to give greater overall experience but hinders consistency and Sidmouth paid the price for rotating players.

Cullompton had pace to burn on the outside and demonstrated this advantage to devastating affect several more times. The rucking and set pieces continued splendidly for Sidmouth and the coaches must switch their attention to the threequarters’ continuity and more importantly – defence. Sidmouth’s try scorers were Louis Stamp and Will Kennaugh, with Finlay Johnson captaining the team and leading by example.

Well done to all the U11s on their valiant efforts – onward next week to Tiverton.

Cullompton 7, Sidmouth RFC U9s 9

It was a mild, sunny day at Cullompton, more spring-like than autumnal, writes Stephe Kruger.

The smaller, fleet-footed Sidmouth team were primed and the game started at a blistering pace. Ollie danced in our first try with ease, dodging and weaving around the opposition. In the ensuing play, Cullompton ran in their first try after three good and determined tackles by our young titans. George Manley struck straight back with a quick try, again skirting the opposition with limited interruption. Cullompton came straight back at us and, after 7 tackles, managed to get over the try line to equalise the score. And so the game followed a similar pattern for the remainder of the first half with further Sidmouth tries from George (M), Jimmy (Brett) and Noah. The primary difference between the two teams after the first period was the amount of work required to score by each respective team. Cully were forced to endure many heavy and accurate hits by the Siddy tree-fellers for every try, whilst Siddy’s tries were much easier to achieve due to great strength in the tackle, breaking through many tackle attempts, coupled with a great offloading game

Score at end of first half was Sidmouth 5, Cullompton 5.

Once Cullompton had had their half time snacks Sidmouth was chomping at the bit for more action. After a turnover ball Sidmouth ran in 2 rapid tries - a combination and strong and elusive running, allied to accurate and well communicated passes (scorers Noah and Max). Cullompton’s fast red headed player managed two tries in the second half but Sidmouth retained their two point advantage throughout, with James Allen scoring a determined try in the last minute. Congratulations go to George Manley who scored again in the second half taking his match total to 3. The single outstanding attribute of the second period was the strength of Siddy’s defensive effort! Numerous turnovers were forced through either number and weight of tackles or forcing the attacking runner into touch. It was evidently noticeable how hard every player worked for the team and the commitment and fitness our smaller players showed as the match wore on - a real testament to the fantastic work both Dave and Martyn have done with the team in the early part of the season

It would also be remiss not to mention the Cully referee whose empathy and game management contributed in no small measure to a fantastic game of rugby!

A great game to watch. The children have massively upped their game and have taken to the contact game with enthusiasm and flair.

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