Met tasks head on
Brixham 5, Sidmouth 36
Exeter Chiefs 24, Sidmouth 7
Following the excellent performance at Teignmouth, Sidmouth U16s had two hard challenges - Brixham away in the cup and Exeter Chiefs away in the league, writes John Hamill.
They met them both head on by playing good rugby, working for each other and refusing to back down. The game plan for the Brixham match was for the forwards to gain quick possession and let the three quarters run which was largely achieved due to some sharp work by Harrison Astley-Jones at scrum half, Dan Powell controlling things at 10 and some good interventions from captain Reid Mawdesley at full back.
The pack was required to work hard to get to the wide breakdowns but put in a strong shift asserting their dominance in both scrum and lineout.
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New player Ollie Bond started well, stretching his legs for a well deserve try alongside two from Sam Smith and one each from Reid Mawdesley, Harrison Astley-Jones and Kyle Baker. Brixham’s only response was a forwards’ try half way through the second half and obvious relief when the whistle was blown for the end of the match. The result for Sidmouth means a cup quarter final game in the new year.
The Exeter match was always the bigger challenge as they have a large, well-drilled squad and were able to introduce fresh players throughout the match.
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Sidmouth started strongly with a try from Mawdesley in the first five minutes which settled the team and gave cause for great expectations from the parents and coaches. Sidmouth’s scrum operated under pressure throughout, making clean possession difficult, however, intelligent tactical play gave Sidmouth significant territorial advantage. This advantage was not, unfortunately, turned into points despite some very close efforts. In defence Sidmouth stood up extremely well with Sam Smith, Bradley Reiff-Arnold and Lewis Horne very much to the fore and at the final whistle a very tired Sidmouth team held their heads high.
Sidmouth emerge from these matches a closer, committed team with the ability to play competitive rugby in both league and cup. They need to find the finishing touch to earn their just rewards.