Narrow defeat for Sidmouth in new rugby season
- Credit: Sidmouth Rugby Club
The 15-11 victory for Newent puts them in second place as only one of two teams remaining with a 100% record after three games, while Sidmouth remain winless at the lower end of the table.
However, there was little between the two teams. They were well matched in the forwards, and both produced some good open rugby, with Newent finding the finishing touch, which continues to elude the Chiefs.
Dan Retter opened the scoring with a fine penalty kicked from the left touchline after a break-out from their own 22 and kick ahead had created the position. With play evenly contested for the remainder of the first quarter, Newent equalised after 25 minutes.
Soon after, the Chiefs kicked a penalty for a lineout in the corner. A well-executed catch-and-drive play resulted in a try for skipper Josh Bess in his first appearance of the season. The try was unconverted.
Dan Retter extended the lead just before half time with a second successful penalty.
Despite losing Phil Dollman due to injury soon after the restart, the Chiefs started the second half brightly and it was against the run of play that Newent scored a well worked try. Strong runs by two forwards put Sidmouth on the back foot inside their 22 to create room on the blindside of a ruck for the winger to score. The fly half added the conversion.
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The game was evenly contested for much of the half until Newent produced the decisive move with ten minutes to play. The scrum made a short break from a ruck just outside his own 22 and his offload to a supporting forward opened up the defence for good handling and support play to produce an unconverted try and the lead.
For the second week running, a splendid cover tackle by the opposing full back denied the Chiefs in the closing minutes when James Powell was tackled into touch a couple of metres short of the line after a fine handling move had created the opportunity.
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On Saturday the Chiefs entertain North Petherton kicking off at 3.00pm. The Quins travel to Okehampton, while the Colts are at Brixham.