President's men provide robust opposition

A Boxing Day crowd of over 400 enjoyed an entertaining and highly competitive game between the Chiefs and their traditional opposition made up mainly from players who have travelled home to spend Christmas with their families.

A Boxing Day crowd of over 400 enjoyed an entertaining and highly competitive game between the Chiefs and their traditional opposition made up mainly from players who have travelled home to spend Christmas with their families. The Chiefs prevented a third consecutive win by the scratch side but it was not until the final 10 minutes that they eventually subdued spirited and skilful opponents. Sidmouth have worked hard on their scrummaging this season and they had a decided edge in that phase. But, with John Chance and James Cooper in their ranks, the President's XV were very competitive in the lineouts. They were also mobile in the loose until they ran out of steam in the closing stages.The Chiefs scored an early try when the Trim brothers combined off the back of a scrum on the President's 22 to create an overlap for Will Finch to score in the right corner. Dan Retter added the conversion. Any ideas that this would be the prelude to a rout were ill founded as the sides were evenly matched until the closing minutes of the half. Both sides were trying to play open rugby but the defences dominated with tackling which did not match the 'spirit and good will' of the festive season. The Chiefs finished the half strongly and should have scored when they created a three-man overlap, but a loose pass spared the defence. However, a minute later, Will Finch went over for his second try from a less promising situation. Dan Retter, Harry Chesterton and Liam O'Connor combined well in limited space to put the wingman clear on the blindside of a ruck. The halftime whistle sounded as the conversion attempt drifted wide.The President's XV opened their account five minutes after the restart when Gary Kingdom, guesting from Exeter Chiefs, intercepted a loose pass and sprinted in from 60 metres and then converted his own try.The Chiefs soon restored a two-try lead when they won a scrum inside the opposition 22. Steve Trim was tackled by a player in an offside position but the referee played advantage and brother Dan was on hand to take the ball and burst through a gap and over the line for an unconverted try. A few minutes later Dan Retter crossed the line on the end of a good handling move but was recalled for a forward pass.The President's XV were not providing supine opposition during this time. They launched several promising attacks of their own which fully tested the Sidmouth defence. Eventually they were rewarded with an excellent try. A fine handling move took play from their own half into the Sidmouth 22 where the defenders were penalised. A quick tap was taken and the ball moved to an overlap on the right. John Dillon just squeezed in at the corner to make the score 17-12 with just over ten minutes to go.A particularly pleasing feature of the game for Sidmouth were the outstanding debuts made by three Colts - James Robinson, who played the whole game, Tom Whelan and Ollie Pyne who came on as replacements. It was no surprise that two of them appear on the score sheet.A missed touch kick was fielded by Jamie Wardrop on halfway and he set off on a counterattack. The move was rounded off with a surging run from Dan Trim. He was tackled just short of the line where a ruck was formed. When the ball emerged, Tom Whelan spotted a gap and glided through to touch down under the posts. Dan Retter converted.With time running out, Beau Henrickson found himself in the unaccustomed position of fly half following a ruck on his own 10 metre line. The prop linked up with his hooker Callum Hill who made ground down the left. With the cover closing in James Robinson came in off his wing to take an inside pass and beat two players before scoring under the posts. Dan Retter's conversion completed the scoring. l Fixtures for Saturday, January 5:The Chiefs resume league action after an unwanted five week break. They entertain Bude at the Blackmore, kicking off at 2.30pm. The Quins are away to Wellington 2nds while the 3rd team and Colts travel to Barnstaple.

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