Quins in fine form

Sidmouth RFC Quins 32,

Torquay RFC 22

Sidmouth entertained Torquay at Blackmore expecting a close game having won 12-15 in the reverse fixture back in, writes Bryn Thomas.

The visitors’ much larger pack proved to be a handful, especially at the scrum, an area where Sidmouth have become accustomed to having parity, if not dominance, this season.

Despite the size difference, the Quins’ pack never backed down from the challenge and kept their larger opponents moving with some great off loading. The Quins’ tackling was much improved with Ryan Davies, James Salter and Tristan Beavis (the latter making his return after a serious facial injury) putting in numerous hits each. The Quins’ backline put in a fine display, both offensively and defensively.

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The home side opened the scoring after clean line out ball allowed scrum half Josh Doughty to break away, linking with Ben Norcombe and Jon Webber. A pass back inside by Webber put away Beavis to score under the posts, Will Dunford added the extras. The Quins soon extended their lead further. Good handling from the backline meant quick ball for stand-in wing Richard Hodges; who powered over in the corner for an unconverted try.

A few choice words must have been said by the Torquay captain under the posts as they came out a different side. The Tics’ forwards started to use their size more and drove up field to score an converted try, quickly followed by a penalty.

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The Quins responded well, extending their lead just prior to the half time whistle. Dunford found space in the Tics’ 22 and his pass to Pete Singfield allowed the second row to drive forward. A well-executed pass out of the tackle to Roger Goulding saw the prop “sprint” in from 20 metres. Dunford duly added the extras.

The start of second half saw a series of penalties awarded to Sidmouth. The Quins opted for the kick at goal on three occasions. Dunford missed the first simple- looking kick but regained his composure to convert the second and third more difficult attempts, one from near half-way. This opened up a 15 point lead for the Quins.

In a repeat of the first period, Torquay came storming back into the game. Two quick tries (one converted) closed the deficit to only three points; making for a tense finish. The Quins did have the final say, Hodges scoring his second of the afternoon. Slick handling along the backline created room for the wing to dive over. Dunford capped a fine display with the conversion. This victory will, hopefully, reignite the Quins’ season and see a return of the expansive, free- flowing rugby of earlier in the campaign.

This coming weekend the Quins travel to play Exeter University.

The game is normally an entertaining and open fixture; despite what the score-line from the last game (0-3 in favour of the Uni) would suggest.

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