Quins prove a point against Devonport

Sidmouth, who currently sit third in the Merit Table, played host to sixth placed Devonport with only two points separating the teams. After suffering a heavy early season defeat in the reverse fixture, the Quins had a point to prove.

Early play was littered with mistakes by both teams. The Quins regularly missed their touch kicks, allowing the dangerous Devonport backs several opportunities to run the ball back, showing some excellent handling considering the sticky condition. It quickly became evident the scrum was the Quins’ strength, the pack continuing where they had left off the previous week.

The Devonport backline showed their skills to full effect as two quick tries opened up a 10 point lead. Firstly one of the centres broke through on halfway to score in the corner, closely followed by a flowing move which saw another unconverted try in the opposite corner.

The Quins regrouped behind their posts and came back into the game in what is turning into a familiar style. It was the forwards who took the game by the the scruff of the neck, dominating the scrum and improving the pick and drive aspect of the game.

It was a succession of drives from Mike Kitchin, Andrew Doidge and a quick darting break from Josh Doughty that took play to the Services’ line. A final drive of all of a yard by Bryn Thomas saw the Quins halve the deficit.

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The Quins levelled the scores soon after, following quick James Salter line-out ball which reached centre Jon Kitchin with space to make ground. Again a pick and drive, by tight head Martin Keywood, saw the prop power his way over the line, to mark a very promising debut. Half time score was 10-10.

Play revolved around the mid-field for much of the third quarter with both sides missing penalty attempts. The Quins had a spell of sustained pressure in the visitors’ 22, but the Services’ try-line stayed intact. The Quins’ only reward was a penalty from fly-half James Powell.

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Devonport had a couple of scoring opportunities but the Quins’ defence also held firm until a second penalty attempt by the Services’ 10 levelled the scores. Devonport were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions, the referee judging the final pass had drifted forward, much to the relief of the Quins’ players and supporters.

A dropped pass in the centre saw Josh Reed put a timely boot to ball and the chase was on. Jon Kitchin kicked the ball into the Services’ 22 and gathered, only to be tackled just short. Sidmouth had territorial advantage and soon had the extra man as one of the Devonport players saw yellow for being offside.

After a series of powerful scrums, the Quins were given a penalty just to the left of the posts and 20 metres out. After a long and ultimately fruitless attempt to find a willing kicker, the Quins opted for the scrum, much to the astonishment of their supporters. The pack secured the ball but nothing came of the resulting minute’s play, and the game ended with Devonport breathing a sigh of relief.

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