Quins should listen and learn from Luffy

Sidmouth Quins 27, Paignton 5

The Quins secured victory over Paignton on a perfect pitch at the Blackmore. In an even first half, Paignton with their larger players tried to barge through the defence, whilst Sidmouth played a more expansive game, writes Steve Channing.

Returning skipper Stuart Bickerstaff went on a mazy run, opening up the visitors, with the ball being passed out to wing Adam Squance who raced the last 20 metres to score wide out for a five point lead in as many minutes. Paignton missed a penalty chance after Sidmouth were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck.

Ben Pratt increased Sidmouth’s lead with a well-struck penalty from 35 metres out with five minutes remaining of the half. Paignton pulled a try back with a neat move in the middle, leaving the centre to score, the conversion going just wide of the uprights. Pratt also sailed an attempt wide on the stroke of halftime. Sidmouth 8, Paignton 5.

As with the Merit Table this season, the home side more often than not have the upper hand on replacements, Sidmouth having five, Paignton just the one.

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Sidmouth’s attempt to bulk up their scrum, moving Beau Henrickson to the “row” with Ben Halford taking over the prop role and Neil Barrett hooking, worked well, giving the back row more chances of disrupting the visitors’ ball. The other change was Adam Squance making way for Ollie Shaw, who was playing his first game of the season.

A knock-on by Paignton was snapped up by Bickerstaff who offloaded to Pratt, to run in from 15 metres out, the try scorer adding the extras.

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From the kick off Sam Cummins set off on a great run from which the ball passed through several pair of hands before Pratt was on hand again for his second and the try of the match.

The home side were disrupted when Halford was given a “10 minute breather”.

Paignton had the upper hand, resolute defence and a superb tackle from Cummins preventing a certain score. Paignton had their hooker yellow carded as Halford returned. Chris Otway replaced the hardworking Tony Martin as the game went to uncontested scrums. Despite numerous chances, Sidmouth added one more try in the closing minutes Jerrard Goosen from 8, linked with Bickerstaff , who beat the last two defenders for a well-deserved try. Sam Cummins at openside was the Man of the Match, just edging out the ever-improving Ben Salter.

Next up for the Quins is a trip to Torquay. If they can continue to get to training and listen and learn from Luffy, not only will their defence be sound, fitness levels will improve, meaning more chance of winning games.

A special mention to Ryan Davis who sat patiently on the bench after visiting hospital last week with damaged ribs.

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