Sidmouth Chiefs produce best away show for considerable time in win at Torquay
PUBLISHED: 07:49 16 January 2015 | UPDATED: 07:49 16 January 2015
Sidmouth Chiefs produced their best away performance for more than two years to achieve a well-deserved bonus point win at Torquay, writes Terry O'Brien.
Not only was it effective, it was entertaining fare with the Chiefs scoring six top-quality tries.
With the breeze at their backs, Torquay had the early advantage with their big forwards driving effectively. After eight minutes they benefitted from some poor Sidmouth tackling to open the scoring with a try by the inside centre, who applied the finishing touch after a powerful run by the number eight. The fly half added the conversion.
The Chiefs backs began to show their potential and soon hit back with fine try finished off by Sam Meadham. The move was started by full back Luke Bess, when he fielded a kick inside his own half. Dwight Pansegrouw and Tom Seward made further inroads until the ball was quickly recycled inside the opposing 22. A long pass found Meadham in space on the left wing and he found his way over the line despite the close attention of two defenders. The try was unconverted.
Midway through the half forward power paved the way for a second Torquay try. They drove a lineout maul 30 metres to the line, where the scrum half darted over for a converted try.
The Chiefs responded with another superb handling move after Dwight Pansegrouw had made the initial break into Torquay territory. Some deft inter-passing was finished off by Luke Bess.
Torquay responded immediately, when the Chiefs failed to secure the ball from the resulting restart kick. The home forwards snapped up the loose ball to initiate a series of pick-and-drive plays until one forced his way over from close range. The fly half made it three conversions out of three to give his side a 21-10 half-time lead.
With the breeze now in their favour, the Chiefs started the second half with a bang. Another sweeping handling move, started in their own half, took play into the Torquay 22, where the home side were forced to concede a lineout. Rabbie Hansford peeled around the front and made ground before offloading to Dwight Pansegrouw. The powerful flanker, playing his final game before returning the university in South Africa, left three defenders in his wake on the way to the line.
Another Pansegrouw run paved the way for the bonus point try. When the ball was recycled on the Torquay 22, slick handing by Dan Retter and Tom Seward sent Sam Meadham sprinting in at the corner. Dan Retter added the conversion.
A high kick was well chased and the Torquay full back was caught in possession on his own 22. The ball was turned over and moved along the line to Sam Meadham, who outpaced the cover for his hat-trick.
Meadham was the architect of the sixth try, when he cut inside to embark on a diagonal run into the Torquay 22. He found plenty of support and Nick Mills handled twice before Tom Seward applied the finishing touch. Dan Retter converted.
Torquay showed they had more to offer than forward power, when they put together a good handling move to earn a bonus point with a try in injury time.
The Dukes Man of the Match award was won by Rabbie Hansford.
On Saturday the Chiefs entertain third-placed Truro at Blackmore Field. The kick off is at 2.30pm.
The Quins travel to Paignton.
The Colts play Exeter Chiefs Colts at Sidford with a 2.30pm kick off.