Sidmouth Chiefs see perfect start ended in draw at Truro

PUBLISHED: 11:41 03 October 2018

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The action at Truro that saw an end to the 100 per cent start by Sidmouth Chiefs this new league season, was not the team’s finest 80 minutes as they let slip a lead they held until the 75th minute and, by then, they could, indeed should, have been holding an unassailable lead, writes Terry O’Brien.

It is a fact well established since rugby was first formulated as a game that you go into a game without a recognised goal kicker at your peril. Doing so at Truro undoubtedly deprived the Chiefs of their 100 per cent record, dropping them below Crediton in the league.

In contrast to the excellent tactical kicking, which contributed much to the defeat of Tiverton the previous week, in this game it lacked the variety and precision to inconvenience the opposing back three. Meanwhile, constantly crashing the ball up the middle might be appropriate in wet conditions, but in perfect conditions it denied the much-feared Sidmouth backs the opportunity to make use of a stream of excellent lineout possession.

The Chiefs started the match in fine style and deservedly took the lead after three minutes. Good running by Tom Hodge and George Locke took play into the Truro 22, where the forwards advanced the ball through several phases before releasing it for the backs to send Ethan Mead over for a try. The well-struck conversion from Cameron Grainger was his only successful place kick.The Chiefs continued to enjoy territorial advantage for much of the first quarter, but failed to add to their score. Midway through the half, they lost Peli Vea to a yellow card before Truro opened their account with a penalty kicked by the scrum half. However, the Chiefs came through the sin-bin period in credit thanks to a try scored by Johnny Hamill, who dummied his way over from a lineout five metres from the line.

Truro finished the first half strongly but there was no addition to the score.

The Chiefs started the second half as they did the first, with a try scored in the third minute. The forwards drove a lineout maul from the 22 metre line almost to the goal line, where the ball was released for George Locke to score on the overlap in the right corner. Truro closed the gap to just two points midway through the half. The number eight forced his way over from a ruck near the line and, with the Chiefs attacking strongly inside the opposing 22, the scrum half intercepted and sprinted clear for a try he also converted.

A second try from George Locke got the Chiefs back on track as he came off his wing to take a neat inside pass from James Powell to cut through and touch down near the posts for the bonus point score. An excellent handling moved sent James Powell on a run to the line, but the ball was knocked from his hands as he was tackled over the line.

When Truro won a scrum against the head just inside the Sidmouth half, they launched an attack which resulted in a try by the right winger. The home scrum half capped a man-of-the-match performance with a conversion from wide out on the right to level the scores. In injury time, Luke Wells-Burr looked as if he might salvage a win with a superb 70 metre run down the right, but he was stopped a few metres short of the line by an excellent cover tackle.

On Saturday (October 6) the Chiefs entertain Wadebridge Camels kicking off at 3pm. The Quins travel to Topsham.

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