Sidmouth 2nds – what a difference a week makes!
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth II 45, Torquay II 10 Sidmouth 2nd XV were empathic winners when they hosted Torquay 2nds, writes John Hamill.
What a difference a week makes! Just seven days before Sidmouth Quins made the journey to Crediton and encountered a big experienced pack which deprived Sidmouth of any possession and resulted in a heavy loss for the travelling side.
Wind the clock on and the Quins again faced an experienced pack, but this time dominated proceedings to win with something to spare.
On both occasions support from Colts players made the game possible, but even so against Torquay, Sidmouth could only raise 14 players and to their credit, Torquay matched numbers.
Sidmouth fielded a strong front row with the welcome return of Mark Unsworth and Mark Osborne alongside Tom Reed, Rob Cruze and Roger Goulding provided stability in the second row and Alex Graves-Morris and Chris Otway on the flanks. To the surprise of the onlookers, Sidmouth held the first scrum and in subsequent ones managed to push the heavier Torquay pack off the ball which, together with quick hooking from Reed, meant scrum time was not a disaster for the home side. The three-quarters were sharp and threatening both in attack and defence with regulars Ben Pratt, Adam Squance and Giles Dixon all playing their best game of the season. Alongside them were Johnny Hamill, back from university for the weekend, Adam Howe and Scott Davies playing their first games in a few weeks, and Colt Sam Smith who deservedly received the coveted pink Man of the Match T-shirt!
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Sidmouth opened the scoring after 10 minutes with the first of seven tries, mainly scored by the backs using their speed and width to run round, and sometimes through, the Torquay defences. Intelligent use of overlaps and some scintillating interplay made for some very well taken tries and with Adam Squance on form with his boot meant the Sidmouth score of 45 was well deserved. With Sidmouth playing down the field from the kick-off, the half time score of 21-0 to Sidmouth was a useful cushion to withstand the expected second half onslaught. Sidmouth, however, put another seven points on the board before Torquay opened their account with a score in the corner after a period of sustained pressure on the home side’s line. A second try came soon after when the ball squirted out from a scrum, again near Sidmouth’s line, and Torquay managed to get to it first. Sidmouth, to their credit, stiffened their resolve and managed three more tries before the final whistle. With Sam Smith featuring in the build up to most tries he can consider himself unlucky not to have featured on the score sheet himself. Eventually a brace of Ben Pratt tries, one an 80-metre solo dash, other tries from Adam Howe, Giles Dixon, Adam Squance, Scott Davies and, after lovely support play, Tom Reed, were more than enough to give Sidmouth a convincing win and three points from their afternoon’s work.
On Saturday Quins have a stern test with Exmouth providing the Blackmore opposition, the task this week is to get a full complement of players to take them on.
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