Sidmouth Chiefs bag second successive St Ives win
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Chiefs recovered from a half-time deficit to record their second consecutive bonus point win at St Ives, winning the Cornish encounter 28-22, writes Terry O’Brien.
The much-improved set pieces were a crucial factor as they withstood a fierce St Ives onslaught in the final 10 minutes of time added on.
The Chiefs took and early lead with a well-constructed try instigated when Tom Whelan dummied his way through a gap in the home defence and found Rory O’Brien in support.
The full back was tackled just short of the line but James Powell was on hand to pick up the ball and dive over in the right corner. Tom Whelan made light of a tricky cross wind to add the conversion.
Some frail defence enabled St Ives to cut the arrears and then take the lead midway through the half. The St Ives pack worked the ball through the phases to set up their big number four to drive over from close range for an unconverted try.
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When the Chiefs conceded two consecutive penalties, St Ives kicked their way into the 22. When they were awarded a five metre scrum, the number eight broke through some weak tackling to force his way over. Again the try was unconverted.
The gift of a third try through an interception by the outside centre, which he also converted, opened up a ten point lead.
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The Chiefs regained their composure to keep St Ives pinned inside their own half for much of the second quarter. The pressure was eventually rewarded, when Sam Richardson forced his way over following a ruck near the line. Tom Whelan added the conversion.
St Ives finished the half on top but met a more resiliant Sidmouth defence. Rory O’Brien did well to save the situation when a charged down kick sent the ball towards the goal line. Then a turnover by Ollie Pyne enabled his side to close out the half at long range.
The third quarter was evenly contested, with both sides matching each other in all phases of the game. The stalemate was eventually broken midway through the half, when Ollie Pyne once again turned over possession at a ruck just inside the opposing half. The backs took the opportunity to run at an unprepared defence. Tom Seward made the initial break and Rory O’Brien provided the finishing touch under the posts to give Tom Whelan a routine conversion kick.
St Ives came back strongly and were soon pressing on the Sidmouth line. Josh Bess did well to steal the ball at a St Ives lineout after they had kicked a penalty to the corner. However, a few minutes later, the Chiefs were reduced to 14 men when Bess was yellow carded for handling in a ruck. From the resulting penalty, St Ives went for another lineout on the Sidmouth line. This time it was Sam Richardson, who won the ball to stop the planned move.
With St Ives still pressing inside the Sidmouth 22, they dropped the ball, which was snapped up by Tom Whelan. The fly half made ground before passing to Aidan Taylor. The ubiquitous hooker passed on to James Powell, who in turn found Rory O’Brien in support to outpace the cover and sprint in from halfway. Tom Whelan made it four conversions out of four.
Again St Ives came back and, with three minutes to go, scored a fine try. Following a quick tap penalty, they moved the ball to an overlap on the right for the right winger to squeeze in at the corner.
From the restart kick, some poor tackling allowed a St Ives forward to burst forward and start a move, which would take play back into the Sidmouth 22. A penalty enabled them to kick to the corner and lay seige to the Sidmouth line.
The Chiefs showed great resolve to withstand a series of lineout mauls and five metre scrums, a task made even harder when Ollie Pyne was sent to the sin bin. They kept their line intact for a full ten minutes of injury time until a turnover, followed by a penalty against St Ives, enabled them to kick the ball off the field and end the game.
On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Crediton kicking off at 3pm. The Quins travel to Crediton.