Sidmouth Chiefs end 33 month wait for away success

Sidmouth Colts were away to Exmouth at the weekend. Ref shsp 0932-47-14AW Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth Colts were away to Exmouth at the weekend. Ref shsp 0932-47-14AW Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A win is a win, as they say, however ugly, and much of this game was eminently forgettable, writes Terry O’Brien.

However, when it is your first away win for 33 months, it is definitely something to celebrate!

The Chiefs deserved the win for having the better of the second half and scoring two tries of genuine quality. However, they will be concerned that their best scrummaging performance of the season did not provide a platform for their talented back line to attack.

The Chiefs kicked off and quickly took the lead with a Dan Retter penalty after a crunching Dwight Pansegrouw tackle had put Tavistock on the back foot. The home side quickly replied with a similar effort. And the score remained 3-3 for the next hour. The drizzly rain, which set in for much of the first half, provided only some mitigation for a high error count by both sides.

The Chiefs struggled to get any continuity and it was Tavistock who looked most likely to score during a sustained period of pressure aroung the half hour mark. The Chiefs survived a series of five metre scrums and organised their defence well until a turnover enabled Dan Retter to put in a good clearance kick.

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At the start of the second half, Charlie Cotton made a fine break out his own 22 to open up the field, but delayed his pass too long. Cotton was soon involved again in a move out the Chiefs half. This time it progressed to send Giles Dixon on a run into the opposing 22.

The Chiefs were gaining in confidence and looking the more dangerous with the ball in hand, but could not finish off their good approach work.

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A number of changes in the middle of the half suddenly put a gloss on the performance. Dwight Pansegrouw, who had been filling in a the problem position of hooker, move to his familiar slot in the back row. Dan Powell moved up to scrum half and Rory O’Brien came on at full back. All played a significant part in the final result.

A quickly taken 22 drop out to himself enabled Rory O’Brien to initiate a fine handling move to take play deep into the Tavistock 22. The homeside regained possession, but the clearance kick failed to find touch. Dan Powell fielded the ball and linked with O’Brien, who sent Giles Dixon on a run down the left wing. As the cover closed in, he cut inside and found George Locke in support to finish off an exhilerating move. Dan Retter converted the try.

Five minutes later, another sparkling handling move took play to the Tavistock 22. From a quickly won ruck, Dwight Pansegrouw broke and handed off a would-be tackler to run clear under the posts. Again Dan Retter converted.

Tavistock scored a consolation try in injury time, when they drove over from a lineout maul. The final whistle followed the unsuccesful conversion attempt.

On Saturday, the Chiefs have a day off with no league game scheduled.

The Quins travel to Cullompton for a Merit Table game.

The Colts have a rare outing on the Blackmore field where they entertain Cullompton in their final East Devon Merit Table game. The kick off is at 2.30pm.

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