Sidmouth Chiefs show class
Sidmouth Chiefs 27, Walcot 7 The Chiefs underlined the fact that they have become a force to be reckoned with in South West league rugby.
Sidmouth Chiefs 27, Walcot 7The Chiefs underlined the fact that they have become a force to be reckoned with in South West league rugby with their biggest and most convincing league win of the season so far. This four-try demolition of Bath side Walcot was a clear sign that they have regained the confidence which was so badly dented in the opening games of the campaign against Torquay and Paignton.Lineout domination and much improved tactical kicking provided the foundation for the Chiefs' superior pace in the backs to forge victory. Nathan Hannay and Nat Palmer consistently looted the ball on Walcot's lineout throw and Ollie Derryman underlined his great potential by hoovering up anything that went loose. Meanwhile long diagonal kicks from Dan Retter pushed the visitors back whenever they encroached into Sidmouth territory. The Chiefs were forced to make an early substitution when Ollie Pyne dislocated a finger in the third minute. He was replaced by Dan Trim, returning to the squad after a minor operation. This proved to be no inconvenience as they kept the Walcot defence busy in the first quarter. A Tristan Beavis break opened things up for Andy Matchett to have a long run which was only stopped a few metres short. Soon after Simeon Lewry was denied a score with a foot in touch.The pressure was eventually rewarded with a Dan Retter penalty and this was quickly followed by the first try. Good work by the backs took play from halfway to a ruck deep inside the Walcot 22. When the ball emerged Retter made a half break to open things up for Harry Chesterton who left three defenders in his wake before touching down under the posts. Retter added the extras.Walcot were far from passive bystanders and did their share of attacking but their backs got no change from the Sidmouth defence and high kicks found Jamie Wardrop in rock-like form. However, the visiting fly half was resourceful and changed to short chips and grub kicks behind the Sidmouth threequarters and in front of the full back. On a couple of occasions these created havoc and, just before halftime, only a great bit of covering work by Lewry prevented a try under the posts. This kept the score at 10-0 going into the break.A try 15 minutes into the second half seemed to make the game safe. A Steve Trim break down the blindside of a scrum was stopped a few metres short of the line but brother Dan was on hand to pick up and force his way over for an unconverted try. Resilient Walcot hit back almost immediately with a well-worked effort of their own. A couple of decoy runners caused confusion in the Sidmouth defence and the outside centre burst through a gap to score under the posts. The conversion closed the gap to eight points, enough to cause sweaty palms amongst the home supporters. But the players were unfazed and quickly regained their focus. A powerful burst by Jack Pyne set the forwards driving. They took play into the 22 before releasing to the backs. Chesterton and Beavis both made ground before Lewry dived over with Wardrop to spare if needed.When a Walcot player knocked on with two minutes to go, Steve Trim picked up the loose ball on halfway and sent out a long pass to Andy Matchett unmarked on the wing. He sprinted clear to make the winning margin a convincing 20 points.