Sidmouth Colts brush aside challenge of Stonehouse Sharks


- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Colts produced their best performance of the season to beat Plymouth-based Stonehouse Sharks 24-5 in the Devon Colts Plate League, writes Terry O’Brien.

In a rare outing on the Blackmore Field, the Colts had too much pace once they got the ball into the open against a side whose strength was in their forwards.

The opening quarter was played at a frantic pace, with plenty of energy and commitment but little in the way of control or direction. Sidmouth had the better of the early exchanges and might have taken an early lead had they taken a penalty in front of the post rather than elect to tap and run.

Stonehouse became more prominent in the middle of the half and were unlucky to see a penalty attempt drift just wide of the posts.

The opening score was as spectacular as it was surprising in the context of what had gone before. Sidmouth won a lineout on halfway and the ball was moved into the open. Outside centre Ethan Mead took a pass at pace and cut a good angle through the defensive line. Once in the open, he outpaced the cover to touch down under the posts. Rhys Davies added the conversion.

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Minutes later, Mead was in action at the other, where he brought off a try-saving tackle to end a dangerous move from the visitors. Stonehouse continued to press hard near the Sidmouth line until a turnover by the forwards was followed by a clearance kick into touch. The score remained 7-0 at half-time.

Sidmouth regained possession from the restart kick and progressed the ball through several phases before opening out along the backline. Quick, accurate passing found full back Tom Woodruff in space on the right. His step inside wrong-footed the cover and he ran in for an unconverted try.

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Stonehouse came back strongly but did not have the pace to run round the Sidmouth defence and determined tackling prevented them from battering through the middle. When Sidmouth broke out of defence, a good handling move by the backs stretched the defence for Morgan Taverner to sprint in from the halfway line. The try was converted by Rhys Davies.

A driving maul by the forwards following a lineout on the Stonehouse 22 paved the way for a fourth try. When the ball was released to the backs, swift handling put Tom Woodruff in for his second try.

Stonehouse showed good spirit to finish strongly and score a well deserved consolation try, when a forward drove over from close range after a series of rucks near the line.

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