Sidmouth Colts lose narrowly to Exeter Saracens
- Credit: Dominic Fraser
Despite this game being played in dry conditions for a change, Sidmouth’s performance in the first quarter was disappointing with frequent handling errors and missed tackles. As a result, Exeter Saracens enjoyed plenty of possession and territorial advantage.
The visitors opened the scoring after five minutes when their forwards progressed rapidly towards the Sidmouth line through well-executed pick-and-drive play. Once there, they soon forced their way over for an unconverted try.
Ten minutes later, they crossed the line again in similar fashion but were penalised for a double movement.
Sidmouth eventually settled into the game in the third quarter. Taine Benson and Sam Converso were dominating the lineouts, winning valuable possession on their own throw and stealing the ball from the opposition.
Better defence stopped the opposition from crossing the advantage line to gain easy ground. Also, the backs, well marshalled by Thomas Mead, posed a threat whenever they moved the ball wide. They were unlucky not to score when a good handling move sent George Gelling on a run up the left wing. As the cover closed in, he kicked ahead and won the chase but knocked on just short of the line.
In the last minute of the half, the visitors increased their lead when they turned over possession at a ruck on halfway and broke into the Sidmouth 22 where a forward forced his way over the from ruck near the line. The unsuccessful conversion attempt was followed by the half-time whistle.
Sidmouth rallied to have the better of the third quarter and were rewarded with a well-taken try. From a tap penalty move inside the opposing 22, Yan Mercan made ground before offloading to Taine Benson, who finished the move off. Ed Cooper added the conversion.
A yellow card meant Sidmouth had to play the final ten minutes a man short and almost conceded a third try when the Saracens right winger fielded a clearance kick and ran the ball back into the Sidmouth 22. However, Sidmouth defended well until they were awarded a penalty to clear the danger.
Another fascinating game in the return to rugby.