Sidmouth find out why Brixham are top

Brixham showed why they are promotion contenders with this comfortable win against a depleted Chiefs team. The strength in depth, which produced a series of good wins in the first half of the season, was severely compromised with the exodus of eight players to various overseas destinations. A growing injury list has stretched resources to the limit, writes Terry O’Brien.

Despite these problems, the Chiefs competed strongly in the first half, thanks mainly to a solid scrum, which inconvenienced the Fishermen on a number of occasions. Also the backs were up quickly in defence, disrupting the dangerous Brixham backs.

The difference came when either team came within range of the opposing try line. The visitors came away with points and the Chiefs didn’t. Sidmouth started brightly with Sam Richardson, Ben Damen and James Perry making promising breaks, but none led to sustained pressure. In contrast, Brixham scored from their first serious incursion into the Sidmouth 22. The forwards turned a ruck into a maul 10 metres out and drove over for the number six to get the touchdown.

A Jack Pyne break from his own half opened up the defence with plenty of support, but a knock on ended the move. Meanwhile, at the other end, Brixham scored a carbon copy of their first try, with the number six again applying the finishing touch.

The Chiefs continued to enjoy an equal share of territorial advantage. Using the platform of a solid scrum, Sam Richardson and Steve Trim combined well down the blindside.

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They consistently gained ground, but could not provide a finishing touch against a well-marshalled defence.

In the closing minutes of the half Brixham increased their lead with a lineout catch-and-drive from five metres out. The scrum half scored the try. None of the first half tries was converted, making the score 0-15 at the break.

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The Chiefs needed a strong start to the second half if they were to get back into the game. However, it was Brixham who took a stranglehold on proceedings.

Within minutes of the restart, they scored an excellent try with a move started in their own half, involving backs and forwards and finished by the left winger. The fly half converted from the touchline.

Further pressure produced two penalties by the fly half to open up an insurmountable lead, before two more top quality tries followed. The inside centre put the finishing touch to a counter-attack following a Sidmouth knock on. Then the number six completed a hat-trick following a break by the full back.

Despite Brixham’s supremacy, the Chiefs showed good spirit and attacking intent.

A quick drop out by Dan Retter caught the Fishermen napping and it took some smart covering to snuff out the danger. Good driving by the forwards took play to within a couple of metres of the line, but a knock on ended the move.

They eventually got a well- deserved consolation try after more good work by the forwards put them in an attacking position. A burst by Sam Richardson took play to the line, where Steve Trim picked up and dived over near the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion.

Brixham replied with a try in the final minute, when the number eight was driven over from close range.

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