Sidmouth make Teigns work for Blackmore success

Sidmouth Chiefs home at Blackmore to Teignmouth. Ref shsp 1643-05-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Chiefs home at Blackmore to Teignmouth. Ref shsp 1643-05-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Teignmouth turned on the forward power, in the second half of a rearranged league game to defeat Sidmouth 36-7, to confirm their credentials as promotion contenders, but the Chiefs gave them a fright in the first 40 minutes, writes Terry O’Brien.

The Chiefs started brightly, putting on early pressure, but could not turn it into points. After both sides had missed long range penalty attempts, Teignmouth worked their way into the Sidmouth 22. The Sidmouth forwards did well to withstand a lineout catch-and-drive attempt and a five metre scrum. And, when a Teign handling move broke down, Rory O’Brien scooped up the loose ball to start a handling move, which took play back into the opposing half.

Midway through the half the Chiefs took the lead with a fine try. Quick possession from a lineout just inside the Teignmouth half was transferred to the backs. A long cut-out pass, with Luke Bess joining the line from full back, created space for Rory O’Brien on the left wing. He rounded his opposite number and the full back on his way to the line. Dan Retter added the conversion.

Both sides continued to play open rugby and Luke Bess produced a try-saving tackle after a good handling move had released the Teignmouth right winger. Minutes later Harry Chesterton and Joe Briggs combined well in a move down the right for Sidmouth.

In the closing minutes of the half, the Teignmouth fly half kicked a penalty to make the half time score 7-3.

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A handling error straight from the restart kick gave Teignmouth a scrum on the Sidmouth 22. They broke through the centre with support but the cover defence prevented a score. However, the visitors maintained the attacking position and had clearly decided to take on the Chiefs in the forwards. They drove a lineout maul to the line, where it became a ruck. The scrum half spotted a gap on the blindside and sprinted over in the corner. The fly half added the conversion.

With the Teignmouth pack gaining the upper hand in the set pieces, play became largely confined to the Sidmouth half. They drove another lineout maul all the way for a second try, which was also converted.

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Under constant pressure, the Sidmouth penalty count began to rise, leading to a warning from the referee. When Joe Briggs handled in a ruck, he was immediately shown the yellow card. From a ruck on the Sidmouth 22, they exploited the gap left on the blindside to score a third try.

With the pack in full control, the bonus point fourth try came from a pushover of a five metre scrum. And a fifth try followed, when they won a scrum against the head inside the 22. The number eight broke to create a ruck. When the ball was quickly transferred to the backs, the outside centre powered his way over near the posts. The conversion completed the scoring. The Dukes Man of the Match award went to Rory O’Brien.

On Saturday the Chiefs travel to play Wadebridge Camels. At the Blackmore Field, the Quins entertain Exmouth 2nds kicking off at 2.30pm.

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