Sidmouth Quins edged out by Exeter Engineers

Sidmouth at home to Kingsbridge. shsp 49 18TI 6047. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth at home to Kingsbridge. shsp 49 18TI 6047. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The Quins Merit Table aspirations suffered a blow in a below-par performance against Exeter Engineers at Topsham where the Quins were beaten 17-15, writes Terry O’Brien.

The Quins cause was not helped when, following an injury to an Engineers prop, uncontested scrums were introduced as they did not have a front row replacement. This deprived the Quins of a major advantage of a significantly superior scrum. Additionally, the Engineers replaced the injured player and continued with 15 players contrary to the competition regulations.

The Quins started brightly and took an early lead when the forwards made ground before Jake Watts broke through to send Ben Salter clear for an unconverted try.

With the breeze in their favour, the lively Engineers began to control territory. They took the lead when their winger won the chase for a kick ahead and the fly half added the conversion.

The Engineers increased their lead on the half hour thanks to a fine individual break by the influential fly half. The try was unconverted.

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The Quins finished the half on the offensive thanks to some strong running by the forwards and good continuity through the phases. The try, when it came was deserved but owed a little to fortune. A Jake Watts kick hit an Engineer and rebounded into the path of Morgan Taverner. The young centre gathered the ball and sprinted clear to the line. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful leaving the halftime score at 10-12 in favour of the home side.

Three minutes into the second half, the Engineers extended their lead when the left winger again won the chase for a kick ahead.

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The Quins reduced the gap to two points once again when Giles Dixon produced a fine individual run to break through on the blindside of a scrum inside the Engineers 22 and dive over in the corner.

Midway through the half a yellow card reduced the Engineers to 14 men but the Quins could not take advantage of the extra man.

Most of the final quarter was played out in the Engineers half but, despite intense pressure from the Quins, including two failed penalty attempts, the students held on for a narrow victory.

The result may yet be reviewed by competition officials in view of the breach of regulation regarding uncontested scrums.

On Saturday the Quins travel to play a friendly against Crediton 2nds.

At the Blackmore Field the Chiefs face tough opposition against fourth placed Wellington. The kick-off is at 2.30pm.

On Sunday the clubhouse will be open to show the England v France match in the Six Nations Championship, which kicks off at 3.00pm.

On Wednesday, February 13 club president Terry O’Brien will be giving a talk on the history of Sidmouth Rugby Club on behalf of the Sid Vale Association at the Manor Pavilion starting at 2.30pm. Admission is £3 including tea or coffee.

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