Sidmouth Quins maintain win record
Sidmouth, having won on their previous two visits to Torquay, were confident they could pull off another victory, which they did in the last minute.
Having comprehensively beaten Kingsbridge away the previous week, the Quins knew a much sterner test awaited them at Torquay.
Sidmouth kicked off and immediately had the Tics under pressure. After a succession of phases, Sidmouth won a penalty. The opportunity to kick the three points was duly taken by James Powell.
Sidmouth continued to dominate, especially in the pack, despite being out sized. As the previous week, a strong scrummaging and line-out performance set a good platform for the backs to attack.
About mid-way through, Sidmouth extended their lead with a try from Michael “white shoes” Knight. The try came from a cross-field kick; Knight gathered the ball well and touched it down for the five points. The conversion by Powell unfortunately drifted just wide.
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The rest of the first half remained scoreless. The Quins were starting to miss a lot of tackles which ended up costing them later in the game. During the interval Sidmouth spoke about the tackle situation and vowed to sort the problem out.
This was not to be the case as time and again the first tackle was missed. Torquay took full advantage of the errors by scoring two tries, one of which was converted.
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In between the tries the Quins lost Captain Andrew Dare to the sin bin for tackling a Torquay player from less then a metre away following a quick tap penalty five metres from the Quins’ line.
Sidmouth regrouped and fought their way back into the game. A spell of pressure in the dying minutes eventually led to a Sidmouth try. After a charge down by James Salter, Sidmouth were awarded a five metre scrum.
The Quins pack looked to drive their hosts over the try-line but failed at the first attempt, the scrum collapsing and having to be reset. The pack tried again and got a slight nudge just as the secondary drive was called. Flanker Stuart Bickerstaff picked up the ball from his feet and darted over the line, much to the surprise of the remaining seven Quins’ forwards who continued to push anyway, just for fun. Powell added the vital conversion which meant Torquay would have needed a try to win.
With 90 seconds left to play after restart the Quins caught the ball and secured a couple of phases before kicking the ball out of play. The referee’s whistle signalled the end of the game and the Quins had won again at Torquay - but only just.