Sidmouth score dozen tries in warm-up win over Honiton


- Credit: Archant

The Sidmouth rugby senior squad had a second warm-up match against Honiton in preparation for the coming league season and once again showed their ability to play a fast, mobile game with a fine display of running rugby and finishing to score twelve unanswered tries in a 70-0 win, writes Terry O’Brien.

The match was played in four quarters with unlimited player interchanges. Sidmouth made an immediate impression when Rabbie Hansford made a clean break close to a ruck on halfway and found fellow flanker Stuart Bickerstaff in support. He was eventually brought down a few metres short of the Honiton line. Sidmouth maintained the attacking position until a quick tap penalty created a try for scrum half Paul Richardson and converted by Dan Retter.

When a Honiton clearance kick failed to find touch, Dan Powell initiated a counterattack to send Rory O’Brien sprinting down the left. As the cover closed in he kicked back inside for Giles Dixon to follow up and touch down an unconverted try.

When a promising Honiton move broke down inside the Sidmouth 22, hooker Aidan Taylor scooped up the loose ball and sent Dan Powell on a 70 metre sprint for try number three.

The quarter finished with backs and forwards combining in a flowing handling move finished off by Giles Dixon. Dan Retter added the conversion.

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Three more tries were added in the second quarter. Dan Powell, now playing at scrum half, dummied his way over from a maul near the line. Rabbie Hansford followed up a box kick to benefit from a favourable bounce. Then Sam Meadham took an inside pass from Ed Lewsey after the forwards had progressed the ball through several phases. Dan Retter converted all three.

Honiton had the better of the third quarter in terms of territory and possession but it was Sidmouth who scored three breakaway tries.

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The visitors were unlucky not score on two occasions. A fine smother tackle by Sam Meadham stopped a certain score and Stuart Bickerstaff turned over possession at the resulting breakdown. Then, when Honiton dropped the ball during a promising handling move, James Powell hacked the ball upfield and won the chase to gather the loose ball and dive over.

After a Honiton forward was held up over the Sidmouth line, the home side won a scrum inside their own 22 and started a handling move covering the length of the field, which was finished off by Rory O’Brien. Zac Bess added the conversion before converting his own try from a charged down kick.

In the final quarter, Paul Richardson scored a second try in support of a Giles Dixon run down the left wing. Richardson then turned to provider for the final score, when he broke on the blindside of a ruck to send Haydn Down over. Dan Retter converted to complete the scoring.

The Chiefs first league game is at home against Exeter University on Saturday, September

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