Sidmouth seeking to land first opening day home win since 2006
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Sidmouth launch a new season of league rugby on Saturday (September 1) at home to Saltash.
Ollie Pyne will again skipper Sidmouth and, speaking ahead of the game, the club’s Terry O’Brien says: “We have only lost one player from last season’s squad and a few players have returned from university, etc, so we start stronger in depth.
“If we can start as we finished last season, sixth in the league and winning the Devon Intermediate Cup, we should expect to do well in the coming season.
“The aim is a top four finish and to reach the final of the Intermediate Cup again by being one of the top two Devon clubs in the league.
“Attendance at training, under new head coach Phil Dollman has been very good and confidence is high despite that pre-season defeat at Honiton.”
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Opening day opposition Saltash will be making their first start in the division after gaining promotion out of the Tribute Cornwall and Devon League at the end of last season. The Cornish side had a terrific season as they also reached the final of the National Senior Vase, losing 22-18 to Wath on Dearne in the final at Twickenham.
Sidmouth and Saltash last met in league action during the 2015/16 Tribute Western Counties season with Sidmouth winning the November meeting at the Blackmore 44-23 and also winning the game in Cornwall 13-8, that one played in February 2016.
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So, how do Sidmouth generally get on in the opening game of a new campaign. The answer to that is ‘not very well’ for they have just two of their opening games over the past seven seasons!
They did win the first outing of last season, beating St Austell 23-22 in Cornwall, but that was a first opening day win in six years since a September 3, 2011, 29-9 success at Chosen Hill Former Pupils in a Tribute South West One meeting.
The last time Sidmouth won a home opening game was back in September 2006 when they were 38-5 winners against Ivybridge.
The Sidmouth 2nd XV, skippered by Neil Barratt, are also in Saturday action, they travel to meet Exeter Amateurs 2nds.
The opening day games since 2006/07
2017/18 St Austell 22, Sidmouth 23
2016/17 Burnham-on-Sea 22, Sidmouth 7
2015/16 Sidmouth 28, Exeter University 30
2014/15 Penryn 25, Sidmouth 10
2013/14 Clevedon 40, Sidmouth 6
2012/13 Sidmouth 31, Clevedon 33
2011/12 Chosen Hill Former Pupils 9, Sidmouth 29
2010/11 Sidmouth 5, Paignton 10
2009/10 Cullompton 13, Sidmouth 11
2008/9 Torquay Athletic 31, Sidmouth 8
2007/8 Minehead Barbarian 44, Sidmouth 10
2006/7 Sidmouth 38, Ivybridge 5