Sidmouth start 2022 with a much-needed victory
- Credit: Sidmouth RFC
A 24-10 win against sixth placed Newent was their first since 20th November and provides Sidmouth Chiefs with a positive start to 2222.
Thanks to the combined work of Phil Dolman, Dan Retter and their wingers, the Chiefs had the edge in this department. Dolman’s willingness to counterattack and his ability to do so effectively proved decisive.
The Chiefs took an early lead thanks to a Dan Retter penalty, but Newent took control for the next ten minutes keeping play in and around the Sidmouth 22. Sidmouth defended well before a penalty kicked by the full back levelled the scores.
Retter restored Sidmouth’s lead midway through the half before they were denied a try as the referee was unsighted when hooker Connor Preston crossed under a pile of bodies. However, the Chiefs maintained the pressure and were rewarded with a third penalty. Preston along with flanker Harry Emmett had impressive league debuts.
In first half injury time Tom Hodge made a strong burst through the centre to cross the gain line. The ball was quickly recycled and passed smoothly along the line. With the smallest of overlaps, Cian Warren showed his finishing ability to add to his impressive list of tries for a 14-3 half-time lead.
Sidmouth started the second half with an outstanding try. Phil Dolman fielded a ball on his own 22 and set off on the counterattack cutting through the chasing opposition. He linked up with Dan Rugg, who carried on to the opposing 22 where James Powell provided the link to send George Locke in for the try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
A Yellow card for Josh Bess provided a boost for the visitors, who were causing a full Chiefs pack problems in the scrum. When they pushed them off their own ball inside the 22, a forward emerged from the mess to touch down under the posts. The conversion closed the gap to nine points.
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Newent threatened a comeback for a while but once their skipper had returned to the field the Chiefs regained control and add a third try in injury time when Rob Griffin touched down from a lineout catch-and-drive play.