Sidmouth Under-11s impress at Land Rover Cup competition at Exeter Chiefs

Sidmouth Under-11s who were unbeaten during the Land Rover Cup meeting at Exeter Chiefs

Sidmouth Under-11s who were unbeaten during the Land Rover Cup meeting at Exeter Chiefs - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Under-11s took part in the Land Rover Cup, hosted by Exeter Chiefs.

They were one of 18 teams at the festival with other sides coming from Devon, Cornwall and Dorset to contest three groups of pool matches.

First up for the Sidmouth side was a meeting with Truro against whom they made a quick bright start, scoring a number of early tries. At the other end of the pitch some ‘try-saving’ tackles from Toby Sanford, and Dillon Burrow tackling anything that moved, together with some great work by scrum half Matthew Thomas and winger Tom Bird, Sidmouth were good value for a 3-0 success.

Next up they met North Dorset who fielded some big units! Often it was case of Alec Bagwell, Charlie Simic and Scott Monro Higgs combining to put a stop top the marauding ruins of the opposition! However, ferocious defence, combined with great running from Charlie Turley and Alexander Goody, saw Sidmouth to a 2-1 win.

Against Torquay, it got harder still with only Herbie Isherwood going over for a try, but the defence, especially Reece Hext at full back was outstanding, including taking a number of high balls under pressure and even pirouetting out of tackles. The final score of 1-0 to Sidmouth showed the level of commitment from both sides.

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The team faced Newquay next and the Cornish boys had not made the journey to come second to anyone having won their previous matches, as had Sidmouth. The play was constant for the 15 minutes with the referee playing advantage most of the time.

Sterling defence from both sides and great running meant that kicks from try lines happened often and even great follow up tackles from Harry Wood were not enough to get many tries. The final 1-1 score left both sides wanting more from a great game that left both sides out on their feet.

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The final games for Sidmouth and Newquay would decide the pool. Sidmouth faced off versus local rivals Exeter Sarries and from the start Archie Rowcliffe realised he could run through players rather than around them touching down twice. Given the tiredness of the players subs were used a lot with Tom Grove and Jack Pugh coming in to help tackle the opposition to a standstill and stop them from scoring leaving the final score 5-0.

The pressure was on Newquay and Truro played their best rugby of their day to finish 1-0 up. The Sidmouth boys all played their best and as coaches we were left with few areas they could improve on.

Thanks to all the teams who played and the organisers for a great day out.

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