Sidmouth Under-13 boys show real improvement in their meeting with Withycombe

Rugby ball.

Rugby ball. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth boys Under-13s hosted Withycombe in what may well prove to be both teams’ finally outings for some time given the on-going coronavirus crisis.

One thing that came shining through as folk reflected on the action after the final whistle was that the teams coaches and supporters can be very content with the progress that this Sidmouth team is making.

There were a lot of youngsters on parade for Sidmouth – no less than 28 – and that is surely an unrivalled ‘strength in depth’ in terms of numbers for this age group.

What’s more, all the group have, individually and collectively, shown such improvement this season.

One coach who took in the action said: “We always learn when we lose and in this particular match I saw the players clearly putting some of their learnings into action.”

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The last time that Sidmouth met Withy in this particular age group they were comprehensively outplayed, but this time round the Sidmouth players rucked with intent, handled the ball well in wet conditions, linked up with supporting runs, put pressure on the opposition throughout and confidently turned defence into attack.

Key elements to come out of the action were the way Will Allen and Dillon Burrows hunted down their players to get extra tackles in.

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There was some terrific link-up play involving Joe Anning and Charley Turley, particularly when they set up a try for Tom Bird.

Reece Hext showed some excellent kicking skills that put pressure back onto the opposition.

Archie Rowcliffe scored a superb rampaging try and Alexander Goody impressed in what was, for him, a first time outing at the all-important position of scrum half.

Another feature of the Sidmouth performance was the solidity of the scrum and the general industry and work rate across the pitch.

A coach commented: “The effort to get the ball wide was good and, if we always look to deliver on our restarts, scrum well and get the ball wide on a regular basis then we will have lots of enjoyable matches.”

Post-match, and owing to the coronavirus situation, there were no hugs handed out, but there were plenty of smiles on show as folk departed hoping it would not be too long before the action gets back underway.

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