Sidmouth Under-15s put on promising show at Topsham
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Under-15s dished up a tremendous battling performance as they went down to the reigning Devon champions Topsham, beaten 19-0, writes Simon Rowe.
It would be fair to say that the squad approached Sunday’s game with a degree of trepidation for they are still in the early stages of developing and re-building the squad and also with some raw memories of the Cup final clash with Topsham at the end of last season!
Despite this, the boys arrived, importantly, with a full side, at Topsham’s Bonfire Field early and keen to start the game.
Sidmouth, welcoming back Bailey Livings for his first start of the season, also awarded three new players with their debuts: Raul, Alberto and Diego.
Special mention here for the wonderful links we have with St Johns International School for providing new players to the training sessions and giving the boys the opportunity to integrate and play some competitive rugby.
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Both sides agreed beforehand that the format would be played as a training match, broken into thirds rather than traditional halves to allow additional time for adjustments and changes to be made.
Topsham, winning the toss, elected to kick off, I am sure partly expecting an easy ride as they were confronted with such a new look side.
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How wrong they were! Sidmouth locked horns with the home side right from the start, impressing with their direct running from forwards and backs alike.
Raul, selected at number eight, taking responsibility, using his strength and clearly enjoying himself. Before we knew it the first period was up, the scores still level at nil-nil. In fact Sidmouth had the better chances and dominated both territory and possession in this period. Each and every player played their part both in attack and defence.
The game continued and it was not until the latter stages of the second period that the deadlock was broken: a scrappy piece of play from a line out leading to an opportunist try to the home side.
In the final third Topsham took the opportunity to rotate their squad bringing on fresh legs and eventually this was a telling factor and did provide them with one or two gaps to exploit earning them a couple of additional tries. It is difficult to single out any one individual player as all made telling contributions, showing huge commitment.
It might have ended 19-0, but with an inexperienced group against the reining Devon champions, it was a performance the boys can be very proud of and provides a good platform for the squad to build on.