Sidmouth Under-9s get first taste of contact rugby

Sidmouth U9 action v Topsham

Sidmouth U9 action v Topsham - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Under-9s entertained Topsham at Sidford for a morning that would see the Sidmouth players experience contact rugby for the first time.

Numbers on both sides were good with Topsham pitching up with 18 players and Sidmouth sporting no fewer than 24 – all itching for action!

Under-9 coach Joe Wall said: “This was a nervous time for the coaches who have been working hard (especially repeated resetting of the tackle bag) at getting the kids ready for contact rugby.

“Some of our number are new to the game this season – let alone tackling – and they have all impressed us with their enthusiasm and hard work!”

Teams were made up to play 6-a-side and, on the top pitch, the contest was 3-3 at half-time. The second half saw a fully committed six minutes of attack and defence with both sides adding a score each for the match to finish 4-4.


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After a session on the tackle bag, their second game was a tight affair again – low scoring through excellent defence from Noah Clifton and Charlie Nancekivell and resulted in another draw.

On the middle Topsham won the opening game 7-2, but the tables were turned in the second game with Sidmouth winning 7-6.

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The Sidmouth six on the bottom pitch were tasked with playing three matches. There was a similar ebb and flow to the contests as had been the case on the other pitches. The Sidmouth team battled well to secure two draws and a narrow victory.

This team included Leyla Hicks in her first ever season of rugby showing it’s not just a boys sport!

The last Sidmouth team drew their first outing with Ollie Marchant clearly enjoying the physicality of the game and there was lots of passion and effort shown throughout the team exemplified by Aiden Corefield.

At the end of a splendid session of rugby Sidmouth teams came out of things with five draws, two wins and two defeats – a terrific outcome given it was the first contact rug by for them all.

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