Sidmouth undone by powerful St Austell performance
- Credit: Sidmouth RFC
A purple period after half-time showed why St Austell top the league as they blitzed the Chiefs with a dominant 15-man display to score four tries.
For the remainder of the match, injury hit Sidmouth held their own and showed great character and determination to fight back in the final quarter to keep play mainly in the visitors’ half.
The Chiefs made a positive start when a Dan Retter kick from his own half bounced into touch inside the St Austell 22 (a 50/22 kick). Sidmouth won the lineout to set up a strong attacking position, but aggressive defence drove them back outside the 22 and when the move broke down St Austell gained the initiative.
The Chiefs defended well until they were awarded a scrum five metres from their line. Unfortunately, the ball emerged uncontrolled. The opposing scrum half reacted quickest to scoop it up and dive over for the opening score. The fly half added the conversion.
Midway through the half, the Chiefs equalised when Cian Warren came from the blindside wing to break through the centre and found Zac Bess in support to finish the move off. Dan Retter kicked the conversion.
St Austell regained the lead with a converted try when their number eight drove over from a ruck near the line.
After the break, a lineout saw the St Austell pack drove a maul forward. The scrum half broke from the back of the maul before sending his inside centre through a gap to touch down near the posts. The try was converted.
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Three more tries were added in the next 18 minutes. The left winger ran in on an overlap from a scrum move. The right winger finished off a move started by his full back from a loose clearance kick. And the hooker touched down from a lineout catch-and-drive play.
To their credit, the Chiefs rallied in the final quarter and kept play predominantly in the St Austell half. They were deservedly rewarded with the last score of the match when Asa Unsworth profited from an overlap on the blindside of a ruck near the line. Dan Retter converted to complete the scoring.