Tested at the Sevens

Eleven of the Sidmouth under-14 squad heading to Plymstock for the Sevens festival, writes Penny Maskill.

The 8.15am start seemed a little early for some of the boys – not to mention one of the mums struggling to find the venue after a late Saturday evening in Exeter! However, all arrived in time at this very well run Festival with the first game starting at 11am.

Sevens is very different to their normal game and the squad struggled with this new concept at first. The captain, Tom Stokes, had a cracking game and, although defeated, the boys started to get to grips with this new style. As annoying as dads can be, shouting from the sideline, Will’s dad did have a point when he noticed that Will still had his gum shield in his sock well into the first half. Overcoming that small hurdle, Will scored a superb try in the second half.

Game 2 against Newton Abbot saw the opposition firmly in control, but tries from Tom Stokes and Bradley kept the boys’ team spirit going.

Honiton were the opposition for the third game, but were no match for Sidmouth, who were now ready for action. Excellent play from James Thomas, Dan Powell and Rabbie Hansford, led to a win for Sidmouth with tries scored by Dan, Rabbie and Harry West. Unfortunately, Exmouth just beat the boys in the last game of the first section but Ed Thomas, Dan Powell and Robbie all played out of their socks with some good tackling in this game from James Maskill.

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The second section was the knock out and Sidmouth’s first game was against the Devonport Saracens. Devonport were hyped up by their coaches once, then again, and, as the ref had still not arrived, a third time, much to the amusement of our boys. The shouting must have worn them out, as Sidmouth then proceeded to thrash them in a very satisfying manner.

Credit again to Dan for his conversion kicking, Harry, Bradley, Tom and Will – all in all a superb effort. The final game was close, but saw Sidmouth knocked out (well it was 5.30pm-ish). With only a small squad in this discipline, all players are involved throughout and James Rattue and Mal Rayner must be named as part of this strong Sidmouth squad.

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