Young blood making the right rugby impression

Exeter Chiefs Phil Dollman in his younger days

Exeter Chiefs Phil Dollman in his younger days - Credit: Dave Hughes/Pinnacle

A new year and a new feel. Plenty of promise for a better year in general and hope for a turn of fortunes on the rugby pitch for Sidmouth. 

We started the new year with a tough fixture vs Newent, a nuggety team who controlled large periods of the fixture away earlier in the season to get the win. 

A very similar story with the opposite scoreline this time around. One side was ground down and the crucial scores happening in the second 40. Tough to do in testing conditions with it hard to distinguish one player from the next after a very short period.  

The boys still produced a performance, which not only gave us the win on the day, but also a very high standard to carry through.  

It was great to see some of the latest products of the Sidmouth’s junior system run out for the first team on the weekend. The youth of the game is so crucial to a club like Sidmouth, and we're seeing some great prospects coming through the ranks.  

We saw impressive hit-outs from Harry Emmett and Conor Preston (on his first-team debut) in the back row and hooker, respectively. The two played with the energy and verve I can only dream of these days and the type qualities that can be built on to become serious players. 

I think back to my first game of senior rugby for UWIC/Cardiff Met as it is now known, with a huge nylon shirt that was so long it came out of the bottom of my shorts. We played a Maesteg RFC side that had John Devereux, Alan Bateman and Kevin Ellis in their ranks, all legendary Welsh internationals. 

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The feeling of nerves really stick out, am I going to be able to keep up with everyone else and can I hack the physicality at senior levels or even am I even good enough to be on this pitch? I’m sure most debutants are the same. 18 years later the nerves are there in a slightly different way, and the expectation is slightly different now. 

Exeter Chiefs, Phil Dollman takes the ball on - Photo mandatory by-line:Phil Mingo/Pinnacle - Tel:

Exeter Chiefs, Phil Dollman takes the ball on - Photo mandatory by-line:Phil Mingo/Pinnacle - Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 - Mobile:0797 1270 681 - VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 - 04/09/2010 - SPORT - RUGBY UNION - AVIVA PREMIERSHIP - Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby - Sandy Park Stadium, Exeter, Devon - Credit: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle