Match Reports




Sidmouth's heroic defence kept them in the game and then two opportunist tries in the second half were enough to earn a win and one of the best results of the season.Fielding the ball from the kick-off Sidmouth carried and recycled well, earning a penalty converted by Dan Retter. Devonport responded with an attack of their own which ended when their fly-half produced a perfect kick for his open side winger to catch and touch down. 5-3.

Devonport's weightier forwards enabled them to dominate possession but they found it difficult to make progress against Sidmouth's offensive tackling. Halfway through the first half a mistake in the centre by Sidmouth allowed the Devonport scrum-half to intercept on the half-way line. He had just enough pace to beat the Sidmouth cover defence and score in the corner. 10-3. A second penalty by Retter brought the score to 10-6 at half time.

Sidmouth were under considerable pressure at the start of the second half but when Devonport lost possession Retter fired a high kick into the middle of the field which was brilliantly caught by Cameron Grainger at full stretch. He passed to Zak Bess who delivered a carefully weighted kick for his wing Ethan Mead to follow up and touch down. Retter converted. 10-13. Two minutes later Sidmouth's abrasive defence forced a handling error by Devonport. Bess scooped up the loose ball and outpaced the defence for a try in the corner. 10-18.

Devonport converted a penalty to bring them within 5 points and then threw everything into attack. Their best effort was snuffed out by a scything tackle from Tom Seward. The ability of Sidmouth to bring on three quality replacements in Asa Unsworth, Jack Pyne and Sam Cavin was crucial in securing this outstanding win against a team competing for promotion.



CHARD 1st XV  24  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  22


The Chiefs suffered only their second defeat since October as Chard scored a converted try in the last minute of injury time to easy their relegation worries with a bonus point win.


Sidmouth, travelling without a few key players, were weakened further by four injuries during a hard-fought game and had to play the final ten minutes a man short as they had used up their three replacements.


Chard kicked off into the bitterly cold diagonal wind and were soon pressing inside the Sidmouth 22. The Chiefs won a vital strike against the head at a five-metre scrum to relieve the early pressure, but Chard were soon back pressing on the line. When they were awarded another scrum five metres out, they pushed over for a try touched down by the number eight. The conversion attempt held up in the wind.


The Chiefs began to find some cohesion through the middle of the half to create pressure of their own. Good breaks by Luke Wells-Burr and Ben Pratt took play into the home 22, where the forwards took over. After a series of rucks took play to the line, Sione Livai powered his way over for a try and Dan Retter added the conversion.


The Chiefs failed to secure the ball from the restart kick and Chard regained possession to set up camp in the Sidmouth 22. After a series of rucks near the line, a forward forced his way over to regain the lead. The try was unconverted.


Despite having lost flankers Dan Rudd (wrist) and Henry Thomas (head) to injury, with the help of the wind, the Chiefs enjoyed territorial advantage for the closing stages of the half. When the forwards set up a driving maul from a lineout just outside the 22, the defenders were forced to retreat, and Johnny Hamill took advantage of space on the blindside to sprint over in the corner. The try was unconverted, leaving the Chiefs with a narrow 12-10 halftime lead.


A Dan Retter penalty increased the lead early in the second half before the game became bogged down in a midfield dog-fight as the arctic conditions took their toll.


Replacement Dan Ledger joined the injury list just before Cameron Grainger was yellow carded to give Chard a one-man advantage. They used it effectively to earn a penalty try as the Chiefs prevented a scrum pushover attempt illegally. The automatic seven points gave them a two-point lead going into the final ten minutes of normal time.


No sooner had Grainger been reinstated than Rhys Thomas departed with an ankle injury. Despite the disadvantage, the Chiefs retook the lead with the try of the game. Good work by the forwards put them on the front foot and strong run by Sione Livai took play to the 22, where the ball was released to the backs. Ben Pratt exploited a gap in the centre and beat two men on his way to touch down under the posts. The conversion opened up a five-point lead with five minutes to play.


Being a man down and with a heavily rearranged pack proved too much of a disadvantage and Chard took control as the game moved into injury time. They camped on the Sidmouth line until a forward forced his way over under the posts. The conversion was followed by the final whistle.







SIDMOUTH 1st XV  17  v  CREDITON 1st XV  17


The Chiefs had to draw on all their reserves to salvage a draw in this derby match after a promising start.


Over-confidence seemed to set in after scoring two well-constructed tries. The result was a litany of errors, in terms of both skill and judgement. Crediton capitalised, grew in strength and confidence, and were somewhat unfortunate not to go away with more than two points.


In a match transferred to a Sidford pitch, in perfect condition despite the heavy overnight rain, Sidmouth went straight on the attack from the kick off and took the lead after just three minutes.


Matt Farrington broke from a scrum ten metres from the Crediton line to link with Johnny Hamill. The scrum half’s short dart drew in the midfield defenders and, when the ball was quickly recycled, a long pass found Ben Pratt in space to race in at the left corner. The try was unconverted.


Despite playing into the breeze, the Chiefs continued to enjoy territorial advantage, although mistakes were beginning to creep into their game. A strong run by Tom Seward, followed by quick recycling had the defence back-peddling. Quick handling sent Matt Farrington sprinting in at the corner for a second unconverted try.


To their credit, Crediton heads did not drop and, as the Sidmouth error count rose, they began to exert pressure and a good handling move had the defence at full stretch. When the Sidmouth backs dropped the ball trying to run out of their own half, the fly half scooped it up and burst into the 22 before sending his inside centre in under the posts. The outside centre kicked the routine conversion.


In first half injury time, the Chiefs tried to run the ball out of their own 22 and again the ball was lost in contact. A penalty was conceded trying to retrieve the situation and the successful kick tied the scores at the break.


Now full of confidence, the visitors tore into the Chiefs from the restart pinning them into their own half.


Without Josh Bess, the Chiefs were too dependent on Ollie Pyne in the lineouts, making it easy for Crediton to counter and spoil. Also, the Sidmouth scrum began to come under pressure.


Crediton camped inside the Sidmouth 22 until the hooker forced his way over from close range. The conversion gave them a deserved seven-point lead.


The Chiefs got the wake up call and sharpened their game but could make little impression against  determined opponents, who could smell a badly-needed victory.


With five minutes to go, they produced a move, which cut open the defence. Ethan Mead came from the blindside wing at a scrum on halfway. In a set move, he took an inside pass through the fly half/inside centre gap. A combination of agility and pace took him clear to touch down in the left corner. Having missed twice from a similar position, Dan Retter’s conversion bisected the uprights to level the scores.


In injury time, a Dan Retter penalty attempt from just inside his own half rebounded from the crossbar. Disappointing for the Chiefs but Crediton deserved to go away with something for their spirited performance.








TIVERTON 1st XV  12  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  22


The late withdraw by Dan Retter saw Cameron Grainger drafted in to fill the fly half position, one he hasn’t played in for a few seasons. He did a creditable job of keeping his side going forward and the back line running smoothly. However, Retter’s reliable goalkicking was missed.   


The Chiefs ability to turn counterattacking opportunities into points was the decisive factor in this otherwise equally contested game. However, this was certainly not evident in the opening five minutes, when two clear chances from turnovers fell victim to basic handling errors.


Apart from these breakaway opportunities, Tiverton had the best of the opening exchanges without threatening the Sidmouth line.


The Chiefs opened the scoring after six minutes, when Tiverton dropped the ball just outside their own 22 and Ollie Pyne scooped it up. He set up a handling move finished off by brother Jack. The try was unconverted.


Tiverton were soon on level terms, when they kicked a penalty to the corner and the forwards mauled their way over from the resulting lineout.


The Chiefs had the better of things through the middle of the half and scored two tries to build up a useful lead.


A Tiverton clearance kick was fielded by Luke Wells-Burr on his own ten metre line and his long pass found Ethan Mead in space on the left. The prolific teenager did well to beat two defenders on his way to touching down under the posts. Rory O’Brien added the conversion.


Minutes later, a good handling move sent Mead on another run into the 22 to create a good attacking position. When Tiverton were penalised in front of their posts, the routine three points was ignored in favour of a quick tap penalty. The decision paid off as good, accurate handling found Ben Pratt in space to race over for an unconverted try.


Tiverton finished the half strongly but could not make any further impression on the well-organised Sidmouth defence.


Another Tiverton kick downfield, fielded by Luke Wells-Burr provided the starting point for Sidmouth’s fourth try, but this was one for which they had to work much harder. With forwards and backs combining well, the ball was moved to the right and back to the left until an overlap was created on the right wing for Rory O’Brien to run in the bonus point score, which was unconverted.


Playing down the slope, Tiverton fought back strongly and deservedly cut the arrears midway through the half, when the number eight broke from a scrum ten metres out to power his way over. The try was converted by the fly half.


The Chiefs continued to compete well but each time they worked their way into the opposing half they conceded penalties and found themselves back in defence.


Tiverton, for their part, could not find a way through the Sidmouth defence, which kept both shape and discipline until the final whistle.