Mon 23 Aug 2021 08:47



Sidmouth Quins entertained Devon League team New Cross in the first proper game of rugby on the Blackmore Field for a year and a half.

 Both teams were preparing for the competitive season, which starts on 4th September. Although there was some understandable rustiness after such a long lay-off, on this form the Quins will be very competitive in Devon Merit Table One.

The Quins started with purpose and ambition. They took the lead after five minutes when full back Thomas Mead fielded the ball just inside his own half and set off on a run into the opposing 22 to put his side on the attack. From a ruck near the line, the ball was moved to Andy Smith in space to finish the move off. George Roberts added the conversion. 

A powerful scrum set up the second try midway through the half. With the opposing pack in rapid retreat, the ball was released to the backs. Thomas Mead joined the line at pace to cut through a gap and touch down for a second converted try. 

Minutes later, James Powell made a break to set the Sidmouth forwards and backs combining through several phases to the New Cross line, where Neil Barratt forced his way over under the posts to give George Roberts a simple conversion. 

Sidmouth dominated territory for the remainder of the half but there was no further scoring.

With Quins making several changes at half time, they struggled to find the same cohesion in the third quarter and New Cross came more into the game but could not find a way through the Sidmouth defence.

The Quins eventually increased their lead when Haydon Down crashed over from the base of a ruck near the line following a quick tap penalty move. The try was unconverted.

New Cross replied almost immediately when they regained possession from the restart kick and drove deep into the Sidmouth 22. From a quickly taken tap penalty, a forward forced his way over. The conversion attempt rebounded from an upright.

Another quickly taken tap penalty led to the Quins fifth try. James Powell was the beneficiary from Ben Salter’s quick thinking 

James Powell was in action again, when his run down the left touchline produced a try for Thomas Mead. George Roberts kicked his fourth conversion.

New Cross finished the game strongly, but the Sidmouth defence did well to keep their line intact until the final whistle.

On Saturday, the Chiefs entertain Exeter University at Blackmore kicking off at 3pm.

 They started their league preparations with a comfortable 45-0 win at Bridport with tries from Andrew Smith (4), Cole Monaghan, George Locke and Rabbie Hansford. Dan Retter kicked five conversions.

 The students will provide much stiffer opposition and will start as favourites. Their brand of open rugby should ensure an entertaining game.    

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