SIDMOUTH 1st XV  25  v  ST IVES 1st XV  29


The Chiefs winning run came to an end in this exciting and highly entertaining game against the league leaders at the Blackmore Field. The power of the St Ives pack was the decisive factor, with four tries coming from lineout mauls.


The Chiefs started in fine style as the kicked off into the breeze and immediately regained possession. The forwards took the ball through three phases before releasing to the backs. A Dan Retter grubber kick was followed up by Ethan Mead, who nudged it further towards the line. Josh Bess chased to pick up and dive over for an unconverted try.


Sidmouth continued to hold the upper hand and increased their lead on the quarter hour with a fine individual effort from Ethan Mead. He followed up his own kick ahead from halfway to regather and sprint in under the posts for Dan Retter to convert.


When the visitors were awarded a penalty in a very kickable position, they opted, instead, to kick for position. The gamble paid off as they set up a driving maul from the resulting lineout. They were eventually stopped just short of the line, but the tight head prop drove over from the base of the resulting ruck. The try was converted.


A fine St Ives handling move took play from their own 22 deep into the Sidmouth half, where they were awarded a penalty. Again, they kicked for a lineout near the line and set up another driving maul. A forward peeled off and drove over for an unconverted try.


The Chiefs regained the lead, when a period of pressure inside the St Ives 22 sucked in defenders to create an overlap on the right for Tom Seward to sprint in at the right corner. The try was unconverted.


In injury time, Dan Retter took a quick tap from a mark inside his own 22 to set up a handling move covering 60 metres, but the cover defence prevented a score and half time arrived with Sidmouth leading 17-12.


Matters changed dramatically in the opening five minutes of the second half.


From the restart, an attempted clearance kick was charged down and gathered by a St Ives player. He was tackled just short of the try-line, but the tight head prop was in support to pick up and dive over. The try was converted.


Minutes later, St Ives were awarded a penalty at a scrum, where the Sidmouth eight were under pressure. They kicked for a lineout and this time drove the maul over the line for the hooker to touch down. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.


The Chiefs replied almost immediately. Strong running by Sione Livai, Tom Seward and Matt Farrington took play into the opposing 22, where Dan Retter put in a diagonal grubber kick for Luke Wells-Burr to follow up, gather and dive over in the left corner.


The conversion was unsuccessful but a Dan Retter penalty minutes later gave his side a one-point lead going into the final quarter.


When Sidmouth replacement prop Jack Madge was yellow carded for collapsing a maul, St Ives kicked for a lineout in the corner. The inevitable driving maul set up a try for the number four.

The Chiefs were soon pressing inside the St Ives 22. They camped on the line for several minutes but could not get over the line until the ball was released to the backs. Rory O’Brien dived over in the corner but was judged to have a foot in touch.


Eventually, time ran out with Sidmouth still on the attack.









PAIGNTON 1st XV  26  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  40


The Chiefs have started 2018 as they left off in 2017, with a win.


Queens Park has not been the scene of much success for Sidmouth since the advent of league rugby in 1987 and they were delighted to come away with a bonus point victory. This makes it seven league wins on the trot and nine in all since the beginning of November. The record book will soon be consulted.


The Chiefs kicked off into a biting, diagonal wind but an early penalty enabled Paignton to kick them selves into an attacking position. They duly won the resulting lineout and kept possession through many phases but could not find a way through the Sidmouth defence. Eventually they had to be content with a penalty kick by the scrum half.  


Sidmouth regained possession from the restart kick and showed that they too could build through many phases. They progressed to within five metres of the line but a knock on brought the move to an end. Paignton cleared the ball temporarily, but the Chiefs were soon pressing inside the 22 once again. This time they took the lead, when Sione Livai picked up at the base of a ruck 10 metres out and drove forward taking two defenders over the line with him. The try was converted by Dan Retter.


The Chiefs continued to control the game, with Livai, and backrowers Josh Bess and Tom Seward putting in strong runs over the gain line. From a ruck in the middle of the 22, Rory O’Brien and Ben Pratt made breaks before sending Ethan Mead over in the left corner for an unconverted try.


A long-range Dan Retter penalty increased the lead before a resurgence from the home side, who were gaining the upper hand in the scrums. They nibbled away at the Sidmouth lead with two more penalties.


The Chiefs reasserted themselves with a splendid try in injury time. They turned over possession on their own 22 to set up a handling move involving many pairs of hands. The move was eventually stopped a few metres short of the try line, but the referee awarded a penalty against a defender. Josh Bess took a quick tap and dived over. Dan Retter converted from wide out to give his side a 25-9 halftime lead.


Paignton started the second half as they did the first, exerting pressure in the Sidmouth 22. The Chiefs were soon reduced to 14 men, when Sione Livai was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on.


Despite the disadvantage, the Chiefs held their line intact until they were able to clear upfield, where they soon scored a bonus point try with a real team effort. The forwards progressed the ball through many phases into the Paignton 22 before releasing it to the backs. Ben Pratt made a half break at outside centre, which gave Ethan Mead enough space on the left wing to sprint in at the corner for an unconverted try.


Any complacency at the score-line was quickly dispelled when the Paignton inside centre crashed over under the posts after a long period of pressure. The try was converted.


A Dan Retter penalty gave his side some respite before Paignton were back on the attack and again reduced the arrears with a tap penalty try by the scrum half, who also converted. Minutes later, he kicked a penalty to close the gap to seven points with ten minutes to play.


The Chiefs collective character was under test and not found wanting. They were soon pressing on the Paignton line. After a series of pick-and-goes had sucked in defenders, the ball was moved to the backs with an overlap on the right for Rory O’Brien run in and Dan Retter to add the conversion.


Paignton finished the game strongly in pursuit of a losing bonus point and the final whistle went with play a few metres from the Sidmouth line.



SIDMOUTH 1st XV  24  v  KINGSBRIDGE 1st XV  10


The Chiefs continue their move up the league table with this convincing win against Kingsbridge to reverse a 3-44 thrashing at High House in September.


The Chiefs now have a pack of forwards to compete with any in the league and, with the Kingsbridge lineout frequently misfiring, they took control after enduring a testing opening quarter hour.


Despite the absence of top try scorers Ethan Mead and Luke Wells-Burr, the backs still posed a threat in difficult damp conditions.


The Chiefs kicked off and regained possession but quickly conceded a penalty, which the Kingsbridge fly half kicked deep into the Sidmouth half, where the visitors remained for the next ten minutes. However, they could not find a way through the well-marshalled defence and had to be content with a penalty kicked by the inside centre to take the lead.


Sione Livai latched on to a loose Kingsbridge lineout throw to set up a handling move, which took play into the opposing 22. A period of pressure was rewarded with a Dan Retter penalty to level the scores.


Another good handling move by the backs set up an attacking position and, with the defence spread thin, a try looked inevitable, but the referee spotted an obstruction and Kingsbridge were able to clear the ball upfield. However, the Chiefs stole the ball at the resulting lineout. The ball was moved to the backs, where Ben Pratt broke through in the centre. He was eventually tackled 10 metres short of the line but support was close at hand. A couple of pick-and-goes advanced the ball to the line, where Sione Livai forced is way over for an unconverted try.


A good move on the blindside of a ruck near the Sidmouth 22 sent Cameron Grainger, playing in an unfamiliar position on the wing, sprinting up the touchline before kicking ahead as the cover closed in. The Kingsbridge full back just won the chase and did well to cover the danger.


The Chiefs finished the half in command and Dan Retter kicked a drop goal in injury time to give his side an 11-3 lead at the break.


With rain coming steadily down, Sidmouth adapted well to the conditions and continued to dominate proceedings after the restart. An effective kick-and-chase game and good close driving by the forwards kept up field position and pressure. This was rewarded by two more Dan Retter penalties.


An Ollie Pyne burst over the gain line set up a handling move, which ended with Cameron Grainger crossing in the left corner but the referee had spotted a forward pass.


A lineout catch-and-drive play set up a series of rucks advancing to the try line, where Jack Pyne dived over near the posts to leave Dan Retter with a routine conversion kick.


When the Chiefs won the ball at another Kingsbridge lineout inside the Sidmouth 22, Sione Livai and Ollie Pyne combined to take the ball forward before linking with the backs. Quick handing set Zac Bess on a run down the left. He was stopped deep inside the 22 but, once again the Chiefs were penalised with the line in sight.


As the game entered injury time, the Chiefs were penalised on their own 10 metre line and the scrum half took a quick tap penalty. He cut through the retreating defence and found support from a centre, who finished the move off. The successful conversion was followed by the final whistle.





 Despite the inclement weather, a good crowd were in attendance at the Blackmore Field for the annual Boxing Day game and were treated to a close and entertaining encounter before heavy rain brought matters to a premature conclusion.


A strong President’s team had been assembled to take on the in-form Chiefs and, with the wind at their backs, they started strongly. However, the Chiefs revival has been founded on a strong, well-organised defence, and they could not find a way through.


Sidmouth eventually broke out, when a loose ball was hacked on and James Powell followed up to dribble it on into the opposing 22. The President’s cleared up the initial danger before the Chiefs were awarded a scrum on the 22-metre line. Josh Bess broke from the base and sent Cameron Grainger through a gap. The scrum half found Ben Pratt in support to race in for the opening try, which was unconverted.


The Chiefs were soon back on the attack and earned a lineout just inside the 22. Josh Bess made the catch and a driving maul was set up. When the ball was released, Cameron Grainger exploited a gap on the blindside to run in for try number 2, also unconverted.


The President’s enjoyed another period of pressure but could not turn it into points. Once again, a dropped pass enabled the ball to be hacked upfield to put the Chiefs on the attack once again. James Powell ran a good angle to cut through and touch down but the referee ruled the final pass to have been forward.


As the President’s were progressing upfield, a loose chip ahead went straight into the hands of Rory O’Brien, who found an empty field in front of him. He sprinted in from halfway and converted his own try.


In first half injury time, Cameron Grainger again found space on the blindside of a driving maul to send Luke Bess on a run down the touchline. He still had plenty to do but left two defenders in his wake before touching down in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the halftime score at 22-0.


The President’s regained possession from the restart kick and were soon pressing inside the Sidmouth 22. This time they turned the pressure into points with a pushover try touched down by Ollie Rice and converted by Tom Whelan.


The President’s had gained the upper hand in the scrums and began to make it tell as the conditions worsened. Aaron Bagwell dived over from the base of a ruck on the line and the conversion reduced the arrears to eight points.


The Chiefs needed to halt the slide and did so, when they kicked for a lineout deep inside the opposing 22. They set up a driving maul and Ben Halford peeled off to be pushed over for an unconverted try.


The President’s soon regained control and George Meadows cut through a gap in the centre for an unconverted try.


Jay Wright finished off a good handling move for Tom Whelan to convert from the touchline to cut the lead to one point before the referee decided that conditions were too bad to continue.




With such a convincing score-line, defence would not be expected to feature prominently in the match report. However, it was the outstanding Sidmouth defence which laid the foundation for victory, while some clinical finishing decided the margin.


Wadebridge had as much possession as the Chiefs and showed equal ambition with the ball in hand, but could not find a way through or around the determined and well-marshalled defence until deep into injury time. Indeed, such was the effectiveness of the home defence that Wadebridge could barely penetrate, let alone gain a foothold, inside the Sidmouth 22.


The visitors kicked off in good conditions and the opening stages were evenly contested until Rory O’Brien found space on the blindside of a ruck to burst upfield into the opposing 22. The forwards took over to advance the ball through a series of rucks before the ball was released to the backs with a big overlap to the left. Luke Wells-Burr applied the finishing touch for Dan Retter to kick the first of seven out of seven conversions.


Midway through the half, Wells-Burr was in action again on the end of a fluent handling move. He was eventually tackled just short of the line but Sione Livai was on hand to force his way over from the base of the resulting ruck.


When Rory O’Brien fielded a loose clearance kick on halfway, he initiated a handling move, which sent Ethan Mead sprinting over in the left corner. Then, in first half injury time, Ethan Mead scooped up a loose ball to embark on a solo run to touch down for a bonus point fourth try.


The Chiefs kicked off the second half and immediately regained possession to set up camp inside the Wadebridge 22. The defence was solid until Sidmouth were awarded a penalty. Dan Retter took a quick tap and found Rory O’Brien in support to sprint over for try number five.


The Chiefs were soon back on the attack and a series of rucks near the line stretched the defence. Ethan Mead came off his wing to cut through a gap in the centre and complete his hattrick. The 18-year old Devon Colt has now scored nine tries in his debut season.


With ten minutes to go, a laboured handling move seemed to be well covered until Luke Wells-Burr cut inside and weaved his way in under the posts from 40 metres out.


With Wadebridge attacking strongly, Nick Mills was yellow carded for stopping a driving maul illegally. Despite strong resistance, Wadebridge kept up the pressure and eventually made the extra man count, when a forward burst over following a move from a five-metre scrum. The successful conversion was followed by the final whistle.