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.    




TRURO 1st XV 10  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  28


The Chiefs chalked up a third win in Cornwall to continue their rise up the league table. After a shaky start, they dominated much of the game in difficult conditions.


Overnight rain, a cold cross wind and frequent showers made life difficult for both teams, who did well to overcame the conditions and produce an entertaining game.


Truro made an excellent start after regaining possession from the kick off. They maintained possession through several phases. The Sidmouth defence proved resilient until the fifth minute, when Truro moved the ball quickly to an overlap on the left for the winger to sprint in at the corner for an unconverted try.


The Chiefs were soon on the attack at the other end, but a long period of pressure went unrewarded with Dan Retter uncharacteristically missing two kicks at goal. However, the fly half’s quick thinking eventually led to the Chiefs opening score. He took a quick tap penalty on the halfway line and the ball was quickly moved along the backline to Ethan Mead in space. He outpaced the cover and cut inside to touch down under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion.


The Chiefs continued to dominate territory and eventually, after a long period of pressure, Dan Retter dummied his way over following a ruck near the line. He converted his own try to make the halftime score 14-5.


Truro started the second half strongly and were soon pressing on the Sidmouth line. This time the defence held firm and, when the ball was knocked on, they started a counterattack, which took play from their own line into the Truro half.


The Sidmouth forwards had the Truro eight under pressure at two consecutive scrums inside the 22.  From the second, a move to the left was finished off by Sione Livai with a powerful drive over the line. Dan Retter converted.


Although the Chiefs continued to enjoy territorial advantage, they rarely looked like scoring a bonus point third try until two minutes from the end of normal time. Cameron Grainger, playing at flanker, made the initial break into the Truro 22 and the forwards were in quick support to carry the ball on through several phases until Sione Livai drove over for his second try, which was converted by Dan Retter.


Truro went on the attack straight from the restart kick and, deep into injury time scored a second try, when the outside centre cut through a gap to gallop over. The try was unconverted.    




SIDMOUTH 1st XV  40  v  BURNHAM-ON-SEA 1st XV  10


The Chiefs consolidated their sixth place in the league with this win against bottom placed Burnham-on-Sea. But, it wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline would suggest. Burnham’s aggression in the tackle and at the breakdown unsettled the Chiefs. The absence of Henry Thomas at hooker also resulted in problems securing their own lineout possession until they sorted matters out in the second half.


The Chiefs started brightly and were soon pressing in the Burnham half and were rewarded with the opening score. Sam Meadham joined the line from his wing to create the initial opening. The forwards were quickly in support to progress the ball through a series of rucks until Haydon Down was driven over for a try converted by Dan Retter, who was again deadly accurate, kicking five out of six conversions.


The Burnham restart kick went direct into touch and Luke Wells-Burr came into the line at the resulting scrum to break through the first line of defence. He drew the full back and sent Sam Meadham in under the posts.


Any thoughts of an easy romp were soon dispelled as the visitors got the kick right this time to put themselves on the attack. The pressure was rewarded with a penalty kicked by the fly half.


A good handling move put Burnham on the attack again and the Sidmouth defence was given a stern test, which they passed until a penalty enable them to clear upfield.


When the Chiefs turned over possession at a ruck inside their own half, excellent handling and support play created a try for Ethan Mead on the left wing.


Burnham finished the half strongly, pressing near the Sidmouth line. Josh Bess and Matt Farrington were yellow carded in quick succession and Burnham should have scored, when they created an overlap for their right winger, but the last pass was forward, and he was recalled. The halftime whistle followed with the score at 21-3.         


With Sidmouth still down to 13 men, Burnham started the second half as they had finished the first, but when they dropped the ball on the Sidmouth 22, Ethan Mead kicked it on and followed up to scoop it up and outpace the cover to touch down under the posts.


Even with the Chiefs restored to a full fifteen, Burnham continued to enjoy territorial advantage but could not break down the Sidmouth defence.


With ten minutes to go, the Chiefs eventually managed to work their way into the opposing 22. Good approach work by the pack, and a break by Ben Pratt, opened up the defence before good handling along the backline sent Ethan Mead in for his hattrick.


A few minutes later, a strong run by Haydon Down took play back into the Burnham 22, where Rory O’Brien finished off a slick handling move for the only unconverted try.


Burnham finished the game on the attack and were rewarded with a consolation try scored by the outside centre on the end of a tap penalty move. The fly half added the conversion to complete the scoring.





A good crowd was in attendance to see the Chiefs defy the gluepot surface to produce a champagne performance of 15-man rugby. The nil was as satisfying as the 67 for Torquay certainly had their moments but could not penetrate the increasingly impressive Sidmouth defence.


The Chiefs showed their intent right from the kick off with a fine handling move, which put them in an attacking position. Torquay were penalised and Dan Retter opened the scoring with the first of ten successful kicks out of eleven.


Torquay went straight on to the offensive from the restart kick, but five minutes of pressure went unrewarded. When the Chiefs eventually turned over possession and broke out into Torquay territory, Dan Retter kicked a second penalty.


Two minutes later, from a scrum on halfway, Rory O’Brien came from the right wing to take the ball in the fly half position to set up Harry Chesterton on a break through the centre. He was supported by Ben Pratt and O’Brien was on hand to run in under the post.


The forwards won the ball at a Torquay lineout to provide the backs with time and space. Quick handling put Ethan Mead in space on the left wing and the prolific youngster outpaced the defence to score in the corner. The scorer then turned provide, when he joined the line in the centre. He was tackled short of the line but Dan Retter was on hand to pick up and dart over for try number four.


Rory O’Brien scored a second try, when he followed up a Luke Wells-Burr kick. The Torquay winger dropped the ball as he was tackled, and the right winger gathered it up to run in at the corner unopposed.


In the closing stages of the half, another handling error by the visitors was punished by a counterattack finished off by Ethan Mead. The halftime score was 41-0.


Torquay rallied to have the better of territorial advantage during the opening ten minutes of the second half. They stemmed the flow of Sidmouth points but could not make an impression on the well-organised defence.


When the Chiefs regained some fluency in their play, they advanced the ball through several phases until Johnny Hamill found a gap on the blindside of a ruck 5 metres out to dart over under the posts.


Torquay dominated proceedings through the middle of the half, but, despite the loss of Nick Mills to the sin bin, the Chiefs kept their line intact.


Like George Foreman in the “rumble in the jungle”, they eventually punched themselves out and the Chiefs ran in three tries in the closing minutes.


Jack Pyne scored twice, first bursting over from a ruck near the line, then he peeled off a driving maul to crash over. The latter being the only unconverted try.


Deep into injury time, Sione Livai put the finishing touch to a handling move following a quick lineout throw.