Chiefs defeat Okehampton

SIDMOUTH 1st XV  32  V  OKEHAMPTON  17

 The Chiefs continued their good run of home form with a well-deserved bonus point win against Okehampton.

Despite heavy rain during the week, the conditions were good, allowing the talented Sidmouth backs to flourish. Okehampton, with a good backline of their own, contributed to an open and entertaining game.

The visitors started strongly and Sidmouth’s cause was not helped when Rhys Thomas was yellow carded after just four minutes for handling in a ruck.A few minutes later, Okehampton made good use of the advantage in numbers to score a pushover try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

The Chiefs responded well with a move of great continuity started when Dwight Pansegrouw burst out of his own 22 to the halfway line. With the backs handling well and the forwards recycling the ball quickly, the ball was progressed deep into the Okehampton 22. From a ruck near the line, Dwight Pansegrouw forced his way over for an equalizing try. Dan Retter’s conversion gave his side a lead they would not lose.

The resulting restart kick failed to travel the required 10 metres, giving the Chiefs a scrum on halfway. Rhys Thomas at number eight transferred the ball direct to fly half Dan Retter. His pass found Tom Seward in space on the left. He made ground into the 22 before passing inside to George Locke, who sprinted over for a try converted by Retter.

A third try soon followed when the Chiefs won a lineout near the opposing 22. Sam Meadham came off his wing to join the line between the centres. He burst through the middle and Dan Powell provided the link to send Giles Dixon over in the corner.

Dan Retter added a penalty before Okehampton reduced the arrears in first half injury time. From a tap penalty move inside the Sidmouth 22, they set up a maul and drove over the line for the number seven to get the touchdown. The try was converted to make the halftime score 22-12.

Okehampton started the second half strongly when they regained possession from the restart kick. A good handling move almost produced a score from their powerful left winger, but he had put a foot in touch just short of the line.

The Chiefs relieved the pressure before coming close to scoring at the other end. Giles Dixon fielded a clearance kick and found Dwight Pansegrouw in support., but his strong run was ended a few metres short of the line.

Dan Retter extended the lead with a second penalty, and minutes later the Okehampton number eight was sent to the sin bin for a technical offence near his line. The Chiefs continued to press and were rewarded with a bonus point fourth try when Christian Goddard charged down an attempted clearance kick. The ball rebounded over the goalline and Tom Seward won the chase for the touchdown. Dan Retter added the conversion.

After only two minutes on as a replacement, Hayden Watene was shown the yellow card for handling in a ruck. Both sides finished the game a man short when an Okehampton forward followed him to the bin after a fine Sidmouth move took play the length of the field, with George Lock and Giles Dixon doing most of the running. However, it was the visitors who completed the scoring with an injury time try. Following some good handling, the right winger kicked ahead and the scrum half won the chase to touch down an unconverted try.

The Dukes man-of-the-match was Giles Dixon.