Chiefs lose at Wellington

 

WELLINGTON 1st XV  27  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  15

 

Forward power paved the way for Wellington’s bonus point win, which ensures they avoid relegation. The Sidmouth backs showed glimpses of their capability, but lacked enough front foot ball to rescue the game.

 

With a strong cross-field wind, the Wellington game plan was to kick for position and let the pack apply pressure in the Sidmouth half. This they did successfully. The four tries required no more than ten metres of running in total by the scorers. In contrast, the Chiefs had no kicking game and were unable to sustain pressure in the opposing 22 for any length of time for much of the game.

 

The opening play gave no indication of what was to come as the Sidmouth backs and forwards combined well to take play through several phases 70 metres downfield. Then,  in the fifth minute, James Powell intercepted a loose pass and put Tom Seward in space. His well-timed pass sent Charlie Cotton in for the opening score. The try was unconverted.

 

Wellington almost scored twice in quick succession when a long diagonal kick caught the Sidmouth defence out of position. However, they quickly regrouped to stop first the right winger and then the left winger just short of the line. The pressure was eventually rewared with a penalty kicked by the fly half.

 

A Dan Retter penalty restored his side’s five point lead before Wellington took control for the second quarter.

 

The Chiefs managed to prevent a score from a lineout catch-and-drive play, but Wellington maintained the pressure near the line until the loose head prop forced his way over for a try converted by the fly half.

 

Five minutes later the same player powered his way over from five metres out for an unconverted try.

 

Wellington were soon back on the attack but the Chiefs held them out to leave the half time score at 8-15.

 

Five minutes into the second half, the Sidmouth backs found some space on halfway to set up a handling move to send Ben Salter sprinting up the left wing. He was stopped short of the line, but the forwards followed up to set up Jack Madge on a drive over the line. Dan Retter’s conversion levelled the scores.

 

Wellington replied almost immediately, when the scrum half dummied his way into the Sidmouth 22. The forwards were quickly in support to set up a driving maul. When it was brought down close to the line, the referee awarded a penalty try, which was duly converted.

 

Midway through the half Wellington increased their lead with a pushover try touched down by the number eight.

 

A flare up resulted in a player from each side being yellow carded and missing the final ten minutes of the game. This seemed to galvanise the Chiefs.

 

A 50 metre run from his own 22 by Charlie Cotton put the Chiefs on the attack. A break by Harry Chesterton was supported by Tristan Beavis, who sent James Powell sprinting for the line, but he was overhauled by the cover defence. The Chiefs maintained the pressure on the Wellington line, where Christian Edbrooke was held up. A minute later, a knock on was followed by the final whistle.