The Chiefs were unfortunate to meet Exeter University at almost full strength and paid the penalty for a lacklustre start. However, Penryn’s defeat by Okehampton means they are assured of Western Counties rugby next season.


The Chiefs kicked off in good conditions with a strong easterly cross wind. They were on the attack, when a pass was intercepted giving the initative to the University. The full back took a pass at full pace on the blindside of a ruck and cut through to run in from 30 metres out. He added the conversion to his own try.


A second try followed a few minutes later. This time it came at the end of a top quality move in which there were three offloads in contact, which would have challenged any defence. The inside centre finished the move off, but the try was unconverted.


The University kept up the pressure and scored a third try on the quarter hour mark. The number eight made the running from broken play and the full back provided the finishing touch. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.


Midway through the half, the Chiefs woke up and showed they could also play rugby. Dan Rugg picked up a  loose ball to initiate a move carried on by Dan Retter and Dan Swain to take play into the opposing 22. A fluent move along the backline soon followed to give Rory O’Brien a run up the wing.


With the Chiefs growing in confidence, a try eventually came. When the ball was turned over near the University 22, Dan Swain made the breakthrough and James Powell was on hand to finish off. Sam Cavin added the conversion.


In the closing minutes, a quick tap penalty by Aaron Bagwell caught the defence napping and James Powell capitalised with a fine break to score a second try. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score remained 12-17 at halftime.


In the second half, the University tightened up their game. They held the upper hand in the set pieces leaving the Chiefs to live off scraps of possession. Fifteen minutes into the half, they increased their lead following a five metre scrum, when the inside centre cut through from a scissiors move with his fly half. The conversion opened up a 12 point gap.


The Chiefs almost cut the deficite against the run of play, when Luke Wells-Burr hacked on a loose ball from his own 22. He followed up to hack on again into the 22. As the ball approached the try line, he collided with a covering player. Both fell to the ground. Rory O’Brien was first to the ball and touched down but the referee adjudged there had been a knock on and awarded a scrum to the University.


In the closing minutes, the University full back completed his hattrick, and the scoring, after a long period of pressure inside the Sidmouth 22.