CHIEFS COMPLETE DOUBLE AT TORQUAY

TORQUAY ATHLETIC 1st XV  18  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  40

 

The Chiefs completed the double over Torquay in style. In contrast to the last minute single point victory at home, they eased away in the final quarter to record a comfortable bonus point win at the Recreation Ground.    

 

Despite the absence of four regular forwards from the squad, the pack provided a solid platform of possession for the backs to run in some excellent tries. For coach Tom Whelan, it will have been rewarding to see moves practiced on the training ground work to perfection in the heat of a game.

 

There was no hint of the final outcome when Torquay took the lead inside the first minute. They regained possession from their own kick off and a few strong runs later were winning a ruck on the Sidmouth line. Quick handling to an overlap on the left sent the winger over for an unconverted try.

 

The Chiefs got the wake up call and produced a fine handling move of their own to send Jeremy Massey-Birch on a run into the opposing 22, where Frank Helmer was held up just short of the line.

 

When another Torquay attack was repelled, the Chiefs used a quick tap penalty to set up a counterattack. James Powell kicked ahead and followed up to force a lineout just inside the Torquay 22. The lineout was won and the ball moved to the backs, where Powell cut through a gap and rounded the full back to touch down for a try, which was converted by Dan Retter.

 

The home side regained the lead with a penalty but a few minutes later, when they failed to find touch, Rory O’Brien ran the ball back and Sam Meadham provided the link to send James Powell in for his second try. The conversion was unsuccessful.

 

An exchange of penalties kept the scoreboard moving before Torquay set up seige on the Sidmouth line. The Sidmouth forwards did well to resist against two scrums and a series of rucks but, when Torquay were awarded a five metre scrum in front of the posts, a score seemed inevitable. However, the Chiefs pushed them back and forced a turnover enabling them to clear the danger. Halftime came with the score 15-11.

 

Four minutes into the second half the Chiefs won a scrum just inside the Torquay half and worked a set move to perfection, sending Rory O’Brien through a gap in the centre. He outsprinted the cover to score near the posts for Dan Retter to convert.

 

Torquay produced a good handling move of their own to create an overlap, which should have produced a try, but the final pass was not given. However, the damage was soon repaired when the number eight powered his way over from a five metre scrum. The conversion closed the deficit to four points once again.

 

The Chiefs scored another set piece try, when Chris Higgs came from the blindside wing to cut through the centre and race in under the posts. Dan Retter kicked the conversion and added a penalty a few minutes later.

 

The Chiefs were now in control and another slick threequarter move sent Luke Wells-Burr on a run up the left wing. He dived over in the corner despite the close attention of two defenders. The try was unconverted but there was enough time left for Dan Retter to kick another penalty and bring up 40 points.