SIDMOUTH 1st XV  57  v  KINGSBRIDGE 1st XV  10


A 32-point contribution from Rory O’Brien was the icing on the cake of a splendid team performance, which was anything but cut and dry midway through the second half, with the visitors camped on the Sidmouth line.


This was an excellent game of rugby in which both sides showed great skill and ambition on a slippery surface. Once again, a superbly marshalled defence, the ability wear sides down and take opportunities when they present themselves produced a score-line which did not reflect the contribution of the opposition.   


The Chiefs went straight onto the attack from the kick off and were soon rewarded with a Rory O’Brien penalty. O’Brien was in the action again a few minutes later, when he intercepted on halfway and sprinted clear for a try, which he also converted.


Kingsbridge opened their account with a penalty kicked by the full back after they had tested the Sidmouth defence for several minutes.


The Chiefs extended their lead midway through the half with a fine handling move finished off by replacement Johnny Hamill. Rory O’Brien added the conversion.


Sidmouth continued to dominate play to score a third try after the ball had been progressed through many phases stretching the defence. Aaron Down dived over from a ruck near the line. The try was unconverted.


Much of the remainder of the half was played in Sidmouth territory but Kingsbridge could not add to their score and halftime arrived with Sidmouth leading 22-3.


Kingsbridge started the second half as they had finished the first and this time they were rewarded with a try. A powerful maul from a lineout sucked in defenders and quick handling exploited an overlap for the left winger to score in the corner. The outside centre converted from the touchline.


The visitors were soon back on the attack and pressed hard in the Sidmouth 22 for the next ten minutes but could not find a way through the well-marshalled home defence. Had they scored, the game could have had a very different outcome. However, eventually an error enabled the Chiefs to clear the ball upfield and force a lineout just inside the Kingsbridge half. The lineout was won, and George Locke broke through in the centre. He drew the full back before sending Rory O’Brien sprinting in under the posts leaving a routine conversion.


This seemed to weaken the Kingsbridge resolve and four tries followed in the closing ten minutes.


Rory O’Brien completed his hattrick on the end of a counterattack from a loose clearance kick. Cameron Grainger finished off an intricate handling move down the left started inside the Sidmouth 22. Johnny Hamill scored his second try after a Sam Meadham break had initiated another handling move. And, when Josh Bess peeled away from a maul on halfway to sprint into the 22, George Jarman was on hand to put the finishing touch. All four tries were converted with the last on being followed by the final whistle.