Depleated Chiefs bonus point performance at Camborne


The Chiefs arrived in Cornwall as a team in disarray and departed a few hours later with heads held high, and a bonus point, after a performance which typified all that is great about the game of rugby: courage, determination, skill and a willingness to fight to the very end for the shirt they are wearing and the other guys wearing it. Only seventeen players could be mustered to travel, and eight of those had made just 18 league appearances between them this season, mostly of those off the bench.

After the first half hour it seemed as if Camborne, lying second in the league and with a 100% home record, were going to run up a big score as they crossed for their third try. However, from then on the Chiefs matched them point for point with a superb display of Barbarian style rugby, spearheaded by the African contingent of Dwight Pansegrouw and Alva Senderayi. Between them they scored three tries and made the fourth. But, despite their men-of-the-match heroics, this was a real team effort.

The first quarter was all Camborne as the Chiefs were still finishing their introductions. They opened the scoring with a penalty after five minutes and followed up with a soft try straight from the restart with a move started from near their own goal line. Another penalty and a try by the left winger at the end of a counterattack from a loose clearance kick soon followed. Try number three was scored by the right winger after a turnover on the Sidmouth 22.The try was converted.

Despite the one way traffic, there were signs that the Sidmouth side were not going to lie down. Pansegrouw, Senderayi and Stuart Bickerstaff in the centre had troubled the opposition with penetrating runs, and in defence Bickerstaff and wingers Sam Cummins and Dan Colson had made important man-and-ball tackles to stop dangerous overlaps. When Alva Senderayi followed up a Dan Retter kick and benefitted from a favourable bounce to score in the right corner, it certainly marked the end of the beginning.

In first half injury time the Camborne pack rumbled over from a lineout catch-and-drive to notch up their try bonus point and make the halftime score 5-23.

The second half was a much more even contest and a thoroughly entertaining 40 minutes as both sides played open rugby with play moving from end to end. The Chiefs were first to score after 12 minutes, when Jonny Hamill made a half break around the tail of a lineout on the Camborne 22. The ball was quickly recycled and Alva Senderayi appeared in the centre to cut through and leave a trail of defenders in his wake on his way to the line.

A Camborne penalty was quickly followed by Sidmouth’s third try. After good driving by the forwards, Tom Irish made inroads to the left of a ruck before the ball was switched to the right where Dwight Pansegrouw beat two defenders on his way to the line.   

In the middle of the half, both sides had a player yellow carded in a very competitive encounter. Camborne capitalised on the extra man when the number 4 peeled off a lineout maul to crash over for a converted try. With two minutes of normal time to go, the same player finished off a good handling move for a second try. Then, in injury time, Dwight Pansegrouw broke down the right of a ruck and timed his pass perfectly to send Tom Whelan in for a well-deserved bonus point try.


Chiefs tame exit from Devon Senior Cup


The gulf between the South West league and National Three was shown by this comfortable win, which sees Barnstaple progress to the final of the Devon Senior Cup.

On a wet, slippery surface, on which mistakes were inevitable, Barnstaple made fewer and, crucially dominated the scrums. They opted to play with the stiff breeze at their backs in the first half and, with a monopoly of possession, kept the Chiefs pinned inside their own half for much of the time.

The visitors looked certain to open the scoring after eight minutes, when they created an overlap for the right winger, but a superb last ditch tackle by Ben Dobson denied him. However, they maintained the attacking position to earn a five metre scrum. After four resets the referee lost patience with the Sidmouth front row and awarded a penalty try and a yellow card to James Perry. The try was converted.

Barnstaple used their extra man to good effect, when they ran back a wayward clearance kick to create a try for the outside centre.

The Chiefs showed some defensive heroics with Sam Meadham tackling man and ball to stifle a two man overlap, and James Powell falling on the ball under his own posts to clear up a dangerous kick ahead. However they could not prevent two more tries. The right winger profited from a break by the number seven and the full back finished off a move following a turnover at a ruck just outside the Sidmouth 22.

Showing commendable spirit, the Chiefs had their best spell at the end of the half to keep the ball through many phases as they pressed on the Barum line. Tom Whelan and Sam Meadham both went close before Matt Farrington provided the scoring pass to Jack Pyne. The try was unconverted making the halftime score 5-22.

Despite now playing into the breeze, the Barnstaple pack dominated proceedings to keep play in the Sidmouth half. After five minutes they mauled their way over for their fifth try.

The Chiefs produced a good handling move to take play into the opposing 22, but could not sustain the position. Following a number of scrums near the Sidmouth line, during which  Matt Lovesy was yellow carded, Barnstaple eventually scored a pushover try, which was converted.

The Chiefs managed to work their way into an attacking position and this time scored a well-deserved second try. Matt Farrington followed up a Dan Retter chip ahead to profit from a bounce off the post to pick up and dive over. Tom Whelan kicked the conversion.

Barnstaple added a seventh try in injury time, when the right winger won the chase for a diagonal kick. The conversion was the final decisive act of the game.     


Sidmouth struggled to cope with Bridgwater

Bridgwater & Albion 15  Sidmouth 6

Missing some key forwards,Sidmouth struggled to cope with a robust Bridgwater team who have shown steady improvement over the course of the season.With the slight slope and breeze in their favour, Bridgwater's tactics were straight forward-kick to the corners and follow up with a catch and drive from the line-out. This kept Sidmouth pinned in their twenty-two for long periods and it was only good tackling, in which Dwight Pansegrouw was prominent,that restricted Bridgwater to two tries.A penalty and conversion for the home team and a solitary penalty by Tom Whelan for Sidmouth, produced a half-time score of 15-3 in favour of Bridgwater.

With the benefit of the elements in the second half Sidmouth enjoyed greater territorial advantage. Strong runs by Ollie Pyne,Ben Salter and Glen Channing produced half chances but the home defence were just strong enough to deny Sidmouth a try. Sidmouth turned down a couple of easily kickable penalties in a determined effort to cross the try-line and this probably cost them a losing bonus point but there was no denying that Bridgwater were worth the victory.

Injury-hit Chiefs suffer heavy defeat to Old Reds


Injury-hit Chiefs were unfortunate to meet the Old Redcliffians on top form. An extensive injury list and work commitments forced ten changes from the side which beat Thornbury the previous week. Despite the disruption, a full strength team would have been hard-pressed against the ruthlessly efficient league leaders.

Few of the eleven tries were conceded easily as the Sidmouth players covered and tackled with great determination. They simply ran out of defenders under relentless pressure. The home side’s close support play, ability to offload in the tackle and quick recycling at the breakdown was outstanding. And on the occasions the Chiefs produced good moves of their own, they met a defence determined to give nothing away.

Playing down the slope, the Chiefs started brightly enough, pushing Old Reds back into their own half and forcing a couple of mistakes. But, when the outside centre made a clean break from halfway to create the opening try for the left winger, the potential danger was clear. The full back kicked the first of seven conversions from the touchline.

The scrum half scored the second try a few minutes later after a period of intense pressure inside the Sidmouth 22. Then the Chiefs showed their attacking potential when Zac Bess made a fine break before linking with Ben Dobson to take play deep into the Old Reds 22, but a penalty ended the move.

In the middle of the half Old Reds added two tries from accurate handling and quick recycling and then a fifth from a pushover of a five metre scrum. The Chiefs then had their best period of the half, keeping pressure in the opposing 22. The forwards, with James Perry to the fore, drove strongly before Jason Luff came close to scoring from a quick tap penalty. They were eventually rewarded with a Dan Retter penalty.

Old Reds finished the half strongly and the left winger went over for his second try in injury time to make the half time score 3-38.

Old Reds took their score over the 50 mark with two tries in quick succession after the break, before Alva Senderayi broke out of his own 22 with a powerful run to put his side on the offensive for a brief spell.

With the slope in their favour, Old Reds were soon back on the attack and added three more tries. Despite the scoreline, the Chiefs heads never dropped and they finished the game strongly. Half time replacement Jonny Hamill was influential at scrum half, with some probing runs and quick service to his backs. An excellent handling move sent Zac Bess sprinting for the corner but he was brought down a metre short of a deserved consolation try.   


Four league points for Chiefs


Three well executed tries were enough to earn Sidmouth four league points and their second away win of the season. Playing up the slope in the first half Sidmouth's man to man marking let them down on occasions, allowing Oldfield to score two tries for 12-0 lead. Sidmouth replied with a Tom Whelan penalty and then on the stroke of half-time produced an excellent try. Jack Pyne ripped the ball away from the opposition in his own twenty-two and sent brother Ollie on a powerful run up the left hand touch line'supported by Chris Higgs. The ball was moved in-field where skipper Alan Hubbleday committed the midfield defence, creating enough space outside for Glen Channing to dummy his way through and show enough acceleration to take him the remaining 40 metres to the line. Whelan converted for a  half-time score of 12-10 in favour of Oldfield.

Eleven minutes into the second half Sidmouth took the lead from a set-piece line-out move.Channing and Dwight Pansegrouw combined powerfully in the centre to make the initial break and second row Chris Courtier showed impressive mobility to be on hand to complete the touch down. As the game progressed Sidmouth's front row of Matt Lovesey, James Perry and Hubbleday began to dominate their opposite numbers and when they secured a strike against the head centre Jason Luff was quick to exploit a gap in the Oldfield defence, taking play to within 5 metres of the try line.After a couple of rucks Jack Pyne was on hand to blast his way over from short range. Whelan converted for a comfortable ten point lead.There was still time for Oldfield to respond with a converted try of their own but when they turned down a kickable penalty in an attempt to score another try the Sidmouth forwards secured possession and the ball was kicked deep down field. In the ensuing scramble Oldfield were penalised and Tom Whelan converted for a final score of 25-19 to Sidmouth. The Man of the Match Award went to Glen Channing.

Next week the Chiefs travel to Bridgewater for a re-arranged league game.