Errors prove costly for Chiefs at Cullompton


The Chiefs paid the penalty for an error strewn performance at Stafford Park despite scoring two tries to one. After a bright start, too many dropped passes, missed touch kicks and poor decision making gave the initiative to Cullompton, allowing them to dominate for long periods through the middle part of the game. Superb defence around the fringes by Jack Pyne and Josh Bess, and three try-saving tackles by Tom Hodge kept their side in touch and earned them a bonus point at the death.

Sidmouth started where they left off the week before to pressurize the home side in the opening stages. The good work was rewarded with a Tom Seward try after 15 minutes. The left winger came into midfield to cut through the centre and score by the posts after Jack Pyne had made good ground from the back of a lineout. Tom Whelan added the conversion.

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Straight from the restart kick Cullompton reduced the arrears with a well struck penalty.

The Sidmouth backs started with six changes in personnel or position from the previous week, so a lack of cohesion was understandable. As the mistakes mounted so Cullompton gradually gained in confidence and took control. Despite considerable pressure, the Chiefs defence was well organised and held firm. Cullompton’s only reward was a second penalty in first half injury time to make the score 7-6 at the break.

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Cullompton retained the initiative after the restart but continued to meet stubborn resistance from the Sidmouth defence. After a long period of pressure, they had to settle for a drop goal to put them in the lead.

The Chiefs produced the occasional promising move and twice opened up the defence only for a wayward pass to halt their progress.

Another period of sustained pressure on the Sidmouth line eventually produced a try for the home side, when a forward crashed over from close range. The conversion opened up a nine point gap.

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The Chiefs finished the game strongly and were rewarded with a Jack Pyne try in injury time to earn a bonus point. Jonny Hamill had a dart down the blind side of a scrum drawing the winger into the tackle. From the resulting ruck, Dukes man-of-the-match Pyne was on hand to pick up and stroll in down the unmarked blindside.

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