Chiefs gain bonus point win against Bridgwater


Fifteen minutes into this game the Chiefs had secured a try bonus point with some scintillating rugby. Their game then became error strewn and this, together with a high penalty count, allowed Bridgwater to gain the ascendancy. By midway through the second half the game was very much in the balance, when a strong finish and two red cards for the visitors enabled them to regain control.

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Three minutes into the game, played in perfect conditions, the Chiefs won a lineout just inside the Bridgwater half. The ball was moved along the backline with James Powell joining at pace from full back. He cut through and timed his pass perfectly to send Sam Meadham in for the opening score. Tom Whelan added the conversion, as he did for all six Sidmouth tries.

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Whelan was next to cross the whitewash when he dummied his way over following a ruck near the line after a powerful Jack Pyne run had started the move in his own half. Another Jack Pyne run paved the way for try number three. Tom Whelan started the attack after fielding a kick in his own 22 and Matt Goss finished things off. James Powell ensured the bonus point when he followed up a Tom Whelan kick. The ball was knocked on and Powell gathered the loose ball to stroll in unopposed. In between all this action the Bridgwater fly half kicked two penalties.

As the Chiefs game began to slip, Bridgwater gradually gained in confidence and a period of pressure was rewarded with an opportunist try by the right winger when a kick bounce favourably for him. The conversion was unsuccessful. 

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In the final minute of the half the Chiefs increased their lead when Ollie Pyne combined with Matt Goss on the blindside of a scrum to create a try for Tom Whelan. His conversion made the halftime score 35-11.

The visitors took control after the restart as Sidmouth’s game deteriorated. Eventually the referee lost patience with the mounting penalty count and sent Ollie Pyne to the sin bin. While the influential number eight was off the field Bridgwater scored two tries, and only luck and a piece of good defending prevented a third.

The hooker peeled off a lineout maul to dive over, then the number five forced his way over from close range after a long period of pressure. Both tries were converted. An interception in the centre looked certain to bring a try under the posts but the player tripped five metres short. Then a Sam Meadham tackle took man and ball to snuff out another dangerous move.

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The balance of the game swung back in favour of Sidmouth when a Bridgwater forward was sent off for stamping in a ruck. A Tom Whelan penalty was followed by a second try for James Powell after breaks by Ollie Pyne and Chris Higgs has paved the way.

In the closing minutes a second Bridgwater player was sent off for a dangerous tackle.