Depleated Chiefs suffer heavy to St Austell

SIDMOUTH 1st XV  0  v  ST AUSTELL 1st XV  54 

A well-organised and skilful St Austell team would have been a handful on any day. For a severely weakened and inexperienced Sidmouth team it was mission impossible. The Chiefs offered little in attack and, but for a period of stubborn resistance in the middle of the second half, struggled to contain the persistent St Austell attacks.

The visitors kicked off in drizzly rain and were soon on the attack. It took them eight minutes to finds a way through the Sidmouth defence, when a well angled run by the number 6 took him over from close range. The conversion was the first of seven by the scrum half.

The Chiefs best move came 15 minutes into the half when an interception just outside their 22 led to a fine handling move, which took play deep into the opposing 22. Unfortunately they were penalised at a ruck, a quick tap penalty and kick ahead put St Austell on the attack again. A lineout catch-and-drive play resulted in a try for the number 7.

Despite some sterling defensive work by the Sidmouth back row of Rhys Thomas, Andrew Dare and debutant Tom Huggett, two more tries followed at regular intervals. The full back touched down after a solo run when he fielded a loose clearance kick, then the right winger finished off a slick move on the blindside of a scrum. The score at halftime was 0-28.

The visitors were restricted to just one more try in the next 35 minutes, a dart by the scrum half from close range after a long period of pressure. A fine try-saving tackle by replacement flanker Gavin Pearson was typical of the determined defence. But eventually the dam burst and St Austell ran in three tries in the closing five minutes against a tired and battered team.

Dukes man-of-the-match for the second time this season was scrum half Christian Goddard. The 17 year old showed dogged determination and great promise behind a beaten pack.