Promising pre-season performance against Exeter Saracens


Sidmouth rugby players prepared for the new season last Thursday with a promising performance at the Blackmore Field against Exeter Saracens, scoring seven tries to none.

The match was played in four 20 minute quarters to enable both sides to play their full squads and give the coaches plenty of opportunity to assess their players and give necessary feedback.

Sidmouth dominated territory in the early stages. Dan Retter crossed the try line after five minutes but was recalled for an earlier forward pass. However, they kept up the pressure until Gavin Pearson broke on the blindside of a five metre scrum to send Johnny Hamill over for the opening score. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful and this remained the only score of the quarter despite a period of sustained pressure from Saracens, which tested the Sidmouth defence.

When the Sidmouth forwards turned over possession at a lineout early in the second quarter, Dan Rugg broke clear with the ball, which was then moved infield where Joe Briggs made the decisive break. George Locke was on hand to finish the move off. Dan Retter added the conversion.

Sidmouth went further ahead when Colts scrum half Harry Rumens darted over from a 5 metre scrum.

Two further tries followed in the third quarter, which was dominated by Sidmouth. George Locke scored his second after a break in the centre by Giles Dixon. Adam Squance converted. The second was a forward effort, when they drove over from a lineout catch and drive play. Dan Retter converted.

The visitors dominated the opening minutes of the final quarter but could not break down the Sidmouth defence. Eventually the ball was turned over at a ruck near the line and Josh Reed broke to the 22 before the ball was cleared up field.

When a Saracens kick failed to find touch, a Sidmouth counterattack was finished off by Jevon Astley-Jones for the try of the game. Dan Retter converted.

In the closing minutes Sidmouth turned over possession at a ruck on halfway and Rabbie Hansford put in a powerful burst before sending Charlie Cotton in for the final score.