Chiefs bounce back with victory over Torquay

SIDMOUTH 1st XV  19pts  v  TORQUAY ATHLETIC 1st XV  6pts

The Chiefs deservedly gained their first league win of the season with a much improved performance against Torquay. With more patience and composure in attacking positions, it might have been a bonus point victory such was their dominance in the first half and the closing stages.

The introduction of Nick Mills and Rhys Thomas, making their first starts for the season, added much needed experience and leadership to the pack, while 17 year old Dan Powell produced a promising performance at fly half. He got the line moving effectively and his kicking out of hand had both the accuracy and depth to keep Torquay on the back foot.

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Sidmouth kicked off and quickly regained possession to set up camp in the opposing 22. The pressure created opportunities, which were not taken. However, they deservedly took the lead after ten minutes thanks to a Dan Powell penalty.

The Chiefs continued to enjoy territorial advantage but lacked the control in the set pieces to press home the advantage until Tom Seward and Joe Briggs combined to take play deep into the Torquay 22, where the visitors conceded a lineout. The forwards won clean ball to set up a maul, which they drove over the line for Hayden Watene to touch down for an unconverted try.

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Just before halftime Will Siddle crossed the line after good work by the forwards, but lost possession in the tackle. However, the pressure was rewarded with a second Dan Powell penalty in injury time.

After the restart, Torquay began to benefit from their strong scrummaging, and a rising Sidmouth penalty count, to exert pressure in the Sidmouth half for the first time. The home defence remained strong and Torquay had to be content with a penalty.

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This was soon matched by a third Dan Powell penalty, before the Torquay scrum half kicked a second one to keep his side in contention going into the final quarter.

With ten minutes to go, victory was sealed for the Chiefs by a fine individual try from George Locke. The young centre had just moved to full back , when a Torquay clearance kick gave him space down the left with support on hand. He sold a couple of dummies on a 50 metre run to the corner. The try was unconverted.

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The Chiefs finished on the attack thanks to a powerful Will Siddle run following a turnover on half way.

The Dukes man-of-the-match was Dan Powell.