Chiefs defeat Wadebridge for second league win


The Chiefs produced a sparkling first half performance to record their second league win of the season. However, they will be disappointed not have gone on to secure a bonus point in an error-strewn second half. 

The speedy back row of Stuart Bickerstaff, Dwight Pansegrouw and Will Siddle provided the platform with strong running constantly breaking the gain line and forthright tackling in defence. Pansegrouw, in his first appearance of the season, made light of any jet lag in an all-action display of controlled aggression to earn the Dukes man-of-the-match award. A generally solid scrum provided them with a solid platform from which to work. Meanwhile the backs provided the finishing touch for three top quality tries.

There was little sign of things to come, when the visitors took the lead with a well-constructed try in the second minute. When they won a Sidmouth throw at the first lineout, they drove up the midield before switching the ball back to the left. Good handling found the number seven on the overlap to sprint in at the corner. The try was unconverted.

The Chiefs were soon back on level terms, when James Salter fielded a long 22 drop out and drove forward to set up a ruck on halfway. The ball was quickly recycled and Dan Powell broke through the first line of defence before transfer the ball along the line. The young fly half then pop up in support to send Giles Dixon clear to put the finishing touch.

The Chiefs continued to dominate proceedings, with the backs looking threatening and stretching the Wadebridge defence. The pressure was eventually rewarded with a Dan Powell penalty to take the lead.

The lead was extended with two tries in quick succession in the closing minutes of the half. Charlie Cotton fielded a clearance kick just inside his own half to start a counterattack. He linked with full back Luke Bess before Tom Hodge made the decisive break and George Locke finished the move off.

In injury time, Stuart Bickerstaff broke down the blindside of a scrum on his own 10 metre line. He made good ground before Dwight Pansegrouw provided the link to send Charlie Cotton clear up the right touchline. Dan Powell added the conversion for a 20-5 halftime lead. 

The second half was a disappointing affair. A series of unforced errors, and the concession of too many penalties, gave the initiative to the visitors. Wadebridge monopolised possession and drove the ball well through the phases. However, they could make little headway against the well-marshalled Sidmouth defence. Play was confined mainly between halfway and the home 22. On the few occasions they got near the Sidmouth line, the defence held firm. A try-saving tackle by Charlie Cotton smuffed out the one serious threat.