Match Reports


PAIGNTON 1st XV  18  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  34


The Chiefs have reached the halfway stage of the league competition with an eleven-point lead over nearest rivals St Austell, who suffered a single point defeat at Kingsbridge, thanks to a bonus point win against old rivals Paignton.


At the start of the season most teams would have feared the Sidmouth backs on dry grounds but fancy their chances in more wintery conditions. However, thus was the third time the Chiefs have won in the rain and mud. And in this case a strong breeze straight down the pitch was another factor.


Paignton kicked off with the wind at their back, but it was the Chiefs who were quickest out of the blocks. Luke Wells-Burr broke out of his own 22 to set up a handling move taking play into the home 22, where the forwards took the ball through several phases until they were awarded a penalty. Rory O’Brien kicked the three points to open the scoring.


The Paignton fly half’s accurate kicking was their best weapon and he used it to good affect with a long punt for a lineout near the Sidmouth line. The Chiefs failed to secure possession and a Paignton forward latched on to the loose ball to dive over for an unconverted try.


Five minutes later the Chiefs regained the lead with an excellent team try. The forwards won a lineout on halfway to set up a maul, which they drove 30 metres into the Paignton 22. When the ball was released to the backs, Luke Wells- Burr joined the line to take an inside pass and cut through to set up a try for Cameron Grainger. Rory O’Brien added the conversion.


Using the wind to good advantage, Paignton enjoyed territorial advantage for much of the remainder of the half. They regained the lead with another opportunist try. A grubber kick by the fly half rebounded off a defender into the path of the left winger, who followed up to touch down in the left corner. The fly half converted to put his side in front once again.


The fly half added a penalty to give his side a 15-10 lead at halftime.


The Chiefs started the second half in the best possible way, when they regained possession straight from the kick off. They progressed the ball through many phases with powerful breaks by Tom Hodge and Tom Seward making dents in the defence. The finishing touch was applied by James Powell exploiting a gap from ten metres out. Rory O’Brien converted to retake the lead and added a penalty a few minutes later.


The Chiefs were soon back on the attack, defying the conditions with good handling and support play. George Jarman was held up over the line after another strong break by Tom Hodge had created the position. From the resulting five metre scrum, James Powell was stopped just short of the line and Peli Vea was on hand to pick up and dive over for another converted try.


Paignton came back strongly in the middle of the half to give the Sidmouth defence a thorough workout. They could not find a way through but eventually cut the deficit with a penalty.


The Chiefs regained control in the closing minutes. Rory O’Brien crossed in the corner after a good handling move but had put a foot in touch.


The bonus-point fourth try eventually came in injury time when Haydon Down was driven over by his fellow forwards after period of pressure on the line. Rory O’Brien’s conversion completed the scoring.    






SIDMOUTH 1st XV  57  v  KINGSBRIDGE 1st XV  10


A 32-point contribution from Rory O’Brien was the icing on the cake of a splendid team performance, which was anything but cut and dry midway through the second half, with the visitors camped on the Sidmouth line.


This was an excellent game of rugby in which both sides showed great skill and ambition on a slippery surface. Once again, a superbly marshalled defence, the ability wear sides down and take opportunities when they present themselves produced a score-line which did not reflect the contribution of the opposition.   


The Chiefs went straight onto the attack from the kick off and were soon rewarded with a Rory O’Brien penalty. O’Brien was in the action again a few minutes later, when he intercepted on halfway and sprinted clear for a try, which he also converted.


Kingsbridge opened their account with a penalty kicked by the full back after they had tested the Sidmouth defence for several minutes.


The Chiefs extended their lead midway through the half with a fine handling move finished off by replacement Johnny Hamill. Rory O’Brien added the conversion.


Sidmouth continued to dominate play to score a third try after the ball had been progressed through many phases stretching the defence. Aaron Down dived over from a ruck near the line. The try was unconverted.


Much of the remainder of the half was played in Sidmouth territory but Kingsbridge could not add to their score and halftime arrived with Sidmouth leading 22-3.


Kingsbridge started the second half as they had finished the first and this time they were rewarded with a try. A powerful maul from a lineout sucked in defenders and quick handling exploited an overlap for the left winger to score in the corner. The outside centre converted from the touchline.


The visitors were soon back on the attack and pressed hard in the Sidmouth 22 for the next ten minutes but could not find a way through the well-marshalled home defence. Had they scored, the game could have had a very different outcome. However, eventually an error enabled the Chiefs to clear the ball upfield and force a lineout just inside the Kingsbridge half. The lineout was won, and George Locke broke through in the centre. He drew the full back before sending Rory O’Brien sprinting in under the posts leaving a routine conversion.


This seemed to weaken the Kingsbridge resolve and four tries followed in the closing ten minutes.


Rory O’Brien completed his hattrick on the end of a counterattack from a loose clearance kick. Cameron Grainger finished off an intricate handling move down the left started inside the Sidmouth 22. Johnny Hamill scored his second try after a Sam Meadham break had initiated another handling move. And, when Josh Bess peeled away from a maul on halfway to sprint into the 22, George Jarman was on hand to put the finishing touch. All four tries were converted with the last on being followed by the final whistle.     





FALMOUTH 1st XV  17  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  26


The Chiefs won their second game of the season on the other side of the Tamar with a solid performance in constant rain but had to come from behind to do so against spirited Falmouth defending an unbeaten home record.


With the Chiefs conceding early penalties, Falmouth took advantage to kick of position and exert pressure. The Sidmouth pack did well to resist two lineout catch-and-drive plays from five metres out. At a third attempt, Josh Bess stole the ball for his side to clear upfield for some temporary relief.


When Falmouth hacked on a loose ball into the Sidmouth 22, Sam Meadham reacted quickly to fall on it but was penalised for failing to release it quickly enough. The referee judged that he had prevented a probable score and ran under the post to award a penalty try.


The Chiefs went on the attack from the restart kick and were soon rewarded with a penalty kicked by Rory O’Brien.


Well placed kicking by the Sidmouth half backs O’Brien and Johnny Hamill kept play in the home half, while strong running by the forwards, with Peli Vea, Ollie Pyne and Ollie Derryman to the fore kept the defence under pressure. The result was a second Rory O’Brien penalty.


Falmouth came back strongly and, after a period of pressure in the Sidmouth 22, increased their lead when the right winger followed up a diagonal kick to touch down in the corner. The try was converted from the touchline.


The Chiefs finished the half strongly and capitalised when the Falmouth tight head prop was yellow carded for a high tackle. Rory O’Brien kicked the resulting penalty. Minutes later, Falmouth failed to field a box kick.  Dan Rugg followed up quickly to scoop up the ball. He was stopped short of the try- line but Ollie Pyne was on hand to drive over from the resulting ruck for a converted try, which gave his side a two-point half time lead.


The Chiefs took control of the game with an outstanding try immediately after the restart. Sam Meadham fielded a kick just outside his own 22 to start a counterattack. The ball passed through many hands before the move was ended deep inside the opposing 22. The ball was quickly recycled and moved to an overlap on the right for Cameron Grainger to dive over in the corner. Rory O’Brien converted from the touchline.


With conditions deteriorating, neither side could gain control. With ten minutes to go Falmouth hopes of a comeback were raised with a successful penalty kick.


Five minutes later that was cancelled out, when Rory O’Brien made it six kicks out of six, and the Chiefs played out the remaining time safely.       



SIDMOUTH 1st XV  40  v  CREDITON 1st XV 0


The biggest crowd of the season enjoyed the autumn sunshine as the watched the Chiefs end Crediton’s unbeaten run and put daylight between themselves and the chasing pack with this emphatic win. The Chiefs have now beaten all three of their closest rivals, with two of them, St Austell and Wellington due to visit the Blackmore Field in the new year.


The final outcome could certainly not be foretold in the first quarter, most of which was spent in the Sidmouth half as the lively visitors showed why they are promotion prospects. The well-organised Sidmouth defence held its line intact but not without a couple of scares. A forward drive was held up over the line and a last-ditch Cameron Grainger tackle just prevented a try on the left wing.


Eventually, the mobile Sidmouth pack, which included seven players who at some time have played in the backrow, began to exert its authority. The strong running of Tom Seward, Peli Vea and Ollie Pyne along with the astute decision making of number eight Josh Bess put them on the front foot.


After a long period of pressure Cameron Grainger crossed in the left corner but the final pass had been forward. The pressure eventually told, when Josh Bess stole the ball at a Crediton lineout on the visitors 22. The ball was quickly transferred to the backs. James Powell exploited a dogleg in the defensive line to cut through and wrong foot the full back before touching down for an unconverted try.


There was an element of fortune to the second try scored in first half injury time. If a kicker doesn’t know where the ball is going, there is little chance the defending side will. Hence a miskick out of defence headed for no-mans-land. The bounce favoured the chasing George Locke as he gathered the ball and sped into the opposing 22. As the cover closed in, Luke Wells-Burr was in support to run in under the posts. Rory O’Brien, deputising as kicker for the injured Dan Retter, kicked the conversion for a 12-0 lead at the break.


The Chiefs took control in the opening stages of the second half with an excellent try. A powerful burst into the Crediton 22 by Peli Vea was followed by quick handling to Ethan Mead on the left wing, who just managed to squeeze in at the corner. Rory O’Brien converted from the touchline.


With Crediton now chasing the game, James Powell intercepted a loose pass near halfway before sending George Locke over for the bonus point fourth try. O’Brien added the conversion.


The Chiefs continued to threaten with several good handling moves but excellent cover defence prevented any further scores until five minutes from the end. From another lineout steal Matt Farrington made inroads into the defence before George Locke capped an excellent game as he ran a good angle to wrong foot the defence and sprint over under the posts for O’Brien to convert.


With Crediton still spiritedly searching for a score their play deserved, James Powell intercepted once again. This time he went all the way himself. The successful conversion was followed by the final whistle.