What a difference a week makes!

Sidmouth 2nd 45  Torquay 2nd 10

What a difference a week makes! On Saturday 8th March Sidmouth Quins made the journey to Crediton and encountered a big experienced pack which deprived Sidmouth of any possession and resulted in a heavy loss for the travelling side. On Saturday 15th March the Quins hosted Torquay at Sidford and came up against another big experienced pack but this time Sidmouth dominated proceedings and ran out winners by 45 – 10. On both occasions support from Colts players made the game possiblebut even so against Torquay Sidmouth could only raise 14 players and to their credit, Torquay matched numbers. Sidmouth fielded a strong front row with the welcome return of Mark Unsworth and Mark Osborne alongside Tom Reed, Rob Cruze and Roger Goulding provided stability in the second row and Alex Graves-Morris and Chris Otway on the flanks. To the surprise of the onlookers, Sidmouth held the first scrum and in subsequent ones managed to push the heavier Torquay pack off the ball which, together with quick hooking from Reed, meant scrum time was not a disaster for the home side. The threequarters were sharp and threatening both in attack and defence with regulars  Ben Pratt, Adam Squance and Giles Dixon all playing their best game of the season. Alongside them were Johnny Hamill, back from university for the weekend, Adam Howe and Scott Davies playing their first games in a few weeks, and Colt Sam Smith who deservedly received the coveted pink MOTM T-shirt!

 Sidmouth opened the scoring after 10 minutes with the first of seven tries, mainly scored by the backs using their speed and width to run round, and sometimes through, the Torquay defences. Intelligent use of overlaps and some scintillating interplay made for some very well taken tries and with Adam Squance on form with his boot meant the Sidmouth score of 45 was well deserved. With Sidmouth playing down the field from the kick-off, the half time score of 21 – 0 to Sidmouth was a useful cushion to withstand the expected second half onslaught. Sidmouth, however, put another 7 points on the board before Torquay opened their account with a score in the corner after a period of sustained pressure on the home side’s line. A second try came soon after when the ball squirted out from a scrum, again near Sidmouth’s line, and Torquay managed to get to it first. Sidmouth, to their credit, stiffened their resolve and managed three more tries before the final whistle. With Sam Smith featuring in the build up to most tries he can consider himself unlucky not to have featured on the score sheet himself. Eventually tries from Ben Pratt (2) one a 80 metre solo dash, Adam Howe, Giles Dixon, Adam Squance, Scott Davies and, after lovely support play, by Tom Reed were more than enough to give Sidmouth a convincing win and three points from their afternoon’s work.

Next week the Quins have a stern test with Exmouth at The Blackmore, the task this week is to get a full complement of players to take them on.

By John Hamill