Sidmouth Vs Topsham U12s

IMG 0022

This Sunday started out with a bit of a rush – Topsham had turned up early and were busy doing drills by the time the Sidmouth crew managed to make it to the ground. Instead of the usual warm up and drills it was straight into a game, as the pitch was going to be used for an U16 fixture immediately after our game, so there was only time to play three twenty-minute periods. New rules were agreed to start preparation for next season (when we’ll be playing on a full-sized pitch with fifteen players), so this week we played the full width of the pitch and most of its length, with contested scrums. It was a dry day, and with the width of the pitch to use the crowd were looking forward to some running rugby.

The first third started well, with Sidmouth deciding not to do their customary slow start. There was bruising defence from both sides, and the scrums became a lottery with neither team being used to pushing. A well-worked move by Topsham found space on the outside, and they were in with a try. Apart from that, the third was a very even arm-wrestle in the middle of the pitch with neither side giving ground, so ended up as 1-0 to Topsham.

During the second third spaces started to open up, with Topsham’s direct running through a gap giving them the first try. Immediately from the kickoff, Sidmouth regained posession and a strong individual run followed by a sublime one-handed offload to a player running a perfect support line gave Sidmouth the chance they needed to open their scoring. Unfortunately this seemed to distract the Sidmouth side for the remainder of the third, with a restart taken before they even noticed and a period of slack defending, so Topsham quickly ran in another three tries.

The last third was more competitive by Sidmouth, with some great team defending managing to cope with the full width of the pitch. Unfortunately the contested scrums had taken it out of the legs of some of the forwards, and only a few Sidmouth players seemed to want the ball in attack. Every few minutes the Topsham players managed to find a gap, and only some committed defending kept them down to three tries in the third. Sidmouth were particularly unlucky with one move where a clean break was only snuffed out a metre or so from the Topsham tryline by a brilliant last-ditch tackle.