Sidmouth U9's vs Cullompton

It was a mild and sunny (07 October 2012) day at Cullompton, it felt more spring-like than autumnal.

We were a bit surprised at first to see we were playing in a paddock, with a not insubstantial slope. We were given the steep, bottom part of the slope to warm up on. Fortunately the game was played in the top half of the pitch which was level.

The smaller, fleet footed Sidmouth team were primed and ready to apply their practiced tackling and offloading skills against Cullompton’s heavy weight juggernaut.

The game started at a blistering pace. Ollie danced in our first try with ease, dodging and weaving around the opposition. In the ensuing play, Cullompton ran in their first try after three good and determined tackles by our young titans. George Manley struck straight back with a quick try, again skirting the opposition with limited  interruption. Cullompton came straight back at us and, after 7 tackles, managed to get over the try line to equalise the score. And so the game followed a similar pattern for the remainder of the first half with further Sidmouth tries from George (M), Jimmy (Brett) and Noah.  The primary difference between the two teams after the first period was the amount of work required to score by each respective team. Cully were forced to endure many heavy and accurate hits by the Siddy tree-fellers for every try, whilst Siddy's tries were much easier to achieve due to great strength in the tackle, breaking through many tackle attempts, coupled with a great offloading game

Score at end of first half was Sidmouth 5, Cullompton 5.

Once Cullompton had had their half time snacks Sidmouth was chomping at the bit for more action. After a turnover ball Sidmouth ran in 2 rapid tries - a combination and strong and elusive running, allied to accurate and well communicated passes (scorers Noah and Max). Cullompton’s fast red headed player managed two tries in the second half but Sidmouth retained their two point advantage throughout, with James Allen scoring a determined try in the last minute. Congratulations go to George Manley who scored again in the second half taking his match total to 3. The single outstanding attribute of the second period was the strength of Siddy's defensive effort! Numerous turnovers were forced through either number and weight of tackles or forcing the attacking runner into touch.  It was evidently noticeable how hard every player worked for the team and the commitment and fitness our smaller players showed as the match wore on - a real testament to the fantastic work both Dave and Martyn have done with the team in the early part of the season

It would also be remiss not to mention the Cully referee whose empathy and game     management contributed in no small measure to a fantastic game of rugby! Excellent job!

Final score Cullompton 7 – Sidmouth 9

A great game to watch. The children have massively upped their game and have taken to the contact game with enthusiasm and flair.

An excellent start to the season.