Sidmouth U9’s v Okehampton

 03rd March 2013

With thanks to out erstwhile scribe, Mr B!

It was a grey, overcast and chilly morning when the Sidmouth team assembled at Okehampton College's rugby pitch.

For the warm up, and we really did need to warm up as the weather was bitter, the boys focused on space, making short passes and running in channels –continuing on from the themes introduced after Christmas.

Game 1

Big James Allen, our captain today, won the toss allowing us first use of the ball. Jimmy Brett got us off to a flying start by running in our first try of the day – with hardly a hand laid on him. After the restart Sidmouth turned over Okehampton’s ball and Jimmy Brett ran in a second try for good measure. Fortunately for us the ref hadn't picked up on Jimmy's hand offs –and they were very effective, if a little contrary to the law... Our first game was a comfortable victory with Sidmouth retaining a two point lead throughout. Captain James Allen was communicating well with the side and giving an equal share of the ball. The whole team were performing like a finely tuned engine, each of them playing an integral part of the game, setting up tries for; Jimmy Brett (3) George Manley, George Taylor, George Pierson-Lovesy and Reuben Bennett.

Final score game one: Okehampton 6 - Sidmouth 8

Our inter-game chat was full of praise for the boys’performance, although there were two areas that our competition had spotted as a weakness and were taking advantage of. We were bunching in the middle of the pitch defensively, allowing them to outflank us and although we were making good contact in the tackles, we were not bringing the player to ground, allowing them to get free and continue their runs.

Game 2

The second game saw some awesome and relentless tackling by Noah Innes-Kruger, at times too ferocious for the ref it would seem as Noah was penalised once or twice for high tackles (contentious in that the ref had unilaterally decided that a high tackle was any tackle above the badge on the chest, as opposed to the law that dictates a high tackle is above the shoulders). Oke's key ploy was to get the ball to their fastest player who had managed to force his way through our defence and score a number of tries. At half time we had a one point advantage. In the second half Okehampton seemed to come to life, spurred on by their fast player's success, coupled with our continued inability to complete the tackle once initial contact was made. In the closing minutes Okehampton ran home 3 tries which left us 2 points behind. Sidmouth's try scorers of the second game were Noah Innes-Kruger (2), Reuben Bennett (2), George Pierson-Lovesy, Captain Big James Allen, and Jimmy Brett.

The final score game two: Okehampton 9 –Sidmouth 7

This was a very frustrating end to the final score, as we were clearly the better team on the day –better technically and collectively.  We were, however, exposed by our ongoing tendency to become too narrow in defence and to fall off tackles.

Sidmouth can take heart from their performance, the team effort was impressive. Every individual played their part with passion and enthusiasm despite the cold. It was another great Sunday morning watching the team developing.

Great work boys.