Sidmouth Colts went down 34-5 when they entertained Ivybridge Colts, writes Terry O’Brien.
In this match played under the modified Covid Laws, Sidmouth Colts showed steady improvement on their previous two matches but were eventually overpowered by a strong Ivybridge squad.
The visitors were playing their first match in this format and took time to settle. As the game progressed, they adapted to the requirements and their powerful forwards gradually wore down the smaller Sidmouth eight.
With the experience of two previous matches under their belt, Sidmouth settled first and enjoyed early territorial advantage. Twice they outflanked the narrow Ivybridge defence, but inaccurate handling let them down.
Ivybridge took the one chance they had, when their right winger fielded a kick on his own ten metre line and set off on a counterattacking run, which was eventually stopped by a fine Noah Weston tackle five metres from the line. However, the Ivybridge support was quickly on hand to force the ball over the line for an unconverted try. The first quarter ended with the visitors leading 5-0.
Sidmouth did well to keep their line intact at the start of the second quarter. When the pressure was eventually relieved, play was evenly contested as both teams defied the frequent heavy showers in an attempt to play open rugby and it was such ambition which produced an equalising try.
Sidmouth’s best source of possession was the lineout, with Noel Kruger and Taine Benson jumping and controlling delivery of the ball well. From such possession, the Sidmouth backs produced a splendid handling move to send Lewis Holts sprinting over in the left corner to level the scores.
Ivybridge finished the half pressing on the Sidmouth line and eventually created space for their right winger to score an unconverted try to send his team ino half-time with a 10-5 advantage.
Ivybridge began to take control as the third quarter progressed and their influential inside centre jinked his way over for their third try, which was converted.
Sidmouth’s best moment was a fine run out of defence by Noel Weston to set up a promising move.
A carbon copy of their second try was finished off by the right winger to put Ivybridge in control at the end of the third quarter.
Ivybridge added two more tries, both scored by forwards forcing their way over from close range. The last was converted.
Sidmouth’s Man of the Match award winner was Ben Jones, who worked effectively and tirelessly throughout.