Winter felt like it was on its way this Sunday at Oil Mill Lane and the cold start clearly slowed us down. A dropped pass and Sidmouth were in for the first try. The first scrum is always so important for the forwards to impose themselves and yet again Exeter delivered. It’s gutting the rules only allow them to shove them back a meter.
At this stage Julian got a little over enthusiastic running on to the pitch to intercept a pass but his execution wasn’t quite up to his enthusiasm. The deliberate knock on and the fact that he is considerable over age left the ref with little choice but to give him his marching orders. It is difficult to know if it was Julian’s behaviour or Tom’s language that has resulted in us all having to sign code of conduct forms.
Mean while the teams got on with the game. Well Sidmouth did anyway as we managed to pass them in for a try, shortly followed by a third.
At this point Exeter clearly decided they had given them enough of a head start and decided to start competing. Great work from the forwards resulted in Sam sneaking in. Classic scrum half sniping despite the fact he was playing number 8. Sidmouth quickly responded but now it was a contest. Some great work from Leo allowed Sam to score a second and keep us in the game at half time.
Having missed the next try from Exeter I turned to our head coach for insight. Apparently “Someone” scored a try. I hadn’t realised he was playing but that put us right back in the game. After a great break following some fantastic fullback play from Ben we somehow managed to not score a try. I and the rest of team were still trying to work out how that was possible when Sidmouth ran the length of the pitch to score themselves.
I great try from Oilly and we really had Sidmouth on the rack but we were running out of time. We had been strong in the Scrum all day; until it really mattered and then Sidmouth took one against the head and were able to see out the game.
My tip (for what it’s worth) is don’t give the opposition a 3 try head start. It makes it really difficult to beat them! I was intrigued to see that it is silent Sunday next week so I will be watching another age group where I have considerable less interest in the outcome to stand any chance of achieving this goal.