Exmouth hosted another entertaining game of U16 Rugby this week with Sidmouth the guests. The neighbourly welcome on the pitch was robust with the home pack getting the upper hand in scrums and line outs but the early clashes showed full commitment from both sides.
Pressure after 10 minutes led to a scrum under Sidmouth’s posts. The defence conceded a penalty which, when quickly taken, led to a Luke Hughes try. Cooke converted and the home team were in front but not for long. A sweeping move started in their own half led to Sidmouth’s first converted try.
Sidmouth’s strong running forwards kept their challenge going through the game but the overlaps these sometimes presented were not always well used despite their stand-off trying to get the Sids wide. Sidmouth scored three converted tries in total and the game was competitive throughout. Their final score, under the posts following a line out steal, however was too late in the game to give them realistic hope of snatching a victory in their first match of the season.
Schauffler, Langson-Justice, Oates and Ottaway scored Exmouth’s other tries, and Exmouth finished with 29 points to Sidmouth’s 21.
In only their second game with line-out lifting permitted the home forwards are showing confidence in this technical part of the game. The team’s work rate was impressive; important turnover ball was won; and an ability to play well in the tight and wide is growing, controlled well by the half-backs. A nasty head clash between Langson-Justice and Seagar late on led to adjustments but Exmouth coped with Sidmouth’s late push. All players performed well but special mentions go to: Finn Urmston in the pack for some monster hits and carries; Tom Cooke for his calm head; and Joseph Oates who was awarded Man of the Match.