Topsham U14s vs Sidmouth
By Katie James
Although not a polished performance it was a good, hard working result for a tight team of boys who often step up to support it other when things are quite firing.
With Sidmouth limited to 13 players this game was always going to be a little disjointed and this would prove to bring its own challenges.Hamish and Jake kindly agreed to play the first half for Sidmouth and went on to create numerous problems for their Topsham team mates with strong running and great work at the breakdown and this direct approach went a long way to inspire a strong direct challenge from a determined Sidmouth side.
Although Topsham didn’t come out of the blocks quite as quick as they have done over recent weeks all the boys soon recognised the challenge they had on their hands and stepped up to make their first up tackles count, commit to rucks in numbers and secure quick ball. Good communication between forwards and backs saw some great strong running from depth, but in the early passages of play the ball didn’t quite see the width it needed to pay dividends with numbers outside.
When the ball was flung wide from a typically quick Topsham ruck with some delicate little touches across the back line Toby was released on the outside to run in the first try. This play may well have seen the ball through almost every set of hands, great stuff!
Topsham certainly didn’t have it all their own way as Sidmouth continued to run at pace and with good direction through some key players and pinned Topsham on their own line for a couple of minutes. Topsham's tackling stepped up a gear and the commitment was clear to see, even if technique was not always textbook it was very hard and it held resolute. It was a quick break from the line, with support and quick recycling which released the pressure with a length of the pitch try, finished off by Harrison.
Despite a first half of quick play and determined running the ball didn’t quite see the width that would have possibly seen a few more scores at the mid point. The final play of the half saw just what was possible with a quick ball converted with fast hands and width into a try out wide with a strong finish from Ben.
Unfortunately with only a few minutes of a second half played one of the Sidmouth team took a strong drive into the middle of the pitch and fell awkwardly and sustained an injury that meant the game hand to be cut short as a precautionary measure.The update on the injured player is that assessment and X ray showed no fracture and with a couple of weeks rest, the Sidmouth player should be back on the pitch.
There was some great interlink play with good hands between forwards and backs, with strong running from depth. Something to take away from the game today to work on training will to decision making to ensure we use the width the full pitch is giving us this season.
Trys: Toby, Harrison, Ben
Conversions: Ben x 1, Freddie x 2