2015 Rugby 7s

OH rugby at the Sidmouth Charity 7’s Tournament 3rd May 2015

Having roused the troops for what we thought would be the final hurrah last year, we found ourselves back in Sidmouth following popular request. We had received somewhat debateable weather reports and decided to take up residents within the relative protection of the West Stand and begin our warm up as the old boys arrived.

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Our 1st game was verses TOB Panthers an Exmouth club side. Like last year we started off looking a bit rusty and nervous making simple tackling errors which got punished remorselessly resulting in two early scores by the Panthers. However, we got our school boy rugby brains back in gear and played a number of good phases with Ant Hall and Mat Carter putting in some good periods of play. Pill Beaves served Phil Yolland and Jamie Jemison well in the backs who both made some darting runs : These were unfortunately to no avail as the youthful opponents capitalised on every mistake using their speed to professionally exploit our weaknesses end result 56 points to nil. Mat Carter should be singled out for his strong defensive play which unfortunately resulted in a dislocated shoulder.

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Our 2nd game was cancelled as the Golden Oldies who we beat last year pulled out at the last minute leaving us with Dalton Wanderers to play to get into the final rounds. We found out this was another team from Exmouth rugby club made up of their best players……… We started strongly as we began to remember how to play together, before they capitalised a simple handling error. Following some good rucking and solid runs form Yolland and Collin Mortimore we lost the ball which resulted in more points for them. It was suddenly another runaway with 50 plus points against us, and nothing for all our efforts. At this point in the dying moments after another ‘DW’ try the ref asked if he should blow for full time. We enquired if there was time for one more play, determined to get a score. Receiving the kick Mortimore got tackled illegally and a penalty was awarded. We took it quick and were awarded another 10m for not retreating, off the next penalty the forwards took the ball and punched a hole through Dalton Wanderers line driving up the centre of the pitch approaching their 22. From here a quick thinking Phil Beaves spotted a hole in their defences and sprinted through to score a fantastic try in the final play under the posts. End score 52 to 7, with our pride intact.

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This year we had a very difficult draw with two of the best club teams in our pool. What was fantastic was how we pulled together as a team after all these years, playing some great rugby along the way and most importantly having a good time. Many thanks to all of our supporters including a number of OH’s, parents and families with Giles & Gru Blomfield, Vickie Berry, Alec Crawford, Derek Blooman, Steve Huxtable, John Beaves and Ben Fisher amongst others on the side-lines.

I’m sure we will be back at the Sidmouth 7’s on May bank holiday next year, I know the likes of Ed Parsons and Seb Warner are keen to make an appearance, so if you are interested please contact us to be included

Tim Huxtable

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