GMS Player Registration16th October 2023
Dear all Please ask all players/guardians to ensure they are registered on the RFU GMS site. Players who are not affiliated can’t play in cup…
After the previous week’s promise of a tough U18 National Cup game Newton Abbot All Whites Colts against full strength Topsham, Topsham pulled out. Last minute phone calls brought up a “friendly” against Sidmouth in the same 2pm Sunday slot. With a large squad of 29 on hand, and no important result in the balance, the coaches were able to give many lads a runout and test out different playing combinations.
From the off, Sidmouth seemed to be the more alert of the two sides and shocked the Colts with a quick score in the clubhouse corner. Newton Abbot All Whites Colts responded with a textbook Lineout driving maul with hooker Owen Macauliffe dragged to the line with his toes scraping the dust! Converted. Sidmouth countered quickly with a couple of scores but failed to convert. A few rolling subs shook the pace of play up. The blue touch papers were lit by the first of a brace of rampaging runs by Archie J. upon gathering an attempt to clear from Sidmouth. Swatting Sidmouth players from his path he offloaded with Fijian flare to Izaak E hot on his heels who continued to barrel his way to the goal line. A similarly deft touch from Izaak floated the ball to Cox J who looked on for the score but for a valiant defensive tackle from Sidmouth. Recycled out to Ben EJ who dragged opposing Sidmouth prop hanging round his neck with him before being tackled, rucked, back to his feet and powering in under the posts to score, all within a minute of getting on the field. As joyful as it was to see such open and free flowing rugby from the side-lines, it served to remind the Whites how they enjoyed to play. In Hindsight, it’s probably good that Sidmouth didn’t know what was coming.
Archie J caught the restart very deep in his half and set off in action replay, laying waste to Sidmouth in a scene reminiscent of the Lannisters’ victory over House Tyrell at Highgarden only to offload to Albert who selflessly chose to unleash EJ for a gut-wrenching rampage down the middle of the park. What brave souls were left in Sidmouth’s defence were hideously trampled over until, in one nonchalant waft of his wingspan, he offloaded to Cox J to touch down under the sticks. Converted.
Intense attack and defence from both sides for the rest of the half lead to spectacle after bone crunching spectacle with massive hits going in across the field from the Newton boys. Credit to Sidmouth, who refused to lie down and capitalised on a handling error to take the final score of the half. All Whites up 28-20 at the break.
In the second half, the Colts on-pitch combinations started to really fire on all cylinders and a slightly battered Sidmouth defence started to crumble. The first 10 minutes was spirited and evenly matched until further changes from the home trenches brought Jed G into the centre. From a Newton scrum inside the Sidmouth 22, quick hands fed the ball to Jed who took it to within 5 meters, Ash G gathered and reset the ruck from which Jed picked and bored his way under Sid’s only defender. Converted by Ash. 35-20
Frantic attack and defence between the 22s from both sides kept the entertainment high but the scoring slow until Newton Abbot All Whites Colts were pinged by the ref for not receding 10 before playing the quick tap penalty. Sidmouth garnered strength and momentum from this and scored and converted. 35 -27.
From this point on Newton delighted in running with the ball and breaking the Sidmouth defensive line. Breaks from Cally W, Archie J, Cox T, threatened to score. Not until Josh Lang gathered a clearance cleanly to offload to Milo J-B who Darcy Graham-ed his way through, past and over defenders to run in from outside the 22. Unconverted. 30 seconds later Albert D had caught the restart, shed the first tackler and rangily cantered his way through the dust ahead of all 9 following Sidmouthians dotting down in a winding dive just right of the posts. Converted.
A very solid drive from Ben F mid field delivered clean recycled ball to Connor McK who unleashed Jed on an inside line line break supported by Toby P who he offloaded to only to receive the ball back from, powering through the tackle, rolling under momentum to score. Quick hands from the gathered restart and got the ball to Milo on the left wing. Screaming along the touch, he cut back inside towards the posts, took the tackle, off loaded to Josh L and then on to Leo H to touchdown by the sticks once more converted by Ash.
Much more similarly adventurous play followed with line breaks and chips over the Sidmouth heads nearly converting the score line to a cricket score. However, after a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable “friendly” 80 mins it was finally time to shake hands.
58 – 27