Sidmouth RFC VS Newton Abbot Rugby Club All Whites

5th September 2022

Newton Abbot Rugby Club started the new season with a hard fought draw away at a well drilled and combative Sidmouth who last season finished mid way up the league above a Newton side who welcomed back a couple of old faces and continued to blood players stepping out of colts for their first season of senior rugby.

One of the returning faces, fly half Will Castleton kept his cool to convert a last minute try by replacement front rower Tom Osborne to secure Newton’s first points of the new league season. The 2022/23 season sees Newton Abbot Rugby Club playing in the newly formed Regional 2 Tribute South West league, a promotion from the level they were plying their trade at last year and based on Saturday’s performance the early impression is that they will be more than well equipped to more than compete at this level.

Playing down hill but into the wind in the first half at the Blackmore in front of over 300 Sidmouth supporters, the All Whites went into an early lead thanks to the boot of Castleton who put over a 10 minute penalty from in front of the sticks. Sidmouth, thanks to the hard running of their imposing Number 8 and direct lines from their Inside Centre struck twice in quick succession to move into a 14-3 lead after the first quarter. Newton had defended resolutely on their own five metre line before finally giving up the first of these scores, with former colts Ben Rockey, playing 6, and McKenzie Strath in the second row putting in a number of vital tackles.

Sidmouth RFC VS Newton Abbot Rugby Club All Whites

The floodgates could have opened and heads could have dropped, however, Newton led by the returning Matt Dowrick as skipper and marshalled by the new 9/10 combination of Josh Davey and Castleton, continued to match the home side in all areas and importantly managed to keep ex Exeter Chief and Sidmouth’s current Player/Coach Phil Dollman quiet before he was replaced at half time.

The All Whites could have found themselves closer to the home side at HT if Jake Monnington, who by this stage had found his way to the wing, gathered a cross field kick from Castleton. He then brushed off one defender and was hauled down in the home side 22 when trying to find winger Reuben Brinkley with a speculative off load.

Newton needed a fast start in the second period and got their reward for this with a try for Number 8 Dowrick. Castleton knocked over the extras to make it 14-10. As expected Sidmouth came back strongly and running down hill into the bottom corner they looked likely to extend their lead further, but more resolute defence led by second row Scott Mason resulted only in a Yellow Card for visiting prop Craig Lewis for a succession of offences in the red zone and penalty from the Sidmouth stand off to leave the score 17-10 with a quarter to play.

Sidmouth RFC VS Newton Abbot Rugby Club All Whites

Clear cut chances were few and far between until Newton broke upfield, champagne moment of the day coming from player / coach and prop Lloyd Radford, celebrating his 150th appearance for Newton Abbot Rugby Club All Whites, who put in a kick that rolled up towards the Sidmouth five metre line. With the first choice home team hooker off the pitch the lineout was disrupted by Newton and it was the away team who smelt blood with the clock ticking down. A succession of pick and goes were repelled by the home team until a scrum was awarded in the shadow of the posts. Another pick and go from Dowrick was just stopped short, before Osborne got himself in the right place and powered over from short range to leave Castleton a kick to level with the final action of the match.

On Friday night, Newton Abbot Rugby Club All Whites host Truro RFC for a first game under lights at Rackerhayes. Kick Off is at 7.00pm and we look forward to seeing you there for what should be an exciting game of rugby. Last season the two sides were evenly matched, sharing a draw down in Cornwall and Truro securing a 1 point win at Rackerhayes.

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