Chard net clean sheet success at Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 11:19 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:19 22 January 2014

Sidmouth 0, Chard 26

Chard returned to action for the first time since December 14 and, despite some expected rustiness, they were well worth this bonus point victory against a game, but generally outplayed Sidmouth team, writes Glyn Hughes.

Chard included former Sidmouth player coach Jason Luff in their team and he filled the gap at number nine for the Chard side.

Chard have been very dominant up front in most of their games this season and the difficult conditions at Sidmouth would certainly suit their forwards far more than the hosts,

Chard played up the slight slope in the opening half and as expected dominated play for long periods.

They opened the scoring with an unconverted try after only five minutes play when one of their best forwards Nick Hyslop took advantage of a controlled maul to crash over.

Chard continued on top, but were left frustrated when despite getting over the home line on three occasions were unable to ground the ball properly due in part to good defensive play by the home side.

In truth this only really delayed the inevitable and prop Luke Aplin went over for what be the first of two tries for him when he was the beneficiary of some more great work by the Chard pack. Again the conversion was missed by skipper Chris Doak but the conditions hardly suited the kickers.

When Sidmouth did attack with ball in hand they were knocked backwards with some terrific Chard tackling with centre Jack Pennington to the fore. Half-time arrived with Chard holding a 10-0 lead.

In the second half, with the conditions deteriorating, it was even more difficult to play any open rugby and Sidmouth fell further behind when a miss placed clearance kick by found its way to Aplin who took full advantage to score his second try which was converted by Doak.

Some of the Chard supporters were concerned that the referee might call off the game but he did not and former skipper Jim Wagstaff got the fourth and bonus point try for Chard when he touched down after Sidmouth had been driven back over their line following a scrummage.

Considering that Chard had not played any competitive rugby for five weeks this was a solid performance albeit against a side struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Chard team; Harrison, Douglas, Pennington, L Massey, J Massey, Doak (capt), Luff, Hyslop, Jenkins, Aplin, Mouland, Henly, Wright, Parsons, Wagstaff. Reps (all used); Helliar, Roberts, Robinson.

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