Chiefs v Brixham Match Report
All in all that was a good day at the office for Barnstaple rugby yesterday. Firstly Barnstaple Athletic was gifted 5 points as Brixham 2nd XV was unable to muster a squad and although the Tic’s would rather play for their points it is what it is. The Colts were at home and watching the game I can assure you there are some good players in the Colts, some of whom could make an impression as they mature, and they played really well for their 41-5 win over Crediton Colts. With some excellent handling and good team cohesion they supported each other well and gave us an enjoyable game of rugby in the sunshine. This is a promising Colts squad that could do well this season.
Barnstaple Colts v Crediton Colts Photos
The real delight though was the Chiefs demolition of Brixham in their own backyard, running in 8 tries in a fantastic 15-48 win. There was some trepidation before the match with not only the three major absentees in Ryan Carter, Nat Bayet and Jake Childs, big players to lose, but then on the day it became evident that Jake Murphy was also unavailable. The crowd at Pottington Road to watch the Colts, it must be said, were not so much pessimistic of how it would go but were understandably nervous of how well such a young team would cope, especially with the new pairing at centre of Will Topps and Kyran McManus. Yet the smiles of delight and wide eyes coming across everyone’s faces as news of the scores kept rolling in showed they needn’t have worried. There were also several firsts in the game yesterday with debut starts for Josh Davie and Bryn Jago, while Dylan Gosling, Josh Davies and Brendon Darley scored their first tries for the Chiefs
From the start Brixham came at the Chiefs hard for the first 10-15 minutes and the lads stayed firm holding a good defensive line. Having absorbed what the Fisherman had to offer it was the Chiefs turn to show what they had on offer and took control from that point on. Barnstaple scored four tries by the 30 minute mark with two for Will Topps, a forth try of the season for Captain Winston James and Dylan’s first of the season. By half time Barnstaple were leading 10-24 and despite the last 10 minutes of sustained Brixham pressure the Chiefs defensive line held firm and more importantly they did not give up any penalties through which the Fisherman could have closed the gap. Second half followed a similar pattern to the start of the first but again Barnstaple notched up the tries with not just Brendon and Josh scoring debut tries but also George Snell scoring to make it 10-41. Then in the 80th minute Ben Hilton made sure of a big result to ensure a 17-48 win.
So the Chiefs go into their home match on Saturday against Camborne not only with two bonus point wins, but with a solid defensive line that has not been giving up penalties, Bracknell only had the one penalty last week within kickable distance. Time will tell if they keep up this discipline but it is pleasing to see currently. What is also pleasing is the response from the younger players without the likes of Ryan Carter and Jake Murphy directing them. Of course there were experienced players there as well but even so when was the last time we took a Brixham team apart like that.
Barnstaple Chiefs v Brixham Photos
There are tougher examinations to come yet and none more so than the big game of the week between Exmouth and Maidenhead. With both teams preforming well at the start of the season this was going to put a marker down as to who was going to boss the season. Maidenhead impressed the first half leading 10-18 at the break but eventually Exmouth retook the lead and held on until the end to win 32-30 albiet Maidenhead having the final word to close the gap to just two points earning themselves a losing bonus point.
Next week’s opponents Camborne had a very tight game beating a visiting Western Super-Mare 15-14, inflicting WSM’s first defeat of the season. Both Ivybridge and Exeter uni had big wins with Ivybridge beating Launceston 69-14 while the Uni boys beat Newbury Blues 45-29. Finally Okehampton almost got a bonus point losing at Drybrook 33-25.
So next stop is Pottington Road at 2.30pm on Saturday as the Chiefs host Camborne. It’s also Ladies day so anyone wishing to book a table check in with Jacqui Edwards at email@example.com to secure your place. See you all there.