I expect as your reading this your also tucking into a lovely breakfast, hopefully one of Lee’s brekkies at the club as you are watch England v Argentina , if not why not, kick off is 9am. It’s going to be a frantic and hopefully enjoyable Saturday of rugby not just with England but also Barnstaple as both the Chiefs and Colts play today. If you’re up for it the Colts are here at Pottington Road for a top of the table clash against South Molton kick-off is 2.30. Both teams are on 10 points and are currently joint first in the league so it’s a big game that you will not want to miss, nothing better to do, get yourself down to the club to support the colts.
As for the Chiefs it’s another big test for the squad as they travel to Drybrook looking to keep the good form going. Mind you the task in hand for today will not have been missed by the team as Drybrook is a difficult place to get a win at and last season the Chiefs lost narrowly 27-19 and didn’t even get a bonus point that day. This time they will be looking for much more and will want to capitalise on their momentum from the three maximum points wins so far.
Drybrook’s record at home so far this season would suggest that it is possible as they were beaten by Maidenhead at the start of the season and only narrowly beat Okehampton 33-25. Given the Chiefs improved defence and penalty count, which I expect to be continued today, I do have high hopes, but and it is a big but, the weather may yet be a deciding factor so I hope the Chiefs concentrate on getting the win first and are above all patient. Get the points and let the result look after itself.
With just three games played so far the Chiefs are looking fairly healthy in playing terms. As mentioned above the defence has performed well and with a much improved penalty count that last season we really did let teams off the hook when attacking, giving away needless penalties and with it possession, not so much this season. Currently we have only conceded 31 points, more impressively have only conceded 5 points in the second half and that was at Brixham, in both home games the Chiefs have shut out their opponents in the final 40. Can that form continue today, I do hope so but it will be a tough ask as we are still missing a few key players which now includes Captain Winston James who went down with this bug doing the rounds during the week and does not feature in the starting XV and it will be touch and go if he makes it on the bench. As for the rest of the team here is today’s line up.
- George Snell – sponsored by Webbers Estate Agents
- James Starkey – sponsored by Slee Blackwell Solicitors
- Martinez Dromantis – sponsored by Peter Jefferies
- Adam Lloyd – sponsored
by Mike Brends Groundforce
- Ben Hilton – sponsored
by Pearce Construction
- Oli Mason – sponsored
by Barry Hews Autos
- Bryn Jago – sponsored
by Solar PV Tech Devon
- Brendon Darley – sponsored by DS Carpentry
- Robbie Hume – sponsored by Torch Farm Vets
- Haydn Lidstone – sponsored by Rubita Construction
- Ryan Lee – sponsored
by Access an Area
- Jake Murphy – sponsored by The Pride
- Kyran McManus – sponsored by Tea by the Taw
- Will Topps – sponsored
by Barricane Solutions
- Luke Berry
On the Bench
- Ashlee Crouch
- Josh Bolt
As you can see still no Ryan Carter, Jake Childs or NatBayet and injury to Tom Clark has also ruled him out. This is testing our squadto the full and does not look like easing up soon especially with three hugely important derbies coming up against three of our biggest rivals for the championship.
Next week’s opponents Exeter Uni will be a serious challenge despite their 35-21 loss at Okehampton but does point to a few weaknesses for us to exploit. Today I expect them to bounce back as they welcome Western Super-Mare, but Exeter will need to be on the ball if they don’t wish to slip up again as WSM have shown this season that they are more than capable of getting the result with three wins under their belt already.
Okehampton have another derby game as they travel to Exmouth and they might just be licking their lips for this one. Having already beaten Exeter Uni last week and seeing Exmouth loss badly on the road at Newbury Blues, Okehampton must surely think they have a chance today even though the Recreation ground is a tough place to get a result. Ivybridge must be raging to get back on to the pitch following that magnificent 33-36 win at Maidenhead last weekend and be looking forward to hosting Newbury Blues.
With Brixham taking a much needed rest to regroup the final match of today is difficult one for the home side as the Cornish all blacks prepare to face a visiting Maidenhead who will be looking to avenge their defeat by Ivybridge and unfortunately I can’t see Launceston spoiling that party.
That’s it for another week don’t forget to get yourselves down to support the Colts against South Molton, it promises to be a great game and remember next week England v France 9.15 kick off with a breakfast, then it’s a 2.30 kick off against Exeter Uni. Good luck to the Chiefs and Colts today and lets be celebrating by the days end.