What a day of Rugby, England make it to a World Cup semi for the first time in 12 years and all three Barnstaple teams beat their Exmouth counterparts, a first win at Exmouth for the Chiefs in 10 years, a rare drubbing by the Tic’s there as well and the Colts at home winning 50-0, It doesn’t get any better than that. Now a big thank you to Mike Cannon for the Twitter feeds which kept me up to date on how the game went and this report will be based on those, so apologies if there is no actual meat on these here bones of a report.
Barnstaple appeared to have started the brighter with Kyran McManus kicking a penalty to secure the opening points of the game. However within 5 minutes Exmouth pounced back with a converted try and a penalty to take a 7 point lead 10-3. Following an exchanged of tries with Will Topps scoring for the Chiefs, Exmouth went in at half time with the 7 point lead still intact 17-10.
The Chiefs needed one of their trademark second halves to ensure this win, however a yellow card just before halftime was going to make that hard. As it happened Barnstaple stood firm and refused to budge and when back to 15 put the pressure on to score the equalising try mid-way through the half. At this point the game got really close as Exmouth retook the lead three minutes later through a George Meadows penalty only for Ben Hilton to finally give Barnstaple the lead with a try roughly 5 minutes later. My twitter feed was in meltdown at this point as was my heart rate could we do it. Five minutes later Exmouth regained the lead with another George Meadows penalty and then it was Kyran’s time to shine as with just five minutes to go he slotted the winning penalty to give Barnstaple the win.
That is now six wins from six as the Chiefs keep their unbeaten record intact at one of the more formidable places they will visit this season. There is still a long way to go but a good start to the season nonetheless. Again the Chiefs had a massive second half limiting Exmouth to just 6 points. So far this season Barnstaple has given the opposition just 83 points in six games, with just 25 of those points conceded in the second half. There must also be a big shout out to Kyran McManus who has taken over the kicking duties while Jake Murphy is out injured and he hasn’t disappointed. Last week in the first half he had three conversions from out wide, this week he converted two of the three tries and scored two penalties. So no bonus point but who cares the win is what matters especially as next week’s opponents Ivybridge were beaten for the second time in succession which must put a serious dent in their aspirations.
A visiting Weston Super-Mare got a very happy result down here in Devon to keep the pressure on and maintain their second place as they beat Ivybridge in what appeared to be a pretty god game of rugby. You can be sure Ivybridge will be raring to get that loss out of their system at Pottington Road next week so expect a cracking game kick off is 2.30pm.
Brixham are still in a whole heap of trouble this time beaten 27-16 at Drybrook, always a difficult place to go, whilst Exeter Uni took out their anger of losing last week on a visiting Bracknell thumping them 42-17. Big win for Launceston as they held off the challenge of Okehampton to win a very close game 22-15. This makes it their second win on the bounce following that 1 point narrow defeat to Maidenhead and their first home win, while Okehampton are still to win on the road.
Talking of Maidenhead they nearly lost at home again, this time against Newbury winning 27-24. This is the fifth time that Maidenhead has had a score line difference of three points or less, beating Launceston by 1 point and Exeter Uni by 2 points whilst losing to Ivybridge by three and Exmouth by two. Something is not quite clicking there as they do seem to be scoring well but with a leaky defence. As for Newbury, they are going to be a tougher proposition than at the start of the season.
Barnstaple Athletic and Colts
It was a great day for the Tic’s as they ran in 9 tries in an emphatic 28-55 win with Josh Davies scoring 45 of those points with six tries and the rest coming from his boot, other try scorers were Josh Davie and Ed May.
According to head coach Scott Warren it was an outstanding result especially down at Exmouth which is a very rare thing for the Tic’s to go down there and get a result so it was very pleasing to see the boys accept the challenge and put 55 points past a good Exmouth side.
Exmouth didn’t do too much wrong it just that the Tic’s were outstanding all-round the park and brought a different level of intensity and energy that we haven’t seen from them for a while. Played in the correct areas and constantly put them under pressure and for large parts of the game we were on top in open play and set piece, which once again was outstanding! The performance of the whole squad was very very pleasing and leads us well into training next week before Ivybridge at home next weekend! lads really stepped up today and lead from the front
There was a welcome return for Mitch Turner returning from injury. He managed a very good 60 minutes on his return and put in a very solid performance so it’s good to see him back!
The Colts made it three from three with an outstanding display at Pottington road shutting out the visiting Exmouth Colts 50-0.
That wraps it up for another week. Next week is another big game as we await Ivybridge, but before that is the warm-up slot of England v New Zealand in the World Cup semi. The club house and bar will be open with breakfasts served. Kick off for the world cup will be 9am so get yourselves down for this one. Then it’s the main event as both the Chiefs and Tic’s take on their Ivybridge counterparts. Kick off for the Chiefs is 2.30pm. Then if you still have the energy there is another fantastic players and supporters evening following the Chiefs game. See you there.