Another week and another 200 mile plus road trip for the Chiefs as they make their way to the capital for this fixture or more precisely South West London and a date by the Thames with Barnes RFC. Can’t make it well we have a couple of exciting fixtures for you at Pottington Road. Both kicking off at 2pm you can watch both Athletic and Bucc’s take on their counter parts from Tiverton. Athletic followed up their impressive win here against Exmouth with a win at Teignbridge last weekend scoring 81 unanswered points to keep pace with league leaders Ivybridge with still a game in hand and are playing some excellent rugby currently with plenty of pace. The Bucc’s are also coming off a really good win after beating a scratch Ilfracombe 1st XV and following a week off to recover last Saturday they will be up and ready for this one. So if you don’t fancy the trip to the Capital then get yourself down to Barnstaple Rugby entry is free just your beer money is all you need for some really entertaining rugby.
Also this is the last weekend before the Christmas Bash so if you haven’t got your seat booked yet then you better hurry as there are limited places just £35pp booking can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So now to the game and the Chiefs were so close to grabbing a good win last week against Leicester Lions but just couldn’t get across that finishing line and today they will be looking at trying to grab their first win on the road this season. It will be a tough game but the possibility of a win is there as there are only 8 points separating the Chiefs from Barnes who are just three places above us. However Barnes are kings of the drawn game, claiming three draws already this season against Canterbury at home and two on the road against Esher and last week at Dings so they do know how not to throw in the towel and the Chiefs must do the same.
Head Coach Bryn Jenkins playing for the Chiefs against Barnes back in March 2017
The question now is will history repeat itself as the last time these two meet by the Thames it was a 24-24 draw. In that game, of which there are six players from that game playing today with of course head coach Bryn Jenkins who also played that day. The Chiefs were losing 24-3 and a red card for JP also down to 14 men and it was an herculean shift in momentum that brought them back with tries from Linford Brock, Will Topps and the forward pack for the penalty try that secured the draw. If this game is anything like that one it will be a huge game of rugby to watch.
Also playing that day but unavailable today is Jake Murphy and so we have to wait another week before we can celebrate his 100th game for the Chiefs. Also back for this one is Matt Gohl fully recovered as is Will Topps who will be beginning another marathon of successive games for Barnstaple, here then is todays team
1. George Snell
sponsored by Paiges Lane Barbers
2. Nat Bayet
sponsored by MLPA Surveyors
sponsored by Wrey Arms
4. Matt Gohl
sponsored by Queens Theatre and the Landmark Theatre
5. Ben Hilton
sponsored by KAS Crane Hire
6. Jake Childs
sponsored by SITIM Solutions
7. Winston James
Sponsored by Brewer, Harding and Rowe
8. Dan Lee
Sponsored by Anyweld and Tarka Clinic
9. Josh Pilkington
Sponsored by Ocean Shade, Canopies & Awnings
10. Kyran McManus
Sponsored by Tea by the Taw
Sponsored by Tom Johnson Decorators
12. Johny Carter
Sponsored by Fields farm shop and Butchery
13. Ryan Lee
Sponsored by Access an Area
14. Will Topps
Sponsored by Barricane Solutions
15. Sam Roberts
Sponsored by My Favourite Cottages
sponsored by Harry’s Cafe
Sponsored by Martin Hammett Associates
sponsored by Advanced Scaffolding
19. Bryn Jago
Sponsored by Longcross Scaffolding Ltd
20. Luke Berry
Sponsored by Ian Baker
As for the rest of the league Worthing travel to league leaders Redruth knowing the sizeable task awaiting them and are currently on a two game losing streak having fallen at home to Hinckley in what must be the big game for today as 1st meets 3rd. Esher sandwiched between the two know they have a great chance but they too have the very difficult task of first dispatching Guernsey who currently are one of the best travellers this season with 5 wins on the road and a win at Esher will put them right in the mix. Clifton have every chance of getting themselves back in contention as well as they welcome Canterbury today knowing a good bonus point win for them gets them right back into the picture
Barnstaple’s opponents next week Henley welcome Ding’s crusaders in Buoyant mood following their win at Rochford Hundred and will be eager to test the Ding’s who themselves have had a mixed bag of a season so far.
Elsewhere Leicester Lions will look to make it 5 consecutive wins when they visit Old Albanians although it will be a tough ask against the team just a point ahead of them in the league but a great chance to get into the top six. Westcliff are at home against Bury St. Edmunds still looking for their first win while Rochford will want to stem the tide at Hinckley after their 4th straight loss last weekend.
That just about wraps it up for this weekend and I hope to see lots of supporters at the ground today to cheer on the Tic’s and Bucc’s. Good luck to the Chiefs and to the Colts who will be taking last week’s impressive performance to Exeter as they play Exeter Athletic and remember folks…