Welcome everyone to another pre-match blog and what a game we have in store for you this weekend with a National 2 South fixture sponsored by SWM Recycling and Peregrine Mears as the Chiefs are back home to take on fellow west countrymen Ding’s Crusaders in what could be a cracking game of rugby.
Barnstaple Rugby were saddened to hear of the tragic loss of 24 year old Sam Polledri from a suspected heart attack earlier in the week. Sam played for Clifton as well as Dings Crusaders and is the younger brother of Italian and Gloucester star Jake Polledri. Our hearts and Sympathies go out to Sam’s Family, Friends and Club mates and we will be holding a minutes applause for Sam before kick off today.
So a very brief round up of past weekend which Barnstaple rugby, for the first time this season, didn’t record a win from any of our teams as both the Chiefs and Colts lost and Athletic were again denied a home fixture when Teignmouth couldn’t apparently raise a team for their match. Not much I can say about the Chiefs game except that what I saw of the game on the YouTube video we played well in very windy conditions but just couldn’t crack that Rochford defence. The first half Rochford appeared to have the majority of good possession and played much more in the Chiefs half than was probably wise and led at half time 21-9 Just 12 points ahead so everything to play. The second half though saw a much better attack from the Chiefs where they dominated in parts and made some significant breaks as they pushed fora try and lower the margin but again were unable to breach the home sides defence finally losing 33-9. So again another good performance and further building blocks in preparation for next season.
It’s been awhile since we last played against Ding’s Crusaders here at Pottington road and the first time in National league rugby. The last time Ding’s visited Pottington Road was during the 2015/16 season when we beat them 28-13. How times have changed though with the Visitors having been promoted in the 2017/18 season and currently enjoying their fourth consecutive season at this level. They have also moved from their old grounds which those of us who visited definitely couldn’t forget, to Shaftesbury Park, a brand new ground was part of an £8 million sports facility. On 17 February 2018 after 10 years in the making, Dings finally played their first game there.
Their current season has been a bit of a roller coaster for Dings and are currently in 9th place with just eight wins to their name, only two of which were on the road at Westcliff and Canterbury. However Ding’s Crusaders do come into this match having won three of their last five games, all at home, and are likely to be in buoyant mode for this match.
For the Chiefs there didn’t appear to be any serious injuries to report and the team is fairly similar to last week, Could this week be the game we break that losing streak, at least it gives the youngsters another chance to show how good they can be. Jake Childs and Kyran McManus both return while Ashlee Crouch provides some serious support from the bench here then is the team to face Ding’s Crusaders
1. George Snell
Sponsored by Paiges Lane Barbers
sponsored by MLPA Surveyors
3. Martinas Dromantas
sponsored by Peter Jeffrey
4. Arthur Marks
sponsored by Floor Sanding Services
5. Ben Hilton
sponsored by KAS Crane Hire
6. Bryn-Lee Jago
sponsored by Longcross Scaffolding
7. Ryan Smale
Sponsored by Artisani Resturant
8. Jake Childs
sponsored by SITIM Solutions
Sponsored by Edd’s greengrocers
10. Tyler Gordon-Oke
Sponsored by Mount Sandford House
11. Connor Swan
12. Johny Carter
Sponsored by Fields farm shop and Butchery
13. Ryan Lee
Sponsored by Access an Area
14. Connor Swan
15. Kyran McManus
Sponsored by Tea by the Taw
16. Ashlee Crouch
Sponsored by Wrey Arms
18. Charlie Banfield
19. Chris Philpot
20. Tom Swales
Sponsored by Howdens
Athletic and Colts News
Frustration follows Athletic yet again as the now Devon Merit table leaders were denied yet again a chance to play at home with Teignmouth unable to raise a side. Currently Athletic lead Ivybridge by 20 points although Ivybridge do have five games in hand. Today Athletic have a huge game as they travel to Exmouth currently in third place and always a difficult ground to visit, before taking on Ivybridge two weeks later on March 19th, win both of those puts them in a great position. So I expect you all to be done here on the 19th to cheer Athletic on towards that Devon Merit Table title
The Colts began their campaign to qualify for the Devon Colts cup final here last weekend against a very strong and well organised Ivybridge Colts who scored three tries to win the game 18-5. The Colts played well but struggled to break down the Ivybridge resistance. Their tackling was excellent and they did make the visitors work hard for their points. Although a slight setback there are still four games to go and win all them and the Colts will make that final much better prepared whoever they meet.
They are now on two away trips to regain the initiative at Kingsbridge today and next week Newton Abbot, both tough games but having watched this Colts team all season they do have the capacity, skills and determination to win these two games before two home games to finish off the league against Topsham and Sidmouth at the end of March
That’s it for today make those voices loud as you bellow out the barum roar and lets give the lads a final push to win this one.