Welcome back folks and I do hope you enjoyed a week away from the rugby last weekend, I know I did enjoying the sun at the allotment but that’s not why you’re here is it listening to me waffling on about my veggies and we do have an exciting weekend ahead as all four of the Barum teams are in action this Saturday. The Chiefs and athletic are on their travels with the Chiefs out to reacquaint themselves with the Dings, whilst Athletic travel to North Tawton to resume their counties 2 Devon challenge. At home this weekend we have a double bill as the Bucc’s take on South Molton 2nd XV for a gripping derby game and the Colts welcome Tiverton Colts to Pottington road both these games kick off at 2.30pm.
Before that though a huge congratulations are in order for Rheanna White who has been nominated as one of 50 female referees in a nationwide campaign launched by the RFU. The campaign is looking to attract 500 new female referees into the sport by the end of 2024. For the full story in the North Devon Gazette click here https://www.intouchrugby.com/magazine/from-50-to-500-rfu-campaign-aims-to-inspire-women-to-take-up-refereeing/
Better still read the interview Rheanna gave to Ruck who are partnering the event with the RFU and ACME Whistles here https://www.ruck.co.uk/02-rheanna-white/.
Right back to the rugby and a difficult trip for the Chiefs as they travel to unbeaten Dings Crusaders who currently sit at the top of the table having secured bonus point wins in 4 out of the 5 games they have won, so it can’t be stressed how difficult this game will be for the Chiefs with Dings having already beaten title contenders Leicester Lions and Clifton. The one possible shining light is that their closest scores where against lower down teams with just a three point win against Old Redcliffians and a four point win against Bournville at home but those are very slim hopes to grab hold of, I just hope the lads go out there and enjoy their rugby and you never know they might just spring a surprise or two during the game.
The team to do just that have some welcome returnees for this fixture with Nat Bayet back at hooker and Jake Murphy back at Fly half. There is also a new winger joined the squad in Meli Navaka who starts at 11, here then is the team to face Dings
ATHLETIC, BUCCANEERS AND COLTS
As for Athletic, they have a much easier task as they travel to North Tawton who are yet to record a win this season and the Tic’s will be in need of a morale lifting win this weekend following their 43-29 loss at Honiton two weeks ago, to kick start their campaign back into life. Currently in 8th place there is only 8 points that separate them and second place Torquay with leaders Tavistock running away at the moment with 5 bonus point wins from 5 games, so still plenty of time for the chasing Athletic, but they will need to get a series of wins under their belts, especially as they still have four more games on the road before finally getting back on home soil, so as to not lose pace with the leaders. Once back at Pottington Road they can then mount a reasonable challenge.
Today’s team see’s a change at Scrum half with Alex O’Donogue starting and Bryn Jago finally makes a return to playing starting his first game this season from the bench, here then is the Tic’s who face North Tawton
On to the big game for today which is a rip roaring North Devon derby, the first for some time in a while, if you discount the Christmas specials, featuring Barnstaple’s very own Buccaneers and South Molton 2nd XV. The Bucc’s have had a very successful start to the season following the postponed first game against Exmouth with two wins and a bonus point putting them top of the Devon merit table NE on the same points as Bideford 2nd VX and Exeter Engineers. A good win today will keep the pressure on those two chasers.
Finally the Colts finally get to play at home with their first game at Pottington Road this season against Tiverton Colts hoping to erase that 27-17 defeat at Bideford a fortnight ago. This will be the last game for the Colts at this group stage, so a must win for them preferably with a bonus point. Here then is the Colts to face Tiverton Colts.
Finally just to remind everyone that Bonfire night is not long away and the Barnstaple Roundtable will be as usual celebrating it in their enthusiatic brilliance this year on 6th November with early bird tickets available from their website here https://www.barnstapleroundtable.com