Welcome folks to yet another Mighty Barum blog post for this weekend and a lot of excitement coming your way with another National 2 West home fixture for the Chiefs sponsored this week by Chichester Developments and Barricane solutions and we thank them for all the support they have given Barnstaple Rugby over the years. Today’s opponents are another of the league’s top teams, Clifton, which should prove a tough and engrossing game for all those attending today’s game. Athletic are off to the dark side at Torquay today to finally conclude what has been an exhausting series of games on the road. The Bucc’s are off to Crediton while the Colts begin their campaign at Topsham to compete for the Shield trophy this season.
Next weekend there is no game here at Pottington Road as all our teams have a very well deserved rest next weekend. That doesn’t mean there is no rugby though as the clubhouse will be showing the Autumn Nations live and that begins this weekend with both the England and Wales games being show as well as the Women’s rugby world cup final which will be replayed live at 12pm then to cap it off on Sunday we will be showing the Men’s ICC T20 world cup final between England and Pakistan, details below.
Next weekend we have another 2 Autumn Nations games for you featuring both Scotland and England’s matches and the final round of games will be shown on the 26th November including Wales v Australia and England v South Africa. There might be some special deals on offer for those weekends so keep watching this site and Facebook.
So what a tough game that was last weekend against Leicester Lions and a lot of good things for head coach Winston James to think about, in particular in how we took the game to Leicester right from the start and dominated the first 20 minutes to take a 10-0 lead, with Jake Murphy scoring all the points. Slowly the visitors began to assert some pressure and get themselves back into the game but even so it wasn’t until the end of what I thought was an extremely long 1st half, before they closed the gap with a try of their own to end the half 10-7 to the Chiefs.
The second half saw the Leicester Lions take control as their pack really asserted themselves, particularly in the scrum where they now dominated. Barnstaple were their worst enemies at this point giving up way too many penalties and four yellows throughout the half hampered any chance of not just winning this but keeping the Leicester Lions from scoring and the visitors took full advantage by scoring 19 second half points to win 10-26.
The Chiefs though did give the Lions a lot to think about as this was no pushover for the league leaders who knew all too well they had been pushed hard in this match and it wasn’t until the last play of the match before they scored their bonus point try as the enormous defensive effort by the Chiefs continued to thwart them. However the number of penalties we gave away was always going to handicap the Chiefs and that coupled with the dominance at the scrum for the Lions were the two main reasons the Chiefs lost this one, as one of Leicester’s supporters mentioned to me after the game, if we had a bit more discipline then we would have had every chance of a result in that game, which must be heartening for the team and something they must take going into this game with another top side, Clifton.
The Chiefs are still winless at home so far this season, but following that performance there is a sense that their first home win is just around the corner, but whether it will be against Clifton today remains to be seen. Last season we all remember how today’s visitors gave a master display winning here 12-52 in the last game of the season. Not much has changed it seems for the Bristol side as they find themselves in 4th place with seven wins and although their only loses were on the road, they were against the two teams currently sat at the top of the table. Another performance today by the Chiefs to match last weekends will test Clifton’s resolve providing we keep the penalty count low.
The team to do just that has several changes this week with the unavailability of Jake Murphy, Ben Hilton and Nat Bayet, so George Snell goes to hooker and Tyler returns to the No.10 shirt. Alex O’Donghue gets his first start at scrum half for the Chiefs today, here then is your team to face Clifton.
ATHLETIC AND COLTS
Athletic finally reach the end of their mammoth road trip as they visit the dark-side that is Torquay before a well-earned rest next week. Last weekend facing league leaders Tavistock, The Tic’s nearly pulled of a good win but ultimately came up short in a closely fought game 17-8. The one thing they did do though is give fair warning to Tavistock when they visit Pottington Road and that match does promise to be a corker. November 26th is your chance to see Athletic in the flesh when they take on Devonport Services here at Pottington Road, kick off as ever will be 2pm.
As for today’s game, here is a chance for Athletic to climb right back into the top echelon as they take on 3rd place Torquay and a good win here will put the Tic’s straight back into the mix.
The Bucc’s impressed under the lights at Tiverton last Friday shutting out the home side 0-21 and remain 7 points clear of second place Bideford at the top of the Devon Merit table NE. Today they visit Crediton and another chance to further their stranglehold on the top spot. The Bucc’s are back at Pottington Road on December 10th to face Exmouth Nomads
The Colts start their campaign for the Devon Colts Shield visiting Topsham today on the back of a good 12-29 win at Sidmouth last weekend. Next week they face Honiton Colts here at Pottington Road kick off 2pm. Here is the team travelling to Topsham
Just a final reminder that there is no rugby next weekend as all the teams have a free weekend to put their feet up, but we are showing the Autumn Nations live in the clubhouse. Check Facebook or the website for more details.
That’s it folks, good luck to every one of our boys playing today and I look forward to a great game today at home.