Welcome back-everyone and I hope you are fully refreshed after your week away from the rugby last weekend and are not too perplexed by England’s performance, I mean why do they wait until the match is almost over before they start playing some rugby, beats me, but it was exciting to watch. Talking excitement, we have a cracking game for you here at Pottinger road this Saturday with Athletic, who welcome Devonport Services II for their first home fixture in 2 months, unfortunately no Colts game this weekend. As for the Chiefs they travel west to face the Cornishmen of Redruth and the Buccs head to Exeter to face Exeter Engineers to continue their Pace setting start this season. As well as all that there is also the final round of the Autumn Nations series today and we will be showing in the clubhouse both Wales and England’s matches in the clubhouse and last week’s specials are back but only during each international is playing.
Before we start talking about the Chiefs game just a couple of announcements firstly the Juniors are looking for Boys and Girls from year 2 to join it’s newly formed U7’s team if interested then contact the Juniors Chair at email@example.com. The Xmas lunch has now sold out, Sorry if you missed out on that one but there is another opportunity for tables of 10 including a members discount for the home game against Bournville on 25th February more details as and when I get them so stay tuned.
Now to the Chiefs and another difficult game as they travel to Redruth who are currently 5th in the league with 7 wins to their name, including all five at home, and are looking Just as strong as they were Last season. At home in particular they are extremely strong with 264 points scored at home, the highest ranked in that category in the league as well as being the meanest at home only conceding 82 points, so the biggest challenge the Chiefs have faced on the road this season.
The Chiefs though should take a lot of positives from their two home defeats before the break, against the top two teams in the league, who have both been complementary about the Chiefs. I too have left the ground not feeling as disappointed as before and felt the players put in a really solid performance in both games, except for one glaring issue which really needs addressing, Penalties.
No team giving away the number of Penalties as the Chiefs have done in Both fixtures can expect to get any Points from it let alone a win. Four yellows in the second half against Leicester quashed any chance of a win in what was an incredible performance by the Chiefs in the first half. Granted we were always going to give up some penalties given the huge pressure the Lions put the Chiefs under in that second half but with 15 men on the pitch there was always a chance in this game, not so after a flurry of yellows.
Against Clifton a similar story with two yellows, one in each half, hampering the Chiefs, giving the visitors all the momentum they needed to put the game to bed which they did with two tries in the last seven minutes following the Chiefs second yellow, until that point the Chiefs were very much in it. So that is mission critical in this game is to cut down those penalties.
Outside of that I think there are some real positives now coming from this squad, especially following the lengthy injury list we keep getting after each game. The defence has improved and tightened up since that game against Hinckley and the Chiefs are currently 4th in the list of teams having conceded the least number of points on the road with only 113 points against them, which will give Redruth a something to think about going into this one.
There is just a couple of changes to the team this weekend which comes as a relief to the coaches I expect, especially with Jake Murphy available for this one as well as Alfie May and johnny Carter on the bench. No Tyler this week either so Connor Swan gets his chance from the bench, here is the team to face Redruth.
ATHLETIC AND BUCC’S
Athletic are finally home this weekend after an arduous road trip lasting two months. During their time away the Tic’s, after losing the first game to Honiton 43-29, mounted a very successful campaign of three successive wins over North Tawton, Brixham and South Molton before losing a tight game against league leaders Tavistock. With everything looking good a win at Torquay would have given them a huge advantage over the other teams with plenty of home legs, but reality struck as a strong Torquay side put six tries past them to win 42-17. Despite that loss three wins from six on the road is not a bad return for the Tic’s who are currently 5th in the league and can now mount another sustained series of wins beginning with their game today against 10th placed Devonport Services knowing that Tavistock, Honiton and Torquay, the three teams currently leading at the top of the table, are yet to visit Pottington Road, so all to play for.
Today’s team has several changes including the return of Kevin Angell, Alex O’Donoghue starts at no9. And there is a first Senior appearance for the Colts Louis Beer who is on the bench for this one. Here then is your Athletic team to face Devonport.
For the Bucc’s it was another big win two weeks ago at Crediton winning 0-57 and their third shutout of the season, two of which have been on the road. Today they play their 3rd successive fixture on the road in a top of the table crunch match against Exeter Engineers. Only 5 points separate the Bucc’s from second placed Exeter and a win today will enable them to increase their lead substantially. This will be a tough game and one where all their experience is going to be needed to get the result. The Bucc’s return to Pottington Road in a fortnights time where they take on Exmouth 3rd XV before a well-deserved break until January, kick off for that one is 2pm.
That’s about it folks except to say I hope to see a big crowd cheering on the Tic’s return to Pottington Road and for the England v South Africa game, anyone got the defib ready if last weeks final 10 minutes is anything to go by.