Hi folks and welcome back to another Mighty Barum blog from yours truly. In another packed Saturday we have Barnstaple Athletic and Colts at home with the Tic’s playing their final league fixture of the season against Withycombe and what a season they have had, more on that later. The Colts host Exmouth Athletic Colts looking for another win to complement their great victory over Brixham Colts a fortnight ago. The Chiefs are on the road again in another frightfully difficult game as they travel to 2nd placed Clifton. No Bucc’s this weekend but their final game in the league is at home against their nearest rivals Exeter Engineers next weekend, win that and they will book their place in the Devon Merit table semi-finals. There is no Venue announced for those semi’s as yet, so keep an eye on this website and Facebook for updates.
Also next weekend is North Devon Hospices rugby ramble. This is your last week to get involved in this very important and worthwhile cause and join several of our Tuesday Club of Volunteers on their walk from Bideford to Barnstaple. If you would like to get involved there’s a delicious hot pasty to set you on your way, a pint at the midway point to keep you going plus a final pint at the finish line. Then settle in to watch the crunch England vs Ireland game, always an exciting Six Nations fixture, in the best atmosphere anywhere in North Devon. For more details visit the North Devon Hospice website by clicking on the banner below.
LIVE SIX NATIONS
Today we have another 6 nations beer fest for the England v France game which will be shown straight after Barnstaple Athletics match against Withycombe, with Carlsberg and Tribute on special offer during the Six Nations match. Other upcoming events includes the popular end of season 7’s festival whih this year in celebration woth the coronation of king Charles III it will be held on Sunday the 7th May 2023 giving you all a lovely bank holiday to recover. More details as they come so keep an eye on this website and Facebook. Finally Barnstaple Rugby Club will be showing all the World Cup Games, as you would expect, so keep your diaries open especially for the home nation fixtures where there might just be a few specials on offer, again keep watching the website and social media for regular updates throughout the summer.
We begin today with Barnstaple Athletic, now I know most of you will be wondering why as the Chiefs are our principal team but in this case Barnstaple Athletic have had a fantastically successful season in their first competitive season, so I think they deserve a little bit of limelight by headlining the blog this weekend. The Tic’s play their final league game against Withycombe on the back of an unbeaten second half of the season, currently with an eight game winning streak which was continued last weekend when Athletic beat Devonport 23-25, it seems no one can handle them in 2023.
As a result, Barnstaple athletic are looking odds on for that third place in the final standings as the season ends, behind both Tavistock and Torquay both who they beat convincingly at home and really did show how much the lads have progressed as a team under head coach Luke Berry’s stewardship and Josh Hill’s captaincy. Also, the hard work put in by Hannah Davie, Fred Jefferies and the rest of the team behind the scenes has helped immensely towards what is becoming a successful season for the Tic’s.
Today as I have mentioned Athletic face Withycombe and a win today especially with all five points will put all the pressure on Torquay who will need to win one of their two remaining games to stay in second place, but as they will be battling Honiton and then Exmouth it is likely they will accomplish this feat. So, I look forward to a great spectacle of rugby from Athletic who I expect to give us all a thrilling match to watch, and I encourage all of you who have yet to watch the Tic’s in action to get down to Pottington Road and enjoy the day especially as England v France is on the big screen afterwards.
This isn’t, however, the end of their season and there is dessert on offer by way of the Devon Shield competition which begins with Athletic at home to Tiverton next weekend, another trip to Devonport on March the 25th followed by Athletic at home to Exmouth a week later. Win all three and they will be in with a chance of some silverware this season and just rewards for a great season.
Today’s team to face Withycombe is poster
A tough day for the Chiefs last weekend against league leaders Leicester Lions and even more so after the Bournville v Redruth result which was, and I still am rubbing my eyes at the score line, a massive win for the Bournville team 52-40. Try making sense of that score line after the season those two clubs have had. What it does mean is that the Chiefs are in the fight for their lives to try and remain in National two rugby for next season. At this stage it is unlikely with just five games to go and this Saturdays game is another difficult road trip to 2nd placed Clifton, who last weekend smashed to hell out of Hinckley 31-71. So no easy path for the Chiefs and they will need at least a win over one of the big boys whether that is today at Clifton or at home against Redruth in a fortnights time.
Mind you it wasn’t all bad at Leicester and the Chiefs did start the game with a cracking first half scoring within the first five minutes through Brendon Darley and again regaining the lead with a Connor Swan try and although the home side managed to grab a try back just before the break, a half time score of 14-12 was looking good for the Chiefs as the second half beckoned. Unfortunately that half was a different story as Leicester Lions ran in 26 unanswered points to win the game 40-12.
That brings us to this weekend against Clifton. With several changes the good news is the return of Nat Bayet and Martinas Dromantas who are both returning from injury and start today on the bench. It would be great to get something from this game even if it’s a point just to help keep the teams mind on the prize before they meet Redruth on March 25th. Here then is the squad to take on Clifton.
The Colts are back on home soil today after a cracking win at Brixham a fortnight ago grabbing all five points in a 10-22 victory, which put them right on Brixham Colts coattails just four points behind with a game in hand. Today they take on Exeter Athletic Colts in a huge match for the lads and grabbing five points in this one will give them a lot of momentum going into next weekend’s clash with Okehampton. Here then is the Barnstaple Colts team for today’s game.
Now before I go you will remember the blog a few weeks back which mentioned about the tackle laws the RFU were going to introduce. Well everyone’s response to this news has made the RFU think again about such a top down approach and they have started some initiatives including a survey for everyone to take part and have some input. Below is the full statement including the link to the survey, so here is your chance to have some input? Have a great day whichever game of rugby you will be watching and good luck to all our teams playing today.
The RFU has launched a series of initiatives to listen to and learn from people across the game by consulting on the process around implementation of a lower tackle height in the community game. The consultation will allow the game to discuss the motivations behind the change and the needs to be factored in to make the implementation a success.
The first of these initiatives is a survey open to all in England.
The survey will be open from today until 9am on Wednesday 22 March, where the data will then be analysed by an independent, expert research agency.
Following this analysis, and a series of focus groups and forums with groups from around the game, the data will be taken back to the RFU Council to determine the way forward.