Good evening and welcome to another insight to the weekend ahead and what a weekend we had last time with all four Barnstaple teams winning and surprise, surprise England getting through to the World Cup Semi-Finals. Talking of the world cup was that not four of the most intense games you have ever seen consecutively, I dunno about you but I was rooted to the edge of my seat totally amazed of the rugby I watched and then the France v South Africa match which rounded it off, priceless. Yes, we are showing England v South Africa on Saturday at 8pm, there will be Tribute and Carlsberg on offer at £2.50 a pint.
Yet, this weekend is proving to be an even bigger affair for Barnstaple as well with both the Chiefs and Athletic in big games. The Chiefs travel across the border with a date against 2nd placed Launceston whilst Athletic are at home to face undefeated league leaders Torquay, so some high-class intensive rugby on our own shores. The Bucc’s are home as well against Crediton 3rd XV whilst the Colts make the short trip to Bideford.
Barnstaple Rugby Club is proud to announce two new sponsors who have joined us for the 2023/24 season: J.W.Yeo Construction and Aysha George Training & Fitness, who have kindly sponsored the senior squads matchday warm up tops pictured here.
J.W.Yeo Construction is a well-established, family-run, local business in and around North Devon with a team of multi-skilled, friendly, reliable and fully qualified staff with over 25 years of experience in the trade. They offer a range of services, including plumbing, heating, electrical, carpentry, roofing, landscaping, and more. Whether you need a new boiler, a kitchen makeover, or a garden transformation, J.W.Yeo Construction can help. You can visit their website Building contractors, North Devon | General Building | Groundworks (yeoconstruction.co.uk).
Aysha George Training & Fitness is based in North Devon and specialises in group training and 1-1 coaching for all abilities. Aysha is a qualified personal trainer who can help you achieve your fitness goals, whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or improve your performance. Aysha offers fun and effective workouts that suit your needs and preferences. You can find out more about Aysha services and follow Aysha George Training & Fitness on Facebook AG Fitness & Training for some inspiration and motivation.
Today we will be celebrating the 100th appearance for two of Barnstaple Chiefs stalwarts Ashlee Crouch and George Snell who actually played their 100th game for the Chiefs against Exmouth last weekend. To that end I’ll let Ashlee and George describe their journey
Coming up at Barnstaple Rugby we have the regular Roundtable fireworks display which we know is the premier fireworks display in North Devon, nothing compares. This year the event will be supporting two worthy charities, Children’s Hospice South West and Families in Grief both deserving local charities supporting families and children across the North Devon area.
As ever, with a popular event such as this tickets go quickly so order yours now. Early bird prices are available and you can also buy on the gate to grab your tickets go to Barnstaple District Roundtable fireworks display
There is also Boxing as Barnstaple Amateur Boxing Club present their Remembrance Day show on Saturday November 11th. Doors open at 7pm and as always, a highly popular event. Tickets are on sale now, adults £15 Each, Under 16’s £5, and can be picked up at The Barnstaple Amateur Boxing Club, The Corner House, Ebberly Arms or Big Baps at Pottington. These events are always enjoyable with a high level of skill and talent on show. Full details are on the poster below
Well, what can you say about the Chiefs performance against Ivybridge? With the bonus point secured in the first half, a total of nine tries were scored with Dan Johnson, Cameron Grizzle-Johnson and Brandon Moore grabbing 2 two apiece. Was it a polished performance probably not but the defence was solid except once, yes talk me through those 7 points chaps, penalty count was massively down and that for me was worth the admission itself, so well done there and all in all a great day to be a Barnstaple Rugby supporter.
The first half saw the Chiefs quickly out of the blocks with two tries in 10 minutes as first Ryan Lee took on his opposite number down the wing to dive over and then a sublime grubber kick from Jake Murphy a couple of minutes later saw Dan Johnson land on the ball for his first. The third was a lovely offload from Will Topps as he was being pushed out into touch and with millimetres to spare got the offload to Kyran McManus who went over for his first of the season. At this point it looked like that every time the Chiefs went into the visitors 22, they would score and so it proved as just five minutes later Dan Johnson went over for his second and Barnstaple’s bonus point 4th try before the break.
The Chiefs didn’t waste any time once the second half started, and it was Ryan Lee combining with the scrum half Ben Beattie down the wing which resulted in a first try on his debut for the Chiefs for Ben. By now the forwards began to dominate proceedings, especially the scrum, which saw a big effort by the pack from a 5 meter scrum to push the Ivybridge pack back behind their try line for a simple touch down for Brandon Moore. Brandon’s second came from an almighty maul which drove through Ivybridge from which Brandon was able to burst through the middle and touch down. Between those two tries we got to see Cameron Grizzle-Johnson’s pace as he first went inside from out wide to outpace his pursuers, and in the last play of the game went outside to cruise past for his second.
So, all in all, an excellent win and I don’t really have that much to say beyond that except how refreshing it is to see so few penalties and the Chiefs. The opposition did not really push the Chiefs hard at anytime in the game and the Chiefs were never really tested and as such never really upped the tempo of thier game. Even so if they keep this up, they are going to be hard to live with in their current form.
Which brings us to a monumental game this Saturday for the Chiefs who travel to second place Launceston. This is not only a battle for second place but might also be for top spot as Chew Valley travel to Exmouth and given their narrow win at home to Devonport 12-11, anything can happen with regards to the top of the table. Launceston is leading the Chiefs by a single point, which was helped with a 19-34 win at St. Austell. This will be the first meeting between these two since the Chiefs were promoted and, in that season, it was the Chiefs who did the double over our hosts beating Launceston 5-36 then the return fixture at Pottington road which was much tighter with the Chiefs again victorious 13-6.
So, expect Launceston to come not just wanting to avenge those defeats but also the bonus of extending their lead over Barnstaple. There is no doubt that the team we face this season will be a much-improved Launceston than the team back then and the Chiefs will need to be at their best for this encounter because you can guarentee that at home they will push the Chiefs hard.
The team itslef is very much unchanged for this match with just one exception as Johny Carter plays at 6 today with Charlie Banfield moving to the second row, otherwise the team is almost the same as last weekend. Here then is your Chiefs team to face Launceston.
Barnstaple Athletic fresh from their encouraging win over Devonport last weekend, took this game in their stride putting 7 tries past third placed Exmouth to within a point of 2nd placed Devonport and 7 points behind the league leaders and the team they face this Saturday at Pottington Road, Torquay.
Five first half tries from Louis Beer (2), Ryan Jago, Finlay McManus and Ross Swales sealed the game before the break. The second half was not as successful as it looks likely the Tic’s took their foot of the gas with just two further tries from Morgan Gabe and Alex Penny. Ross Swales converted 4 of them to give Athletic a big win at Exmouth, which is always nice, 7-43
Whilst the big win is encouraging there must be concerns about the second half performance, especially as the same happened against Devonport the week before. Athletic are going to have to be on the ball for the full 80 minutes against Torquay who have yet to lose this season having scored bonus point wins in all six of their matches.
There are a couple of changes for Athletic with Jake Patrick and Joe Messenger coming into the forwards whilst Connor Swan returns to the backs. Here then is your Athletics team to take on Torquay with kick off at 2.30
Bucc’s and Colts
For the Bucc’s it was business as usual as they stomped all over Exmouth Nomads putting 52 points pass them with just 5 in return. Can’t argue with that sort of return rate can you. Today they face stiffer opposition with Crediton III making the trip to Pottington Road.
The Colts grabbed a second win in fine style but did have to battle hard in the second half to ensure it. Four first half tries gave them a big lead by half time over Topsham Colts. The visitors however came back strong in the second half scoring three tries in reply but the Colts defence, now with it’s added confidence, stood firm to ensure a second win this time with a bonus point in a highly entertaining if somewhat nervous game for the coaches.
Can they make it three consecutive wins as they travel to Bideford today.
Here then is your Bucc’s and Colts for this weekends fixtures.
Well, that’s another blog for you to digest. Don’t forget we will be showing the England Semi-Final against South Africa on Saturday, kick off is 8pm and we have the specials on offer throughout that match with Carlsberg and Tribute £2.50 a pint.
Next weekend there is no rugby for Barnstaple, but the clubhouse will be showing the Rugby World Cup final which kicks off at 8pm.
I’m taking a week off next week and putting my feet up, Next fixture is 4th November when the Chiefs welcome Lydney to Pottington Road, Kick off for that one will now be 2pm as will all the remaining fixtures up until April. So don’t forget to set your alarms a touch earlier. Athletic visit Exeter Saracens that weekend as do the Buccaneers whilst the Colts have a rest before their final round 1 group game at Crediton the week after.
Good luck to all our teams playing this weekend and dare we dream of a third clean sweep of wins; it would be nice wouldn’t it. Enjoy the world cup and I’ll catch up with you all in a fortnights time.