Good evening all and welcome back, boy what a weekend that was last Saturday with the two senior sides scoring over 100 points between them at the cost of only 16 points, life just cannot get better can it. Well maybe it will as we have two very big games this Saturday with the Chiefs at home welcoming 4th place Launceston to Pottington Road and this game is sponsored by long standing sponsors Chichester Developments and Jewson. Athletic though have what can only be described as their season defining match as they travel to 2nd place Torquay with a 6-point advantage at the top of the league, knowing a win here puts them in the driving seat for promotion. 

The Buccaneers travel to Bideford ready to wipe away the frustration of another cancelled game last weekend, whilst the Colts take a rest before returning to home soil next weekend looking to get their first win of 2024 against Newton Abbot colts. 

There is still time to get your tickets for the Sportsman’s Dinner on March 14th, and to any sponsors of Barnstaple Rugby we have a great day for you on February 17th as the Commercial Committee invites you to a Sponsors Lunch featuring Barnstaple Athletic v Exeter Saracens. Details for both below


Of course, it is that time of the year again when the six nations light up our TV screens again and after the world cup, I expect there are several nations that want to make a point against the World Cup Semi-Finalists so it should be another rip-roaring competitive round of matches throughout February and March. Now then only one Chiefs game falls on a Six nations game and that is the first match as England travel on Italy on 3rd February when Barnstaple welcomes Launceston to Pottington Road. two of the games which feature England also fall straight after the Colts home games with 4.45. So there you have it come and watch the Barnstaple teams in action then enjoy a nice pint cheering on England afterwards at the club. Below is what the Clubhouse will be showing at the time of this blog, there maybe other matches shown and I will update you as I’m told. 

Barnstaple U16’s

Barnstaple’s U16 continue to excel in their 2nd round challenges towards a Fisherman’s cup final. 3 wins so far and last weekend drew 7-7 against Paignton has given them a great springboard towards those aims.

This Sunday they are on the orad with a visit to Devonport Services and we here at the Mighty Barum Blog wish them every success and let’s see if we can get a fourth win



Well what can we say, Barnstaple Chiefs scored their highest win of the season at Ivybridge, beating the home side 16-68, with the try count into double figures as Barnstaple ran in ten tries. The Chiefs came flying out of the blocks right from the start with Tyler Gordon Oke scoring a brace within the first 15 minutes, he also had 8 conversions and passed his 50th conversion for the Chiefs during the game. The first half ended 9-28 with Sam Roberts and Brandon Moore both scoring. 

Ross Swales opened the scoring in the second half, but it wasn’t until the final 20 minutes that the Chiefs let rip with tries from Cameron Grizzle-Johnson, Dominic Robson, two from Matt Gohl and in the final minute one from Johnny Carter. 

What a game and part of me wished I was there, however another part of me was glad I stayed to watch Athletic which was another stunning game but more on that later, for the Chiefs this was an important win with scores across the team that now elevates them to 2nd place with just 6 games left and sets them up nicely for a much tougher challenge that is Launceston. 

Earlier in the season it was Launceston who took the honours at Polson Bridge in a very close game, just beating the Chiefs 20-17, so chance for Barnstaple to amend that defeat. Launceston currently sits in 4th place just 4 points shy of the Chefs. So not only are bragging rights on offer on Saturday but also 2nd place in the league. This will be a big game for both sides and a very exciting game at that.  

With 11 wins and 5 loses Launceston do seem to struggle on the road which accounts for four of those loses and includes a 30-29 loss at 11 placed Okehampton and they have yet to beat any of the top 5 teams they have so far visited. 

So the Chiefs have a tough game in prospect but one they should be ready for across the team and there are a couple of enforced changes and Brandon Moore had a knock to the head and has to sit out the mandatory couple of weeks. Ben Hilton returns to partner Matt Gohl in the centre with Nat Bayet moving to No.8. The big surprise though is the return of Jordon Petherbridge who is on the bench, here then is the Chiefs team to face Launceston. 



Now to Athletic and what a great performance by the whole team on Saturday as they put seven tries past Exmouth Quins to shut out the visitors 41-0. The bonus point was secured by half time and the second half although not as big scoring was full of ambition and good solid rugby as the Tic’s gave the supporters a lot to cheer about. 

The first score came after 15 minutes when sustained Barnstaple pressure and a number of phases saw the ball go wide as Harvey Rostock took it one handed in his stride to go in at the corner. Following some excellent defensive work by the Tic’s which dd not allow Exmouth anywhere near the danger zone Athletic took the game to the visitors and scored three tries in the final 12 minutes of the half beginning with Alex Penny scoring the first of his hattrick of tries bursting through the Exmouth midfield to score under the posts. This was followed fairly quickly by Ollie James flying down the wing and stretching his arm to place the ball on the line whilst being tackled. Gavin Mitchell rounded off the half following another excellent defensive stint by the team which saw the flying Josh Hill charge down the middle of the pitch at the gallop. Several plays later and Athletic mauled from the penalty line out and whilst Exmouth concentrated on the maul Gavin took the ball around the pack and through the gap in the defence to end the half 22-0 up. 

The second half took longer for Athletic to score as Exmouth had regrouped at half time and were much more up to the task in fending off Athletics varied attacks, and also made some headway in attack but were fruitless as Barnstaple’s defence was impenetrable. Tom Swales finally broke the second half deadlock as he saw the space open up in front of a now tiring Exmouth side to sprint through unopposed. Minutes later as Exmouth got a small amount of success in attacking Athletics line, Alex Penny made the interception inside the 22 and sprinted nearly the length of the pitch to score his second, quickly followed two minutes later where Alex again outpaced his defenders to go through the centre to score his third try. With three conversions from Harvey Rostock Athletic won 41-0. 

As I mentioned earlier Luke and Scott have got this team working as a really cohesive unit. The front row was smashing it all day supported superbly by the rest of the pack. Exmouth just didn’t know how to handle the two centres of Alex Penny and Luke Knight whilst the half backs were always looking to vary the attack, with the back three always a danger. There was some really good solid rugby played and the perfect preparation for This weekend’s encounter with 2nd placed Torquay. 

There are six points separating these two teams but with Torquay a game in hand it is really important that Athletic get something out of this, the win would be perfect and give the Tic’s advantage as we head into the final games of the season, but Torquay are yet to lose at home and it is going to take a really special performance from the Tic’s to get that win.  

When these two met in October it was Athletic who triumphed in a closely fought game 17-14. Since then, Athletic have progressed impressively and are a better team all round than back then and do seem to be hitting their peak just at the right time. After the 80 minutes we will see how the land lies and whether their progress will be enough, which I personally believe it will be, especially after their second half performance at Devonport where four second half tries totally tore apart the home side who were leading the league at that point. So, another performance like that would be perfect and even if the lads don’t get the win, I’m absolutely positive the performance will earn them the two crucial bonus points that are also on offer and that maybe the difference between promotion and 2nd place at the end of the season. 


THe buccaneers and Colts

The Buccaneers. 

Another cancelled game and more frustration for the current leaders of Devon Merit Table 1 NE, Barnstaple Buccaneers who lead by 18 points over their only real threat for this title, Exeter Engineers who have here games in hand and the two are still yet to meet at Exeter. Today though it is a much shorter journey to third placed Bideford II. A bonus point win will be just the ticket to keep the pressure on the Exeter Engineers before they meet in March. 


It was a heart breaking loss for the Colts who have improved well and are playing some great rugby without reward. Following two close battles the Colts headed to Sidmouth and put in a great 2nd half performance which unfortunately was not enough to get their first win as Sidmouth took the honours 19-10.

The Colts are still looking for that elusive first win of 2024, yet despite this they continue to progress and improve and it surely won’t be long before they are celebrating. They have a rst this weekend before welcoming Newton Abbot Colts to Pottington Road next Saturday

Another weekend passes us by and it’s not long before the season ends. Just two more home games for the Chiefs after today and both of those are in March, There will also be a big announcement about what the Chiefs will be up to for the rest of the season once the league finishes and I hope to have that for you in the next couple of weeks., next Saturday the Chiefs take another break before the trip to Lydney on the 17th. Thier next home game isn’t until march 2nd when the Cheifs welcome Matson to Pottington Road.

Athletic also have a break next weekend before welcoming Exeter Saracens to Pottington Road on the 17th as are the Buccaneers who take on Exeter Saracens II on the same date. The Colts are playing next weekend when they host Newton Abbot Colts here at Pottington Road, kick off is 2pm.

Good luck all our teams playing this weekend and I will be taking a break next weekend although i will be pitchside to shoot the Colts game. catch up with you all in a fortnight. Also don’t forget to grab your tickets for the Sportsman’s Dinner.

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