Saltash determined to stick with expansive style in Western Counties West

SaltashloSALTASH RFC are determined to stick with their expansive game style in Western Counties West.

The Ashes scored a staggering 1,158 points from 26 league games – an average of 44.5 points a match – last season to storm out of the Cornwall/Devon League with Crediton.

The Moorlands Lane side know life is going to be a lot tougher in the higher division, but they are not going to give up on the game-plan that has suited them so well.

Coach Richard Thompson said: “There are some decent teams in Western Counties West and I don’t think Saltash have been at this level for 20 years.

“But the one benefit we have is that we have a young side who won’t be fazed. We will try to play a high tempo game, similar to last year. We might tweak our style slightly, but we’ll still play an expansive game.

“We are going to be up against bigger and better sides and I don’t think we’ll be running in as many points as last year, but we have a young squad and we want them to go out and express themselves.

“A lot of teams have been in this league for many years and know each other well, but that could work in our favour, especially the first time we play teams.”

Thompson, who spent the peak of his playing career at Plymouth Albion, admits he quite likes not knowing too much about opponents as it keep players on their toes and forces them to react to situations on the field as they happen, rather than thinking what might happen.

Saltash have kept basically the same squad as last year. The only significant movement is at scrum-half where Dom Mulberry has come in to replace his older brother, who has joined Launceston.

Todd Crofts will be their new first team captain.

The Ashes return to action on Saturday when they entertain Plymouth Argaum at Moorlands Lane in a pre-season friendly (2.30pm).

“We’ve got Argaum this week and then we face Bodmin away in the county cup on August 29 before we start our league season at home to Kingsbridge,” said Thompson.

“Argaum and Bodmin will be a good couple of tests for us before that first league game.

“Argaum have just got promoted into the league we’ve just come out of (Cornwall/Devon). They had a really good season last year and have a big set of forwards.

“They are bringing 30-35 players and we’ll have the same amount.

“I think the plan is to play five 20 minute periods, with two of those involving both clubs’ first teams.”

It will be Argaum’s first run out since their promotion to the Cornwall/Devon League. They had been due to play Wyvern a couple of weeks ago but the match was called off after the Somerset side could not find a ground.

Elsewhere on Saturday, St Columba & Torpoint will host fellow south east Cornwall side Liskeard-Looe at Defiance Field (2.30pm), while Devonport Services travel to Brixham.

A full list of all South West pre-season games can be found HERE



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