PLYMOUTH Albion boss Graham Dawe says it is a ‘real bonus’ to have hooker James Penman back in action.
Penman, who can also play prop, made his comeback after two months out with a calf injury against Henley Hawks on Saturday at Brickfields.
The New Zealander came on for the final 30 minutes of Albion’s 27-8 win over Henley, playing initially in the back-row before moving to his natural position at hooker.
“It is a real bonus for the squad to have another front-row forward to rock and roll,” said director of rugby Dawe.
Meanwhile, Dawe was also pleased to see young Cornwall winger Robin Wedlake score his first try for Albion.
Wedlake was making only his sixth start for Plymouth after an injury-hit first season at the club after joining from Redruth in the summer.
“It is very good to get that first score for any team,” said Dawe. “It is a massive bonus.
“Robin’s well respected by the players. They all think he is a top, talented player and has a big future in the game if he keeps believing and backing himself.
“He certainly worked off his wing on Saturday and created lots of opportunities, not only for himself but for his team-mates. He helped set-up Ethan’s try and challenged down the middle just before our first try, so we were really pleased with his all-round performance. He looked safe in defence as well.”
Meanwhile, Albion should find out within the next 24 hours if Marc Koteczky will be punished further for his sending off against Henley.
The Australian-born centre was shown a red card following a flare up in the 20th minute of the match, which also saw Henley’s Tom Hall sin-binned. It was Koteczky’s first card of any colour in two years at Albion.
The talented back is only the second Albion player to be shown a red card at Brickfields since the club moved there in 2003.
The only other was Canadian lock Brett Beukeboom who was dismissed for a tip tackle against London Scottish during the 2013/14 season.
Albion have only had seven red cards since 2000.
Last season, Tom Cowan-Dickie was red carded for striking an opponent with his head against Leeds, while the year before Beukeboom received his sending off.
Gareth Evans was sent off against the Cornish Pirates during the Christmas match in 2011/12 for two yellow card offences.
Between 2005 and 2011, Albion did not collect one red card.
However, in the 2004-05 season both Keni Fisilau and Alfie Tooala were sent off, while in 2003-04 Andy Perry was given his marching orders against the Pirates.