TAMAR Saracens and Devonport Services both took plenty of positives out of Friday night’s three-way pre-season fixture between themselves and Brixham at the Rectory.
The opening 40-minute match saw Western Counties West outfit Services just edge out newly-promoted Cornwall/Devon league side Tamar Saracens 7-0.
Saracens, last season’s Devon One champions, had to stay on and they lost 29-0 to National Three South West club Brixham after conceding a number of early tries before getting to grips with their much higher league opponents.
The final match saw Brixham kick a late penalty to beat Services 3-0.
Saracens coach Stuart Busfield was particularly pleased with how his understrength side did against higher league opposition.
“We played absolutely outstandingly,” said Busfield, who was missing a number of players due to Broadmasters. “There were lots of positives.
“Going into the evening I was a bit worried that these matches could dent confidence, but it has done the opposite – it has really boosted their confidence.
“Brixham could not believe we had just come out of Devon One.
“We got the short end of the straw there as we played Services in the first game, where we were really keen to prove a point, but then had to stay on and play a fresh Brixham side.
“We made changes, giving everyone a run out, and they (Brixham) ran in three early tries.
“But I was really proud of the boys. I think they are quite pleased with themselves.”
Busfield was particularly happy with how his team scrummed against Brixham and with the performances of new signing Courtney Richards, Dane Waryck and Kyle Andrews.
Services joint coach Mike Lewis was also happy with how the evening went. He also had praise for lower league Saracens.
“Tamar Saracens did really well,” said Lewis.
“The positives for us was that we did not concede a try all night, which is fantastic.
“The Brixham match was 0-0 until right at the end when they kicked a last minute penalty. With us being two leagues below, I think that was a moral victory for us.
“It was a good run out. It was our first 15-a-aide game.”
Lewis added: “Against Brixham we showed a lot of intensity and passion. If we can do that all season we will be fine, but Services have always been able to step up for the big games, but it is about doing it every week and against the bottom sides.”
Services will continue their pre-season preparations with a training game against Paignton on Thursday at the Rectory.
Tamar Saracens, meanwhile, had been due to play Gloucestershire side Widdon next weekend but there is doubts about whether they will make the trip to Devon and so the Ernesettle-based team are looking for an extra game just in case.