LEWIS PATERSON is hoping his 100th senior appearance for Ivybridge will be a memorable one.
Fourth-placed Ivybridge take on eighth-placed Bournemouth at Cross-in-Hand in National Three South West hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing 31-14 loss Old Redcliffians. It was only their second defeat of the season.
Ivybridge were 9-0 up just after half-time at second-placed Old Reds, but the home side scored a couple of quick tries that turned the game in their favour.
“This weekend is a big game and we need to show that bouncebackability,” said Paterson.
“We were really disappointed last week. In the first half it looked like we were on for a 30 or 40 point win. We were so dominant. We destroyed their scrum.
“But we had a few injuries and the depth of three people on the bench was really stretched.
“We were up against the wall second half and a couple of really quick, good tries by them put us under pressure.
“But it’s nice to be back home after a weekend off and then travelling to second in the league.”
Paterson is particularly relishing this weekend’s match with it being his 100th appearance for the club.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday,” he said. “I will get my 100th cap. That’s going to be big for me. It’s my boyhood club and to get 100 senior caps for them is nice.”
Prop Matt Finn, who has been in excellent form this season, would have been making his 150th appearance had he been available, but he was sent off last weekend.
Ivybridge will also be without forwards coach Jamie Tripcony due to injury and Seb Slade, who made an impressive debut last weekend.
“Seb Slade had a fantastic game last week, but unfortunately he got an injury after the game and he’ll be out of two weeks, which is a shame as he did so well and we’d have liked to have played him this week,” said Paterson.
But Ivybridge are able to welcome back club captain Jordan Anderton following injury and they could hand a debut to Courtney Richards. He will start on the bench for Ivybridge.
“Full credit to the lad he’s work his way up from Argaum and Tamar Saracens and now he’s on the bench for Ivybridge in National Three,” said Paterson. “All credit to him. He came to the club just wanting to get better at rugby, but he’s had a massive impact.”
Paterson added: “I am expecting a very tough game. It was a bit of imploding from us last week, so we just have to concentrate on ourselves. We are going to go out with a lot of determination and try and put in a performance for a full 80 minutes.”
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
Services suffered their first league defeat since the opening day of the season last weekend when they were beaten 20-12 by Torquay Athletic at the Rectory.
A failure to convert their chances into points cost Devonport the four points against the Tics and joint coach Mike Lewis is hoping his team can re-find their clinical edge at Sidmouth.
“They (Sidmouth) have had a few good results and we’re not really sure what to expect,” said Lewis.
“We are certainly not going to be taking them lightly. It is going to be just as tough as Torquay last weekend or Cullompton and other teams we have played.
“We will be up against it, but we have prepared well for it.
“We are still progressing as a team. Even though we lost last Saturday to Torquay we still progressed and we played some very good rugby at times.
“We kept the ball for long periods of the game last Saturday, but we just did not convert our chances, so that’s something we’ll be working on this week.
“It was a bit disappointing to lose but we knew it would be a tough game, with a couple of points either way.
“The boys worked hard throughout the game, but we just made too many individual errors.
“We just didn’t convert our chances. That was the difference to previous weekends where we have been converting them when we’ve had them.
“In those previous six league games we didn’t have that many chances but probably converted at least half of them. Last week we had plenty but Torquay defended outstandingly well and kept us out.
“However, our players’ heads should not be down after last week as they did play exceptionally well, but we just need to cut out a few minor errors and some poor decisions. If we do that we’ll be back on top of games.
“We looked at last week’s game on the video and we know where we went wrong and what we have to do to put it right.”
Ball carrying specialist Matt Gregory is available for selection again for Services this weekend, while Ben McGowan is expected to be fit despite suffering a cut last weekend. Youngster Devon Brown, though, is suffering with a knee injury.
Oaks entertain the unbeaten Cornish side at Horsham Fields in the big match in the Cornwall/Devon League.
Although Falmouth have a 100 per cent record so far, fourth-placed Oaks are unbeaten on their own soil and they would like that to continue.
Falmouth will be aware that their title-rivals Penryn suffered a defeat at Horsham Fields on the opening day of the campaign and are unlikely to take Tim Mathias’ Oaks team lightly.
“We’ve got a really tough game against Falmouth and that will really see where we are and how far we have come or have got to go,” said Mathias.
“It’s a big week. We really have to see what we are about as a group of players and see how we respond to a side that are seven from seven.
“We are at home and we are undefeated at home. If we get something then you look at our fixtures and we have a run of games where we potentially we could put a string of wins together and be right up there by Christmas.”
Mathias is still waiting for a full 80-minute performance from his team.
Last week he was delighted with the first 40 minutes against Tavistock, but not the second, even though they hung on for a 17-12 victory at Sandy Park.
“We have to try and forget about most of that second half and just try and remember the first 40 minutes,” said Mathias.
Oaks will be without second-row Jack Hardman, while a number of players picked up knocks last weekend.
There is another big match at Moorlands Lane where in-form Saltash host Tavistock.
Saltash are up to third in the table after five straight league wins.
They will be without their captain Andrew Schuttkacker, who scored a late try against Oaks, but they are able to welcome back Mark Friend.
Martin Budden will captain Tavistock, while there is a first start of the season for Charlie Charlton at hooker.
Coach Hammy Kerswill said: “The lads are very keen to get back to winning ways.
“Looking at the fixtures running into Christmas and with player availability gradually improving, I fully believe we can cement a top half placing going into the new year.
“It’s very much a great league this year, with every team looking threatening. I’m sure we’ll see a fair few shocks over the next few weeks.
“We’d love to be the first this weekend in winning away at Saltash, who are looking a strong outfit from what we’ve heard.
“I’ll say it every week until it happens, but if we start well we can beat anyone on our day.”
They currently sit 11th but do have a game in hand and have played most of the pre-season favourites, including Falmouth, Saltash, Plymstock Albion Oaks, Withycombe and Pirates Amateurs.
Last week’s 41-13 loss at leaders Falmouth was the only time they had not gone into the dying minutes of a match this season in a position of being able to win.
They are hoping now they can push on, starting this Saturday with a home match against seventh-placed Bodmin.
Club spokesman Stuart Quarterman said that even though they suffered their biggest loss of the season last weekend there were still plenty of positives.
“The team have come back really positive from Falmouth,” he said. “The first half we did not really turn, but second half we out-scored them two tries to one and Falmouth were full of praise for us.
“I think the team are confident this weekend. We did not pick up anymore injuries last week, which is a bonus. If we can play like we did in the second half last weekend, hopefully, we can get the win.”
Argaum had two controversial games with Bodmin last year. The Cornish side won 12-8 at Bickleigh Down thanks to a highly-debatable last-gasp converted try after hitting the post with a penalty. Argaum were then awarded a 12-9 win at Bodmin in a match that was abandoned early by the referee.
“I think we know them well enough,” said Quarterman. “We know they have got a nine and 10 who can boss a game and they have got a decent kicking game.”
A bonus point win could see Argaum leap-frog above Bodmin and into mid-table with a match in hand against Tamar Saracens. That derby game will be played on November 12.
Tamar Saracens, meanwhile, will entertain sixth-placed Withycombe at Ernesettle on Saturday.
Saracens sit second-from-bottom with just their opening day 3-0 victory over fellow newboys Lanner to their name.
Last weekend they were beaten 42-5 at home by Saltash.
Techs go into the game on the back of an impressive display against Devon One side New Cross at Barnstaple in the David Butt Trophy final.
Although Devon Two side Techs lost 21-15 they did push New Cross hard and hope they can take that level of performance into this weekend and into the league season, which starts next week.
Techs are unsure what to expect from Marjons but they just want to keep building.
“We’ve got the Lockie Cup this week and we are the defending champions,” said Techs chairman David Evans.
“We are playing Marjons and then it’s our first league match.
“Whoever we play, this team this year never lie down.
“We have signed some new players from last season. In that side last week there was five new players who didn’t play for us last season.
“There’s a lot of positives for the club and we are looking forward rather than backwards.
“To play New Cross from a league above them and push them so close was a positive for us.”
If Old Techs were to win they would play Saltash IIs in the last eight.
DHSOB booked their place in the Lockie Cup quarter-finals last weekend by beating Devonport Services IIs 20-10 at Stonehouse Creek.
Plymouth Argaum IIs had previously beaten their Plymstock counterparts to also progress.
Meanwhile, OPMs and Plympton Victoria will play a final warm-up match before the Devon Two season starts next weekend. The match will be played at Marsh Mills.
South West rugby fixtures can be viewed HERE.