TAMAR Saracens are hoping an extra training session with Plymouth Albion forward Dan Williams will help them to a much-needed victory against city rivals Plymouth Argaum on Saturday.
The two clubs meet in a re-arranged Cornwall/Devon League match at the Parkway this weekend after the original game due to be played on October 1 was postponed due to a lack of a confirmed referee.
Both sides could do with the points on Saturday. Injury-hit Plymouth Argaum sit 10th in the table with three wins to their name, while host club Tamar Saracens are 13th and have not won since beating Lanner on the opening day of the season.
Argaum will go into the derby game on the back of a hard-earned 26-19 win over Topsham last weekend. Saracens, meanwhile, were disappointed with their performance at Tavistock where they were beaten 29-5.
To try and pick them up for this week’s big match, Saracens asked former Gloucester and London Welsh player Williams to come and do a coaching session last night. He had done some training with them this summer after returning from touring Canada with England Counties.
“We just needed to work on some areas where we have been left wanting in,” said coach Stuart Busfield.
“We just want to play to the standard we know we can do.”
Although Tamar Saracens scrummed well at Tavistock, Busfield felt his side’s forwards did not perform to their best at Sandy Park and he is hoping they can put that right this week.
He is hoping they can lift their game at the breakdown and give their backs ball in dangerous areas.
“Hopefully, we can come up trumps this week,” said Busfield. “I think the players, the club and the coaching staff deserve it.
“We are just looking forward to the game and trying to put a few wrongs right.”
Saracens had Joe Wyatt back from travelling last weekend and this week they have fellow backs Fraser Tatchell and Tom Rigby returning, as well as Chris Cox and Mark Rennie.
Argaum are struggling for players due to injury, players away at the England game and military commitments due to Remembrance weekend.
However, they want to build on last week’s win over Topsham.
“We have got a lot of people away,” said club spokesman Stuart Quarterman. “But we’ve got a big squad and we’ve just got to go there with the right attitude and see what happens.
“We had a really good attitude last week and we just have try and carry that on.”
He added: “Earlier in the week we were worried whether we would be able to raise a side but now everyone’s positive.”
Argaum, who are able to welcome back Aaron Anderson-Smith, could leap-frog above Tavistock and into ninth spot if they did claim a bonus point win, while Sarries could move above Topsham and out of the bottom two if they did the same.
Fellow Cornwall/Devon League side Saltash are in Cornwall Senior Cup action this weekend when they host Wadebridge at Moorlands Lane (2.30pm).
The Old Boys opened their season in style last weekend with a 59-7 win over DHSOB.
Their coach Howard Turner knows everyone will be expecting them to claim another win, especially with them being at home, but he has warned his team not to take Plym Vic lightly.
“We always expect a challenge from Plym Vic and we have to come out firing from the first whistle on Saturday,” said Turner.
“We are just taking every game as it comes, but, hopefully, we can get another good result and it can set us up for the rest of the season.”
Plym Vic suffered opening day frustration last weekend when, with 14 players unavailable, they went down 62-12 at home to Salcombe.
Victoria coach Howell Phillips knows his team’s chances of winning any games this season will rely on player availability.
“Going to OPMs will be tough,” said Phillips. “But this team do come out fighting every week.”
There will be two teams with points to prove at Stonehouse Creek, where DSHOB entertain pre-season favourites Old Techs.
DHSOB also want to respond following their heavy defeat at OPMs.
Old Techs certainly will not be underestimating their city rivals after DHSOB pushed them all the way, losing by just one point, last month in the David Butt Trophy.
“Losing to Dartmouth was disappointing,” said Old Techs chairman David Evans. “But, hopefully, we can bounce back by beating DSHOB.”
Meanwhile, rebuilding St Columba & Torpoint are expecting a tough test when they travel to Dartmouth tomorrow.
Saints, who were relegated from Devon One with OPMs last season, were beaten 41-15 at home by Buckfastleigh last weekend in their opening Devon Two game.
Head coach Damien Chambers has a young squad and he has said he will be highlighting positives whatever happens this season.
He said: “Last season was so negative for the men’s team as every week it was the same story – trying to raise a team and only six to nine lads turning up to train once a week. As a coach it does affect you.
“As a coach you want to improve and you want to improve the players, but when you are only getting a few lads at training it restricts what you can do.
“However, this season has been better. We still only train once a week but I would rather have one good session than two poor ones.
“Last week against Buckfastleigh we dominated the scrums for most of the game and our line-out was good and we turned over plenty of ball at those set pieces. But Buckfastleigh had a great team spine running the game – their seven, eight, nine, 10 and 12 were the difference.
“We were neck and neck at half-time, but the second half they blew us away with a quality running game.”
He added: “We will be up against it this weekend but as we have seen already in Devon Two anything can happen.”
Saints do make a few changes to their side. Jonny Stoppard comes in at flanker instead of the unavailable Stevie Lister, while Jim Green regains his place on the wing after pulling out last minute last week and they will have a whole new midfield pairing in debutant Josh Bertman and Mo Morris.
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