DEVONPORT Services, Tavistock and Old Techs all had reason to be satisfied from a three-club 10s event at the Rectory on Friday evening.
Host club, Devonport Services, the highest ranked of the sides, fielded two teams and gave plenty of players a run out.
Cornwall/Devon League outfit Tavistock and newly-promoted Devon One club Old Techs fielded one team each.
Tavistock were the only side to end the evening unbeaten, although they did need a late try to earn a 7-7 draw with Techs, who grew with confidence as the night went on. However, Tavvy did beat Services Reds 17-7 and Services Blues 7-0.
Techs, might have been the lowest ranked of the clubs, but they battled really hard and produced some impressive moments in both attack and in defence. Apart from their draw with Tavistock, they narrowly lost 19-12 to Services Blues and 12-10 to Services Reds, who won the match with a controversial penalty try.
Services Reds were only beaten by Tavistock. They won the inter-club game against Services Blues 17-5 with some good team play, which saw them score three tries on the left.
Next Friday, Services will play Plymouth Argaum and Tamar Saracens in a similar 10s event.
Devonport coach Mike Lewis is hoping to have a few more forwards available for next week and hopes his team can continue to work on their core skills.
He admitted Friday night’s outing was about giving players game-time and a change to the normal pre-season routine.
“We had a fair amount of backs but not as many forwards,” said Lewis. “And we had to try and give people a fair amount of game time, so we did switch it quite a bit.
“That was maybe to the detriment of the performance but it showed what we wanted to get out of the evening.
“It also helped the players recognise that it might still be early pre-season but it is still hard work, no matter if you are playing against a Devon One team, a Cornwall/Devon team or a Western Counties West team.”
“We were not looking at structures or scoring tries too much. It was just about passing and catching, but we made too many unforced errors, just through trying too hard rather than realising the simple stuff worked well.
“The simple stuff in the first game for the blue team worked really well and when the red team played the blues they did the simple stuff really well and it was really effective.
“But overall we got a lot of out of it and it gives the boys a reality check.”
Lewis had praise for his former club Tavistock, who ended the night unbeaten.
“Tavistock are a good side,” he said. “Many of those Tavistock boys have been together since I was there. They have a core of players that are very good.
“I like the way some of them play. You have got your Mark Friends, Andrew Schuttkacker, Martin Budden, who are fantastic club men.”
Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill said: “We only had 13 players as a lot were working, but everyone who played definitely benefitted.
“Every game was good and hard. Although it is 10s, I think every team played a bit of 15s really.
“I am conscious that we need more of a game-plan, but our basic hands – just moving the ball – was really good.
“I thought our off-loading game was superb. That was something last year that was very hit-and-miss.
“Everyone put their hands up for a first team shirt. We have a lot more players with ambition to play in the first team this year, including a number of colts coming up.
“It was a really promising night. It is still very early but it was a really well organised event. It was a good competition with some good, hard rugby.”