PLYMOUTH Argaum and host club Devonport Services both finished with unbeaten records from a 10s event at the Rectory on Friday night.
Western Counties West outfit Services fielded two teams – Reds and Blues – and took on Cornwall/Devon League side Argaum and Devon One club Tamar Saracens.
Services Blues drew 5-5 with Argaum in the first game before beating their club colleagues the Reds 17-7 and Tamar Saracens 17-0.
Argaum overcame Saracens 17-7 before ending their night with entertaining 17-0 win over Services Reds.
Saracens beat Services Reds 5-0 and were also competitive against Services Blues and Argaum, despite losing both games 17-7.
All three clubs were happy with the evening, despite wet and miserable conditions making handling tough. It was also so dark that the Rectory floodlights were needed for the first game at 7pm, but no-one was complaining.
“It was brilliant,” said Argaum vice-captain and assistant coach Calum Mills. “These type of things are great. It helps all the clubs.
“We’ve had loads of numbers at training and I can’t thank the guys enough that are turning up, especially the senior players, and the coaching staff.
“We’ve had a good start to pre-season. We have really thought about what we wanted to do and we also asked people what they wanted. Everyone’s buying into the same belief and I think that showed on the night.
“We played Devonport Services and drew with their best team and then they started putting their better players on in the last game. Tamar Saracens have also improved a lot.”
Services head coach Mike Lewis said: “It was another good run out. We enjoyed it.
“It is nice to play under floodlights and I think it was great for the other teams as well. You don’t normally get to play this much rugby early on.”
Services had played Tavistock and Old Techs the previous week also at 10s and had also field two sides, but this time they had a lot of different players.
“There was a certain music event going on in Plymouth so we were missing quite a few,” said Lewis. “I think we had to change around 15 or 20 players. That’s a bit tough when you are trying to get a bit of consistency from one week to another.
“However, I think we needed to take a bit more responsibility on ourselves and try and dominate the pace being the team in the highest league.
“What we will take out, is that from last week to this is, even though we had different players, we played a bit better rugby.
“I know the Reds didn’t come across on the scoreline as they wanted to, but there was a gradual improvement, which is what we were looking for.
“We are five weeks into a nine week pre-season so we are not the finished article.”
Tamar Saracens coach Chey Bryce was also satisfied with the evening.
“The boys put in a strong shift,” said Bryce. “It was good to get out there and play a bit of rugby.
“We have worked hard all pre-season. We’ve had really good numbers at training.
“Obviously, we got relegated last season, but the boys have shown great attitude and commitment to come back and try and get better.
“It was nice to get out there and have a competitive game and see if what we have been working on in training is going to pay off.
“We had a few new faces and it was good to see those new signings in action.”
Those new faces included Tom Hicklin, Lee Dolphin and James McFarlane.
Bryce added: “Services have a few boys who played for us a couple of seasons ago and it was nice to play against them. It was good to see what they thought of how we were progressing.
“I think this season we will do well. It was nice to play against someone like Argaum, who are a league above us, and Devonport Services who are two leagues above us. That was big for us. It’s good to challenge ourselves.
“We are playing Saltash next, who are again a league above us. We are just trying to challenge ourselves every week.”
More pictures of Friday night’s 10s event can be viewed HERE.