IVYBRIDGE player-coach Lewis Paterson has been pleased with his side’s run-outs against Devonport Services and Cullompton.
The Bridgers overcame Services 24-14 on Thursday evening before triumphing 40-12 over South West One club Cullompton at Cross-in-Hand on Saturday.
Saturday’s match was tight in the first half, with Ivybridge going in at the break 14-5 up, but the home team turned on the style in the second period to run in four further tries.
After their latest outing Paterson said: “The boys nailed it in the circle afterwards, especially Jay Geraty, by saying we’d be disappointed if we won by 40 points and had done everything right.
“There’s still a lot to work on in terms of our scrum and line-out and we were a bit poor with some of our handling, but to still score 40 points is good.
“However, we know we can be even more clinical and better.”
He added: “It’s been a perfect couple of games – Devonport and Cullompton – within a short space of time.
“We’ve got a bit of a rest until Taunton (on Thursday) and then a short turnaround until Albion.
“We’ll train Tuesday and, hopefully, right the wrongs and be even stronger for Taunton.
“These two games have been a learning curve. We are going in the right direction.
“It was tight against Devonport, but we got a bigger score against Cullompton, despite there been still loads to work on.”
Cullompton tested Ivybridge up front in the first half, but two tries within the first three minutes of the second period totally changed the game.
The star for Ivybridge was flanker Seb Slade, who was at the centre of most things on Saturday and had a hand in four of their six tries. Paterson and Billy Pinkus also looked particularly sharp in attack.
Billy Pinkus gave Ivybridge the lead on 18 minutes with a try in the right corner after a good passing move. Fly-half Luke Martell, taking his chance to impress, brilliantly converted.
Cullompton did turn Ivybridge over a few times at rucks in the first half and impressed in the scrum and maul.
The visitors were rewarded for their efforts in the 33rd minute when Jeremy Turner went over from close range for an unconverted try.
But right on half-time Ivybridge got a second try when new hooker Aiden Taylor forced his way over following a penalty after a great run by Slade, who was just stopped two metres out. Martell, who lined up alongside new scrum-half Sean Disney, again converted to make the half-time score 14-5.
Within a minute of the restart, Ivybridge scored a third when Slade put in a great tackle to force Cullompton to drop the ball near their own line and Paterson scored and make it 21-5.
That became 26-5 two minutes later when Billy Pinkus collected his second try on the right after a good move started by Paterson in his own half before Slade made 30 metres and put in a good off-load.
Centre Sam Kingscott added a fifth try on 56 minutes. A kick forward was gathered well by Slade before he popped the ball up to Kingscott, who showed good hands to take it and run to score. Martell converted to make it 33-5.
Ivybridge had Ben Watts sin-binned for a high tackle on 74 minutes but they were still able to add a sixth try six minutes later when Paterson broke down the right before kicking forward and youngster Jay Toogood collected the ball and ran in the under the posts. Mitch Pinkus converted.
With the last move of the game Chris Grant scored a consolation try for Cullompton.
(more pictures of this game can be viewed at the bottom of the page)
OLD TECHS v TAVISTOCK
OLD TECHS felt a tough workout against higher league Tavistock was just what they needed as they warm up for life in Devon One.
Techs, missing a number of key players, were beaten 45-5 by their Cornwall/Devon League opponents, who scored four tries in the opening 20 minutes.
“The first 20 minutes was a coach’s dream, with our structures falling into place perfectly,” said Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill.
Techs, though, reorganised after the opening quarter and made a game of it after that.
“We were beaten by a better team than us, to be fair,” said Techs chairman David Evans.
“The first quarter we struggled. They had some big runners, but after that opening quarter we quietened them down.
“It was a good test for us and the boys enjoyed it. We got more out of this game than we would have done playing a lesser side.
“We were about seven first teamers down but that’s not an excuse. They (Tavistock) are a good side and we are aspiring to be like them.
“All the boys came off the field saying they needed that game and there were positives.”
Mark Friend, Andrew Schuttacker and Ben Hadfield were once again key players for Tavistock.
Friend gave Tavvy the lead before Schuttacker scored a 12th-minute hat-trick. Hadfield converted all four tries in the first quarter.
Techs improved in the second quarter and Tavistock had to defend well, but they did eventually add to their scoring when Hadfield crossed and also converted.
Tavistock, who will play North Tawton on Thursday, added further tries through Jack Glover and Ash Toll.
Techs handed debuts to scrum-half Johnny Young and winger Jack Williams but fellow new signing Aaron Anderson-Smith was unable to play.
PLYMOUTH ARGAUM v OPM
PLYMOUTH Argaum coach Mark Sullivan took plenty of positives from his team’s 49-21 win over OPMs at Bickleigh Down on Saturday.
“It was good,” said Sullivan. “The work we have been putting in during pre-season is starting to show through.
“Over pre-season we have put quite a bit of structure in there and have tried to develop better game play than we had last season.
“We still had quite a few players missing in the forwards, so we were slightly weaker there than we would have wanted, but we pretty much had all our main backs.
“OPMs gave us a really good test in the forwards. We are still working on our set-piece, but we improved significantly during the game.
“The thing I am most impressed with is that our game-management has started to kick in and when we do have quick ball we have the backs and the ability to score tries.
“At the same time, when we gave ball away there was a good scramble defence in there.
“We still have a long way to go. We are no way near the finish article, but the team spirit and ethos is markedly different.”
Sullivan, like most coaches, knows you cannot read anything into pre-season results.
“We played four 20s against OPMs and put forwards and backs in different positions, but I wanted to see how they would perform whether or not we let tries in,” he said.
Devon Two side OPMs will also have taken plenty of positives from the match against a team who are two leagues higher than them.
OPMs will continue their pre-season preparations next weekend by playing Plympton Victoria.
Meanwhile, Cornwall/Devon League side Saltash narrowly lost 24-19 away at Western Counties West side Crediton.
The Ashes had taken a 7-0 lead but then found themselves 21-7 behind before finishing strongly.
Plymstock Albion Oaks pulled out of their trip to Tiverton on Saturday after playing Tamar Saracens on the Thursday.