RUGBY REPORTS: Services claim big cup win, but disappointment for Tavistock and Saracens

Devonport Services on their way to a 67-13 win over Paignton (picture by Mark Andrews)


DEVONPORT Services turned on the style to book their place in the semi-finals of the Devon Intermediate Cup on Friday evening at the Rectory.

Services ran in 10 tries as they overcame league rivals Paignton 67-13 under floodlights.

The home team led 29-6 at the break, having scored four first half tries, but their best rugby came in the second period, where they crossed six times.

Despite the scoreline, Services coach Mike Lewis felt Paignton made them work hard on the evening.

“I don’t think it was that comfortable,” said Lewis. “I think we really hard to work hard for it. Even though the scoreline suggest a big win, Paignton made us work hard for every try.

“But we just had that little bit extra on the night.

“In the changing rooms before I just had that feeling that it was going to go well.”

Services really produced some stunning moves in the second half as Paignton tired.

“At the end there was a bit of flare with a through the legs pass,” said Lewis. “In some ways that could seem a bit disrespectful, but in another way it is good to see that we have the confidence to try stuff like that.”

He added: “We had tries from forward play, scrum play, out-wide, backs linking with forwards and forwards linking with backs, which was what I thought was most crucial. We are trying to play a bit and it was perfect conditions to play a bit of rugby on Friday night.”

Lewis also felt the experiment of moving the cup tie to the Friday evening worked.

“It was really good,” he said. “Everyone was really looking forward to it.”

Devonport Services attack against Paignton (picture by Mark Andrews)

Fit-again Matt Anstis got Services on the way with a penalty after less than two minutes.

They should have scored a try almost from the re-start with a great backs move that saw Rob Ede and Max Venables just held short.

However, the first try did come on eight minutes when prop Ty Colwill went over from a good maul.

Paignton did reduce the gap with a penalty, but from the restart a second try followed for Services, with Plymouth University forward Ben Morris crossing and Anstis converting to make it 15-3.

Paignton added another penalty on 20 minutes and it looked like they might make a game of it at that point, but Services finished the half strongly and scored two tries in the final few minutes.

On 39 minutes, the hosts pushed Paignton off a scrum and Matt Gregory broke. He did well before putting Toby Knowles away on the halfway line and he showed his pace to score.

Devonport pressed from the restart and nearly scored another stunning try, but were just pushed into touch a metre out. However, they kept the pressure on and Paignton picked up a yellow card. From the penalty, the hosts took a scrum and from it the ball went right where Ede was waiting to score. Anstis brilliantly converted to make it 29-6.

Services started the second half like they finished the first and Venables scored a fine individual try on 44 minutes, which Anstis converted.

Rhys Williams added another straight from the restart when he ran in from 60 metres.

Matt Morrison and Joe Wyatt were next to go over with tries within three minutes of each other to make it 53-6.

Paignton were awarded a penalty try on 64 minutes but there was still time for Services to add two more tries.

The first came from the speedy Knowles, who ran in from 50 metres, before Anstis went over from close range to finish with a personal haul of 22 points.


A MUCH-changed Tavistock side missed out on reaching the Devon Intermediate Shield final with a 29-14 home defeat to league rivals Honiton.

Tavvy are unbeaten at home in the league, but they were missing a host of players for Saturday’s cup match.

Their biggest problem was their inability to win line-out ball against a Honiton side, who excel in that area with former Championship lock Nathan Hannay in their line-up.

The hosts also paid for knocking the ball on at crucial times when they attacked.

Honiton made a great start and were 7-0 up after just 90 seconds with a try by Kyle Blackmore on the right, which was converted by Ollie Cave.

Eight minutes later Blackmore scored a second after some poor tackling by Tavistock. Cave again converted to put Honiton 14-0 up.

After that the home side had some good pressure, but just could not get over the line and on 38 minutes, Honiton scored a third try when hooker Robert Price went over from a catch-and-drive move.

However, in first half injury-time Tavistock gave themselves a lifeline when Martin Budden went over for a try after intense pressure and PJ Wilcox converted.

Tavvy had the better territory at the start of the second period but knocked on three times in the opening 10 minutes. The third one ended up leading to a Honiton try.

The visitors pressed from picking up the loose ball and Tavistock found themselves in their own 22. They got a line-out but they lost the ball and Nick Guilbert scored for the visitors from close range to make it 24-7.

That soon became 29-7 when hooker Price scored another catch-and-drive move.

Tavistock, though, did have the last word when Budden scored a second on the right following a tap penalty and Wilcox converted.


TAMAR Saracens managed to throw away a 17-3 half-time lead as they lost 27-17 away at New Cross in a replayed Devon One match.

The original game last month had to be abandoned just before half-time following a mass brawl when New Cross were winning.

This time around it was Saracens who made the better start. They scored three unanswered first half tries courtesy of Ryan Deakin (2) and Joey Pook, with Lewis Swatton kicking one conversion.

New Cross’ only points in the opening 40 minutes came from a penalty by Ryan Wotton.

But the game totally changed at the break and New Cross went over for three tries of their own. Luke Smith got two of them, with Wotton collecting the other. Wotton converted all three and also kicked a late penalty to deny Saracens even a bonus point.

Sarries disappointing afternoon ended with veteran centre Steve Hodge, back from international duty with the England Deaf team, picking up a red card.

Tamar coach Chey Bryce said: “In the first half we stuck to our game-plan and used our big ball carriers and runners, but in the second we didn’t really do anything. We were trying silly off-loads and not sticking to what was making us win the game.

“We let them back in with a try and they got their heads up. We then got a bit indisciplined and got a yellow card and a red card at the end. It was frustrating – very frustrating.”

In Devon Two, Buckfastleigh were handed a walkover by DHSOB.

Meanwhile, Saltash winger Will Morton scored twice at a Cornwall Development XV beat Launceston 36-18. His Ashes team-mate Lewis Wells also managed a try in an impressive performance at flanker.

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