Rugby

RUGBY: Vital wins for Ivybridge, Saltash, Oaks, Argaum, Tavistock and Tamar Saracens

Tamar Saracens win a line-out against Old Techs in Devon One

IVYBRIDGE have moved up to ninth in the South West Premier League table after an impressive 29-12 home win over Cleve, who had started the day in fourth place.

The victory was only their second of the season at Cross-in-Hand and followed on from a success at Camborne the week before.

The Bridgers are now hoping they can continue building and moving up the table.

The South Hams side did the damage in the first half on Saturday, taking a 21-5 lead with Charlie Briant, playing at centre, impressing.

He scored two tries in the opening 40 minutes, with prop Jon Morgan also collecting one.

After the interval lock George Wilson added the all-important fourth try. Luke Martell, who had another big game, converted three of the four tries and also added a penalty.

“Like I said in the week, it was not a case of putting pressure on ourselves at home but we just wanted back-to-back wins,” said player-coach Lewis Paterson. “We just want some consistency.

“To be fair, it could have been a really big score. We left a lot of unanswered points out there, but it was just nice to get a five-point win and at home.

“We were in complete control of the game and it was a good feeling.”

He added: “The boys deserved it as they have put in so much effort.

“It gives the boys a lot of confidence. We have gone down to Camborne and turned them over and been in complete control against Cleve. These are two big games we have got wins from.”

Old Techs push forward at a scrum against Tamar Saracens

WESTERN COUNTIES WEST

DEVONPORT Services have dropped down to third in the Western Counties West table after losing 34-19 away at leaders St Ives on Saturday.

Services, who had to re-gig their backline late on after Matt Anstis dropped out through illness, made a terrible start in Cornwall and were 19-0 down after 30 minutes.

“We were really up against it that first half-an-hour,” said Services team manager Kieran Leach. “St Ives threw everything at us and really hit us hard from kick-off.”

Devonport did get back into it when Max Venables scored in the corner and Richard West converted.

But, right on half-time, St Ives scored a fourth try to take a 24-5 lead at the break.

The hosts then added another straight after the interval before Services finally came to life.

“We played some good rugby for the next half-an-hour – we played really well,” said Leach.

Flanker Will Marsh, making only his second first team appearance for Services, got their second try following a line-out. West converted to make it 29-12.

The gap was then reduced to 10 points when number eight Aaron Webb scored in the corner following a tap penalty. West again added the extras.

But any hopes of Services returning from Cornwall with any points disappeared when St Ives scored from the next restart.

Leach added: “They were strong and they were at home. We were not at full strength, but there were no excuses.

“We just have to try and start another run now. We are third now so we need to get back on the bandwagon pretty quickly.”

Old Techs pressure Tamar Saracens following a restart

CORNWALL/DEVON LEAGUE

IT WAS a great day for Plymouth Combination teams in the Cornwall/Devon League on Saturday, with all four claiming impressive wins.

Saltash have moved to the top of the table after a stunning 30-14 home victory over previously unbeaten league leaders Penryn.

The Ashes made a good start and had plenty of territory and possession early on and eventually they managed to score a try when flanker Phil Eatwell dived over in the corner.

Penryn did come back strongly and were awarded a penalty try on 25 minutes after a good scrum to take a 7-5 lead.

But either side of half-time fly-half Kieran Down kicked two penalties to put Saltash 11-7 ahead.

And in the final 20 minutes the hosts pulled clear of their Cornish rivals.

The prolific Will Morton scored a second try for Saltash on 60 minutes after a good kick to the corner by Down.

Morton then added another in the 75th minute when he picked up a loose ball and sprinted clear. Down converted to make it 23-7.

An all-important fourth try came almost straight away when scrum-half Ollie Mulberry scored from close range, which Down converted.

Penryn did claim a consolation try through Sam Hitchens, but it was not enough for them to pick up any points. Penryn have now dropped down to third in the table, with Wellington now second.

Tavistock produced one of the results of the weekend by claiming a convincing 36-0 win over Lanner, who had started the day in fifth.

Tavistock had lost their last three matches, but found their top form on Saturday.

The game at Sandy Park was ended 18 minutes early due to a head injury to Lanner’s Tubby Arkell, but Tavistock hope the result will stand.

“One of their players knocked himself out and they couldn’t move him,” said Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill.

“We tried to move to another pitch but there was not one suitable so it was called on 62 minutes. The result should stand as we were six tries up with 18 minutes to go. They (Lanner) were quite happy to admit defeat.”

He added: “It was a convincing win. The forwards and backs worked well together. The set-piece was dominant and the backs were confident moving the ball. It just came together this week.”

The match had been moved to Tavistock’s second team pitch as the first-team playing surface was out-of-bounds due to the weather and the home team found themselves playing down the slope first half.

“It was a sloppy start,” said Kerswill. “We were playing down the hill and the first 10 minutes there was a lot of dropped balls and we couldn’t find out feet, but then it just started to click.”

Lanner’s lack of discipline did help Tavistock. The visitors had a player sin-binned and from the resultant penalty, Tavvy opted for a scrum. From it the hosts drove Lanner back fast and the referee had to hesitation in awarding them a penalty try.

They then went 12-0 up before half-time when Ethan Lamerton dived on a ball following a chip kick from Ben Hadfield.

“We had been playing down the slope so we were thinking it was going to be quite tough second half, but it was actually one-way traffic,” said Kerswill.

Prop Joe Hair added a third try from a pick-and-go move close to the line early in the second half.

And straight from the restart, Tavistock got a penalty and went for the corner. The line-out was over-thrown but the ball kindly fell to prop Charlie Charlton at the back and he bundled over the line.

Captain Andrew Schuttkacker added another try after cutting a good line in midfield and running in under the posts, before young flanker Richard Cann scored from close range.

The next restart was when Arkell was knocked out leading to the game finishing early, with light almost gone.

Dan Smith scored a last-minute winner as Plymouth Argaum ended a six-match losing run against Withycombe at Bickleigh Down.

Argaum were trailing 14-10 with time up on the clock, but managed to snatch a 15-14 victory, much to the delight of coach Mark Sullivan.

“There was some very positive play,” said Sullivan. “And once again it was another step up.

“It was a game that could have gone either way, but our phase play won it. We also kept our heads.”

He added: “We played very similar to the way we played down at Penzance last week – playing tight initially.

“We started quite slowly and made quite a few mistakes in the first half, but in the second half we started to put together phases and moved the ball wide.

“We scored a try but once again through a mistake we allowed Withycombe to come back with a try.

“They were leading but with 10 minutes to go we used our phase play and went from our five-metre to their five-metre and then we kept the pressure on.

“Our scrum was immense at that point and in my opinion there could have been two penalty tries but we maintained the pressure in the forwards and eventually got the try to win by one point.”

Withycombe, who have now lost three games in a row, started really well and went 7-0 up with a try by John Parkins, which Sam Conway converted from the touchline.

Early in the second half Al Murray kicked a penalty to get Argaum on the board and they then took the lead with a try by fit-again captain John Ireland, which Murray converted.

But 10 minutes from time, scrum-half Parkin scored a second for Withycombe and Conway converted to make it 14-10.

However, the game was won when Smith was ruled to have got the ball down with the last play of the game.

Plymstock Albion Oaks managed to claim a 27-15 win over Pirates Amateurs at Horsham Field.

It ended a three-game losing run for Oaks, who turned on the style in the first half on Saturday.

Plymstock led 22-0 at the break, with tries by Joe Brearley, Tom Richards and Corey Jamieson.

Jamieson added another for them after the break, but the Pirates finished the better. The visitors scored three tries through Sam Coogen (2) and Pete Cook and could have had more, but for some good defence by Oaks, who were glad Pirates’ form came just too late to threaten their lead.

“In the first half we played some really good rugby,” said Oaks coach Callum Cload. “It was exactly what we wanted to do.

“We went three tries up, but second half we let them back into the game a bit.

“The Pirates were really hammering at us at the end. They had some really strong ball carriers but fortunately we held out.

“It is five points and it swings the momentum back for us. Hopefully, we can build on it.”

DEVON ONE

TAMAR Saracens claimed a 16-10 victory in the eagerly-awaited Plymouth derby match with Old Techs at Weston Mill.

It was their first win of the season and leaves them just two points behind Old Techs, who are still waiting for their first victory.

The first league meeting between the sides for five years could have gone either way. Saracens had the better of the first half and led 7-0 thanks to a try by Ricky Lennon on 25 minutes which Lewis Swatton converted.

Techs had missed a penalty on 13 minutes and they struggled to get into their game, making silly mistakes, like failing to find touch with kicks. Saracens also decided not to contested line-outs and that led to Techs getting penalised for obstruction when they did get close to the try line.

Sarries did finish the first half strongly and Techs had Rudi Baker sin-binned but the hosts defended well to keep their rivals out.

Swatton did increase Saracens lead to 10-0 straight after the interval with a penalty, but then Techs came to life.

They produced a couple of great moves before Martin Jarvis eventually scored after some intense pressure. Paul Ansell converted and also added a penalty to level the match at 10-10.

At that point the momentum looked totally with Techs and Sarries were lucky not to have had a player sin-binned themselves.

But the momentum changed again with a good bit of play by young Saracens full-back Swatton. He beat a couple of players in the middle of the park before kicking. However, the referee ruled he was tackled late when he kicked, giving Saracens a penalty where the ball landed, which was easily in Swatton’s kicking range. He duly kicked it to put his side 13-10 up.

Two minutes from time, Saracens got another penalty, which Swatton kicked.

Techs tried everything to rescue the game in the last couple of minutes but Saracens managed to hold on, much to the delight of their coach Chey Bryce.

“We knew it was going to be tight and physical,” said Bryce.

“But, hopefully, coming out on the right side of a tight game like that for once will help us kick-start our season.

“We need to enjoy the fact that we have won but then look to get another win at home to Exeter Saracens next weekend. Hopefully, this has kick-started our season.

“But we are not the finished article. We only beat them by six points so we still have a lot to work on.”

He added:  “Like we said before the game, we had worked on a lot of things in the week and one of them was to take away one of their strong points, which is their driving maul. I don’t think they got a driving maul going against us all game. I think that helped us massively because they could have got a lot of advantage out of that.”

Techs coach Shaun Bedford-Smith was disappointed his side lost, especially when they had the momentum midway through the second half.

“It was disappointing as we got ourselves back into the game,” he said. “When we got it to 10-10 we had them on the back foot, but we gave away a couple of needless penalties in the red zone which they put over to make it 16-10.

“It was just silly mistakes and penalties. We didn’t execute again in the right areas when we had the chances. The line-out maybe didn’t function.

“We knew at the beginning of the game that it would be really tight and that it could come down to penalties. We have to learn from that.”

He added:  “I thought they were giving away a lot of penalties in their red zone when we had them under pressure and I thought they probably got away with it a little bit.

“They got a team warning and then one of their players came in from the side, but the referee didn’t do anything about it. That was frustrating because we had a yellow card for a high tackle, but before that they’d made three high tackles. I thought consistency was lacking a bit, but the referee did not lose us the game. We gave away the penalties in those areas.

“Some silly little errors have crept into our game this season that we need to rectify quickly if we want to start winning.

“But I can’t knock our players for commitment, their passion and how they played. They didn’t give an inch and neither did Sarries.

“It was a good local derby that could have gone either way. I thought it was going to swing our way in the second but it didn’t.

“But our guys kept going until the end. The pride and passion from our players was superb, I thought. I also thought their overall discipline was great as well. That can sometimes be hard in derby games.

“It is disappointing to lose as it’s Tamar Saracens, but we’ll take it on the chin.

“It’s not over yet. We just have to keep training and playing hard. I certainly cannot knock the players for their commitment this season.”

DEVON TWO

It was not a good week for the Plymouth Combination teams in Devon Two, with all four losing.

OPMs’ promotion hopes suffered a big blow when they went down 14-6 away at Ilfracombe, who have leap-frogged above them in the table to third.

The Old Boys, missing Martin Skelly and Andy Sincock, totally dominated the first half but only led 3-0 with a Matt Thompson penalty.

He added another kick after the interval to put them 6-0 ahead, but in the final quarter the game just went away from them.

Ilfracombe went 7-6 ahead when winger Radford Chugg scored out wide and Dermot Dalton brilliantly converted from the touchline.

And, with 10 minutes to go, Ilfracombe sealed the match when prop Adam Wyatt scored and Dalton again converted.

Plympton Victoria remain just one point behind OPMs, despite losing 55-7 away at unbeaten leaders Buckfastleigh.

Plym Vic, with three league wins to their name this season, were hampered by player availability.

A couple of late drop outs meant they had to travel to Buckfastleigh with just 13 players.

Dan Warne scored their only try, which Sam Stockdale converted.

“We turned up with 13 and were down to 12 at half-time,” said Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt, who had to play himself.

“I think with 15 men we would have given them a much better game. They just had that overlap whenever they decided to use it.”

Plym Vic, though, were determined to travel to Buckfastleigh, even though they were short of players as they did not want to lose any points.

“We have worked too hard to get docked points,” said Hunt.

“We played without our captain and vice-captain. I was on the park again, which is never a good sign! We were very short-handed. We had a full 15 in the morning but two dropped out.”

Another team short of players after late drop-outs were DHSOB, who were heavily beaten by leaders North Tawton at Stonehouse Creek.

North Tawton and the referee said the score was 103-10, but Mike Freeman was convinced the final score was 96-10.

DHSOB started with 14 players but then found themselves down to 13 when club chairman Steve Poole suffered a suspected broken nose.

But director of rugby Freeman again praised the commitment of the players that did play for them.

“I was pretty pleased we scored two tries against a very good side, who are unbeaten,” said Freeman.

“We tried really, really hard. The spirit, commitment and effort was all there. They never gave up.”

The Old Boys’ tries came from Sean Gates and Rab Seru.

There was also disappointment for St Columba & Torpoint, who lost 45-5 at home to Salcombe.

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