IVYBRIDGE coach Lewis Paterson was happy with his side’s first run-out of pre-season.
The Devon Cup holders produced a strong second half display to overcome Western Counties West outfit Kingsbridge 38-0 at home on Saturday.
However, the South West Premier club were made to work a lot harder for the victory by their lower league neighbours than the scoreline suggests.
The match was level at 0-0 at half-time, with Kingsbridge having the better of the opening 40 minutes against at relatively inexperienced Ivybridge XV.
The Bridgers, though, brought on a host of more experienced players for the second half and scored six tries as their opponents tired.
Lock George Wilson scored their first two tries before backs Hayden Coles, Ben Watts, Charlie Teague and Lewie Riley also crossed.
“Fair play to Kingsbridge,” said Ivybridge player-coach Paterson. “In the first half it was 0-0 and we did have some strong players out. Yeah, we also had some young players out, but it was not what we felt was a weak side, so hat’s off and full credit to Kingsbridge. I thought they were brilliant.
“We did rush a lot in the first half as a side – I think we tried too much – and we were quite error-ridden, but once we settled and our experienced lads came in we took control.
“It wasn’t physical dominance – we didn’t out-muscle them or anything like that – it was just we got into some rhythm.
“But it was a cracking first game. A lot of boys got some game-time and a lot of boys stood out.
“We have worked really hard in pre-season and done a lot of fitness, but it is about getting that match fitness.
“We have another game on Wednesday (against Plymstock Albion Oaks) and I think we will get a lot of fitness from these first couple of weeks and that will pay off as we play our later games.”
Ivybridge have seven first and second team pre-season fixtures. After playing Plymstock away on Wednesday, they will then take a first and second team to Taunton, before playing games against Devonport Services, Bideford and Liskeard-Looe.
“We like to play a lot of rugby in pre-season,” said Paterson. “We think game-time is important and more beneficial. A lot of Premiership teams have academies to run against within their own camp, but we don’t have that luxury but we do have lots of local teams we can play.”