Services look forward to hosting Devon Cup champions Ivybridge at the Rectory

Devonport Services celebrate winning promotion last season (picture by Mike Yeats)

DEVONPORT Services coach Mike Lewis is looking forward to Friday night’s pre-season run-out against higher league opponents Ivybridge at the Rectory (7.15pm).

Newly-promoted South West One side Services have so far played warm-up matches against Kingsbridge and Plymstock Albion Oaks.

They overcame Western Counties West side Kingsbridge 22-12 before a younger XV beat Cornwall/Devon League outfit Plymstock 17-5 on Tuesday evening at Horsham Fields in a hastily arranged fixture.

“It was an impromptu game but it was good to get a mixture of players out, especially as there were boys that didn’t get a game last Friday,” said Lewis.

“The key is getting the 30 or 40 boys that want to play first team rugby some game-time.

“It was good to see some of the young lads – the colts coming up – playing on Tuesday. Liam Jarvis and players like that did very well and that’s what you want to see.  I think as a club we are getting that transition from 16 to colts and then to seniors quite nice at the minute.”

Lewis, though, is now looking forward to seeing his squad come up against Devon Cup champions Ivybridge.

“It will be a good test as they are a league above us,” said Lewis.

“We watched Ivybridge play last week and I think the contrast between them and Kingsbridge, who we played last Friday, will be good for us.

“Kingsbridge had a big pack and that is what we are going to face when we go up to places like Lydney, but we are also going to come up against some free-running teams, like Ivybridge, who play from anywhere.”

He added: “There has always been a good local rivalry between us and them (Ivybridge), especially when we were in the same division, but the result does not really matter as long as we get a good performance against them and play some good rugby.

“Our focus is preparing for the first league game of the season. We can’t be looking and saying we are the complete team now. We probably won’t become the complete team until November, to be fair, as the little things take time, especially with new players.”

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