Rugby

RUGBY REPORTS: Ivybridge, Argaum and Oaks make it two wins out of two

OPMs in action against North Tawton at Elburton

IVYBRIDGE are one of only three teams to have won their opening two games in the South West Premier League.

The Bridgers followed up their four-try success over Camborne last weekend with another bonus point victory on Saturday, this time away at Cleve.

The South Hams club triumphed 29-22 in Bristol on their first away trip of the 2018-19 season.

The only other two sides with two wins are Bournemouth and newly-promoted Exeter University.

Ivybridge coach Jamie Tripcony was delighted the team were able pick up a victory for a second year running at Cleve, who are known to be good at home.

“We talked during the week about how last year when we were in a difficult situation we managed to go up there and get a win with the last play of the game. So we had that belief,” said Tripcony.

“We also talked about our work-ons from Camborne and I think most of them showed up this Saturday.

“We went through different scenarios in training on Tuesday and Thursday and luckily those scenarios actually happened for us.

“The boys were clinical and it was a great win.”

He added: “There were a few more things to work on. They (Cleve) scored one or two soft tries, but the moments when we had some good field position we turned on the power.”

Young number eight Nathan Davies, who was given his chance in the absence of the likes of Lewis Paterson, Toby Borrow, James Sloan, Alex Hall and Tripcony, marked his league debut with a try.

Fellow back-row forward Ben King also scored after good play by Billy Pinkus, who added a try himself as did Marcus Prout.

Devonport Services in action against St Ives on Saturday (picture by Mark Andrews)

SOUTH WEST ONE

DEVONPORT Services bounced back from their opening day heavy defeat at Okehampton by beating fellow South West One newcomers St Ives 26-22 at the Rectory.

Services had lost 49-5 at highly-fancied Okehampton in their first game but they were a completely different side on Saturday.

They were boosted by the return of captain Matt Gregory, vice-skipper Sam Bennett, prop Ty Colwill and speedy backs Rhys Williams and Toby Knowles.

“We are a lot happier this week,” said Services team manager Kieran Leach. “It was a different team performance to last week.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking near the end. We were on our line for two or three minutes, but or defence was good.

“If we can make our home ground a fortress again and pick up some wins on the road then that would be ideal.”

The platform for Services’ victory came from the forwards, who really fronted up and were excellent at the breakdowns.

However, they did not start well and found themselves 7-0 down after just two minutes.

But they responded with a try by Joe Semple, who went over in the corner after some good pressure.

Last year’s Western Counties West champions St Ives, who had beaten Cullompton 41-14 last week, went 12-5 ahead when Services lost a line-out on their line after Kier Murphy had made a brilliant last-gasp tackle seconds earlier.

Matt Anstis kicked a penalty to cut that gap to 12-8, which was how it stayed until half-time.

Devonport Services v St Ives at the Rectory (picture by Mark Andrews)

Anstis then put over another penalty after the interval to leave his side just one point behind.

And not long later Gregory went over under the posts for a converted try to put Devonport 18-12 in front.

St Ives came back with a try of their own to make it 18-17 before Anstis kicked a drop-goal after some patient play by the home team.

Services went 26-17 ahead when Luke Kenny intercepted the ball and off-loaded to Knowles, who ran almost to the try line before popping the ball up for Liam Jarvis to score.

With five minutes to go, St Ives gave themselves a lifeline with a try from a rolling maul. They then threw everything at Services looking to snatch victory. However, the hosts held out to get their home campaign off to a winning start.

WESTERN COUNTIES WEST

SALTASH picked up their first point on their return to Western Counties West in a narrow 22-19 home loss to St Austell.

Although they will have been disappointed not to have won at home, they will take confidence from their performance against a side that finished third last season.

There were certainly a lot more positives this week then there had been on the opening weekend when they crashed 64-7 at much-fancied Sidmouth.

However, that opening day result was put into perspective with Sidmouth beating Winscombe 36-7 on Saturday. Winscombe had ran out 31-0 winner against Bideford on the first day.

Saltash paid for a slow start on Saturday at Moorlands Lane. They were 17-3 down to St Austell after 26 minutes before coming back into the match.

The hosts trailed 17-6 at the break with two Harrison Reburn penalties. He added another after the break.

Ashes’ captain Lewis Wells and St Austell’s Carr exchanged tries to leave the score at 22-14 to the Saints.

Saltash gave themselves hope with a Todd Crofts try, but they could not snatch an all-important winning score.

CORNWALL/DEVON LEAGUE

PLYMOUTH Argaum are one of only two teams with maximum points after the opening two league games in the Cornwall/Devon League.

They backed up their bonus point win over the Pirates Amateurs last weekend by hammering Withycombe 47-12 at Bickleigh Down.

Argaum’s big win will have caused something of a shock around the league as last week Withycombe put 50 points on Lanner.

However, no-one at Argaum is getting carried away despite their 10 points from two games.

“We are definitely not perfect yet,” said secretary Stuart Quarterman. “And we are realistic. We have had two home games and we do have to play away.”

Argaum, though, would have certainly taken this start after not playing any warm-up matches.

They took a while to get going on Saturday, but went 19-5 up at the break thanks to tries by Callum Mills, Chris Perkins and Tom Bradshaw. Paddy Haddard scored Withycombe’s only first half points.

John Parkin cut the gap after the interval for Withycombe before Argaum ran riot. Jake Turfrey crossed for two tries in the second period and he was unlucky not to have two more, while Tom Holiday and Alex Cameron also crossed for Argaum. It was youngster Cameron’s first try for the club.

“We were really dominating the set-piece,” said Quarterman. “We won all our scrums and turned over quite a lot of theirs. Line-outs we were also dominant in and stole a lot from them, but they came right back into the game after we went 19-5 up. Our concentration just lapsed, like last week, but we then turned the screw.”

Plymstock Albion Oaks also have two wins to their name from two games after they beat Pirates Amateurs 24-18 in their first away game of the season.

Oaks are delighted with the start they have made, collecting nine points from a home game with title-favourites Penryn and a tricky away game at the Pirates.

“We are absolutely buzzing,” said Oaks player-coach Aiden Taylor after Saturday’s win.

“But it was a hard game. They (the Pirates) said they had a different team to that which played Argaum last week.

“We went 9-0 down. They came out of the blocks firing and I thought we were going to be in for a very long day at the office.”

However, Oaks, like last week, showed plenty of determination against Cornish opponents.

Key to their victory was their impressive set-piece. That played a major part in their first try when Corey Jamieson scored following a good scrum eight-metres out.

Will Booth added the conversion and then he scored his first league try for the club by running 60-metres after intercepting a Pirates pass.

Jamieson added another try before half-time as Oaks went in 19-11 up.

Pirates came back to close to within one point before Booth scored the decisive try after good play by Taylor and Jamieson.

Oaks will meet Argaum at Horsham Fields in their next match.

It might be a new season, but Tavistock still do not appear to like playing away at home.

On Saturday they lost 39-0 away at league newboys Liskeard-Looe.

Liskeard-Looe have made an encouraging start to life back at level eight. They currently sit in fifth spot after an away draw at South Molton last weekend and a home win over Tavistock.

DEVON ONE

Old Techs got their season off to a flyer with a five-try victory over New Cross at Weston Mill on Saturday.

Techs, who have been boosted by a host of arrivals from 29 Command, led 14-0 at the break. They then added three more tries after the interval.

Sean Doyle, Joel Dickin, Jack Williams, debutant Dan Pullen and Dave Clack scored Techs’ crossed the whitewash for them, with Dickin kicking the extras.

Luke Williams, Tom Osbourn and Chris Haskins were New Cross’ scorers.

Techs do not know how strong New Cross are, but they were just delighted to have got off the mark early on after failing to do so last season.

“You can only beat what is in front of you,” said chairman Dave Evans. “Last year we played Exeter Saracens away in our first game of the season and we should have won, but we never did. This one, though, we did play well and got the win.

“We are quite buoyant at the moment. There’s a real buzz around the club because we have these new players. There’s a really good vibe.”

OPMs and Tamar Saracens both suffered opening day results to forget at home on Saturday.

New boys OPMs lost 39-15 to North Tawton, while Tamar Saracens went down 38-5 to Exeter Saracens.

OPMs, who were celebrating the opening of their new social area at King George V Playing Fields, lost the game in the first 30 minutes.

They conceded six tries in the opening half-an-hour to trail 34-3. North Tawton’s pace, support play and off-loading was outstanding and they capitalised on nearly every mistake OPMs made.

But the hosts, who had come up from Devon Two with North Tawton, changed their tactics after 30 minutes and they got two tries back before and after the break.

They had the better of the second half and looked like they were going to deny North Tawton a single point but they gifted the visitors a try in injury-time.

Jack Phare, Matt Baker and Gary Sizmur put North Tawton 17-0 up before Sammie Matts kicked a penalty for OPMs.

Jack Davey, Si Cox and Jordan Cornthwaite scored further tries for the visitors before OPMs’ Matt Thompson reduced the gap to 34-8 at half-time after a clever chip kick by Matts and earlier good play by Ben Hooper.

Fly-half Mark Wratten added a second for OPMs after the interval, but despite their best attempts they could not add to it and Craig Dennis scored in injury-time for North Tawton after the hosts dropped the ball in their own 22.

“That was a welcome to Devon One,” said OPMs coach Howard Turner afterwards.

“We lost the game in 30 minutes, basically. We were all over the place defensively and they were outstanding. Once they broke the line, they finished everything. They are a young, quick, athletic team, but once we realised what was going wrong and we shored up our defence and got organised and started pressing properly it was a completely different game.

“Once we looked after the ball and played at our tempo, they struggled. We created lots of chances and probably should have scored more points than we did.

“It was a disappointing start. But I said to the lads that sometimes you just have days where your character is tested. And you can’t take away the fact that we fronted up. We knew what we had done wrong and we put it right and came back. We will be a better team for this experience.”

OPMs are without a league game next week but will play a Liskeard-Looe XV in an away friendly.

“We don’t want to go two weeks without a fixture,” said Howard. “We will have a hard defensive session on Thursday and hopefully we can put that in place for Saturday and then we’ll have everything in place to hopefully get a win the following week in the league.”

Tamar Saracens were also left disappointed after their 38-5 home loss to Exeter Saracens.

The host were missing a few forwards and they did struggle up front against a youthful Exeter side.

Jack Hamlyn crossed twice for the visitors, who also had Tom Rushton, Harry Rowe, Tyler Hickman and Paul Edwards scoring.

Tamar’s only points on a disappointing afternoon came from Karl Andrews.

“We are licking our wounds a bit,” said player and spokesman Marc Cioffi. “It was very disappointing. I think the hype of the first game of the season overcame the actually rugby that we played.”

He added: “They (Exeter) were just young, fit and up for it. Our pack didn’t set a decent foundation for any phase play. We didn’t do anything that we had done in training during the week.”

Sarries were not helped by a yellow card to Tom Rigby for jumping for a ball with an Exeter forward, who fell over him. They then lost Scott Sheldon in the second half with an injury.

But Cioffi said: “We couldn’t argue with the result. They (Exeter) played very structured and physical rugby and our discipline was terrible. It was frustrating.”

Ryan Deacon, though, did impress and claimed the man-of-the-match award.

“He had a really good game,” said Cioffi. “We were looking for that player to step up but it came in the backs and not the forwards.”

DEVON MERIT TABLE

St Columba & Torpoint turned on the style in their opening home game of the season by running in seven tries to convincingly beat Plymouth Argaum Wanderers 47-17 on Saturday.

Saints’ pack laid the foundations for the win, while their backs looked sharp, particularly Lewis Stuart and Kieran Hurrell.

Both Stuart and Hurrell ended the afternoon with hat-tricks, with Huey Simmons grabbing Saints’ other touch-down. Hurrell’s three on Saturday took his tally to seven in two games, having claimed fourth at Tavistock last weekend. Stuart also kicked six conversions to finish the day with an impressive individual tally of 27 points.

Full-back Hurrell opened the scoring when fly-half Kev Lewis found him down the blindside and he dotted down under the posts for an easy conversion for Stuart.

Lewis turned provider again for their next try – Saints pack continued to turn the screw and Lewis moved the ball wide finding inside centre Huey Simmons, who cantered in to make it 14-0.

Lewis got his third assist when he popped the ball up to scrum-half Stuart, who went over for his first of the afternoon to make it 21-0.

Arguam did not lie down and came back with a try of their own down the right to make it 21-5.

The pattern of the game soon resumed as Saints won a scrum comfortably before a well-worked blindside move saw Hurrell step the winger and the full-back to go under the posts and Stuart again converted.

The final try of the half came through scrum-half Stuart, who sniped in and converted to make the half-time score 35-5.

The second period saw Arguam have to go to uncontested scrums and inevitably it evened up the game. The visitors cut the gap to 35-10 before Stuart completed his hat-trick with a kick-and-chase

Argaum scored again before Hurrell claimed his hat-trick.

Argaum’s tries came from Bradley Westell, Baggott and Fellows.

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