Rugby

RUGBY PREVIEWS: Tamar Saracens look to upset title-chasing Exeter Athletic

TAMAR Saracens’ good run of form will be put to the test on Saturday when they travel to title-chasing Exeter Athletic in Devon One.

The match was postponed previously due to a waterlogged pitch and Exeter Athletic will be wary of Saracens, who have not lost since December 1.

Their impressive run has included five back-to-back wins and a walkover and has lifted them to fifth in the table.

Saracens have already shocked leaders North Tawton away and are keen to try and do the same to Exeter Athletic, who are missing a host of players this weekend, but who have only lost once this season.

“We want a big scalp and we want to beat them,” said Saracens forward Marc Cioffi.

“We have got belief. We’ve got six wins in a row, although one of them was the Dartmouth walkover, but the lads are all fired up and there is a lot of depth in our squad now. Things are really positive. The coaches are going a great job and our discipline is a lot better.”

Saracens have not yet played Exeter Athletic, who were previously known as Wessex before merging with Exeter Youth last summer. They will meet them again in six weeks’ time.

“We have proved that we are always better the second time we play a side,” said Cioffi. “This will be the first time we have played them, so it will be an eye-opener. We will go up there with the intention to win, but it is untested waters as we’ve not played them.”

Old Techs are also in Exeter on Saturday. They take on Exeter Saracens in Devon One.

Techs returned to winning ways last weekend with a 33-15 win over Totnes and they are keen to build on that against third-placed Exeter Saracens.

Techs hope to have a number of forwards back for the trip up the A38. They have struggled in that area in recent weeks but their backs have looked very sharp and dangerous.

“If I have the forward pack I want to select and we can play rugby like we did against Totnes then we shouldn’t be frighten of them,” said Techs’ coach Jerry Josee. “It is just about getting that domination up front to free that ball up.”

Fellow Devon One side OPMs do not have a league game but they are in cup action. They will take on the Peninsula Medical School in the Lockie Cup quarter-finals.

The winner will play Old Techs in the semi-final, with the other last four clash between Liskeard-Looe and Devonport Services II.

OPMs will be hoping they can use the cup to get an overdue win. The Old Boys have struggled for form in 2019 and are still looking for their first victory of the year.

In the Devon Merit Table, DHSOB will host St Columba & Torpoint at Stonehouse Creek.

Saints beat Plympton Victoria last weekend to move up to fourth in the table with six wins from 12 matches.

DHSOB will be keen to bounce back from their defeat to Plym Vic two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, seven Ivybridge players and one from Devonport Services have been named in Devon’s squad for Sunday’s Under-20 County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Crediton.

The Bridgers’ Wes Vermingle, Owen Garner, Marcus Prout, Nathan Davies, Adam Northcott and Will Lamont will start, with team-mate Lewie Riley on the bench, along with Services’ Reece Bartlett.

Devon could do with a win after narrowly losing 29-20 to Cornwall at St Austell in their opening match.

Devon’s under-16 boys will also be in action on Sunday when they play Dorset & Wiltshire at Ivybridge (2pm), while Devon’s under-15 girls will be playing a four-county festival at Tavistock on the same day starting at 11am.

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