RUGBY ROUND-UP: Tavistock happy with their performance at Okehampton

TAVISTOCK were more than satisfied with their performance against a strong Okehampton II side at Showfield on Thursday evening.

Although Tavistock lost 19-0 to last season’s Devon Merit Table winners, they did hold the hosts for 39 minutes and it was only really tries in the last minute of each half that decided the game.

“We were really happy with that,” said player-coach Hammy Kerswill afterwards.

“They (Okehampton) had a regular side out with a few players who have played at a high level and we were lacking a recognised backline, but the boys that stepped in did really well.

“I thought the physicality side of the game was very even.”

He added: “We were thrown together but we didn’t look it. Considering we were lacking a recognised backline, from the 28 we did have playing you could not tell the first team from the second team.

“We are over the moon over with that as no-one shied away.”

Tavistock defended brilliantly for most of the game. They did not allow Okehampton hardly any time of the ball and force them into mistakes.

It looked like the sides were going to go in at the break with the game at 0-0 but Okehampton scored an unconverted try with the last play of the period after Tavistock were turned over playing out of their half.

The hosts extended their lead 15 minutes after the interval when Devon prop Tom White powered over from close range and in the final minute fly-half Dan Fogerty scored a third try for Okehampton.

Tavistock are set to continue their pre-season preparations next week with a match against OPMs.

Meanwhile, Ivybridge will start their warm-up fixtures with a match against Exeter University at Cross-in-Hand on Friday (7.30pm). They will follow that with a game against Kingsbridge away on Saturday.  Having two games in two days gives them a chance to give their whole squad a run-out.

“We’re really looking forward to getting into games this weekend,” said player-coach Charlie Briant.

“Obviously a couple of wins would be nice, but that’s not the be all and end all. Seeing good performances would be more important than two wins.”

On Saturday, Tamar Saracens will play their first 15-a-side match of pre-season when they host higher league Plymstock Albion Oaks at the Parkway.

Sarries did play in a 10s event with Devonport Services and Liskeard-Looe at the Rectory last month, but they have not yet played a full game, unlike Oaks who recently beat Kingsbridge 19-17.

Saracens are looking forward to testing themselves against a team that finished in the top four of the Cornwall/Devon League last season.

“At the end of the day as far as pre-season goes we feel there is no point playing the same level or lower levels team as that can build up false confidence,” said club spokesman Marc Cioffi. “We are conscious that we have to get our preparations right this year.

“We will probably be trying people in different positions and giving game-time to a few inexperienced players as it is just a trial game.”

Saltash and Plymouth Argaum are also set to play a social match on Saturday to mark the Ashes’ 50th anniversary.

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