Rugby

RUGBY PREVIEWS: Tavistock keen to build after getting first win

TAVISTOCK will be looking to back up their first win of the season when they travel to Torquay Athletic on Saturday in a rearranged Cornwall/Devon League match.

The Sandy Park club finally moved off the foot of the table last weekend after beating Exeter Athletic 28-5. That was their first victory in 10 attempts.

But now that they are off the mark they are keen to keeping going in the right direction.

However, they know it will be tough against a Torquay side sitting in fifth spot, despite playing less games than their rivals.

“Spirits are high as they have been throughout the season, despite our league position,” said Hammy Kerswill. “But last week’s broken duck meant a lot.

“We are confident we can take on anyone in the league on our day but we need to remain mature in our approach.

“It is a rearranged game so they can always be a gamble in what you’re up against, but Torquay are strong at home.

“Conditions are likely to be a telling factor so we must keep to the style of rugby we’ve played throughout this month.”

Tavistock are without the injured Leion Cole and Richard Cann, while scrum-half Pjay Luatua is back home in New Zealand for a family celebration. Darren Guppy and Charlie Charlton come back into the front-row, while in the backs Jack Easton returns from concussion.

Elsewhere, OPMs, Plymouth Argaum and DHSOB will all be in cup action on Saturday.

OPMs and Argaum meet at King George V Playing Fields in the quarter-finals of the Devon Junior Cup.

The sides met in the second game of this season in Devon One when they played out a 15-15 draw at Bickleigh Down.

The clubs have had contrasting form since then and OPMs sit third in the table, while Argaum are ninth with just two wins to their name.

However, Argaum took plenty of positives from their second half showing in their 15-12 defeat to Dartmouth last weekend.

“We should have a reasonable team out,” said Argaum’s Stuart Quarterman. “And we had a good second half performance last week.

“Our squad overall is really evolving and we are starting to fill the gaps.”

He added: “The cup is just another game for us and, like we do every week, we will put our best side we have available out.”

Argaum could include former OPMs players Darren Ewers and Joe Martin in their squad.

OPMs, who are hoping to host three matches at Elburton on Saturday, were left without a match last weekend after Ilfracombe handed them a walkover. They have not played since losing 34-13 to second-placed Exeter Saracens two weeks ago – one of just two defeats this season.

DHSOB will host Dartmouth in the Devon Junior Plate on Saturday at Stonehouse Creek.

Although Dartmouth are in a higher league they will be wary of the Old Boys after they hammered Torquay Athletic II 46-10 last week. The Old Boys were boosted by their Fijian contingent.

“I think word has got out that we have our Fijians back,” said DHSOB’s Mike Freeman.

However, DHSOB are unlikely to be able to name the same squad due to unavailabilities this week, but they are still hopeful they can cause a surprise and make the semi-finals.

“Like anyone we would like to win this competition,” said Freeman. “And I think if we had last week’s side out we would be all right.”

Old Techs and Tamar Saracens should have been playing cup matches this weekend but they now have rearranged league matches to play.

Old Techs will host Totnes at Weston Mill in Devon One on Saturday.

The game should have been played at Totnes but the south Devon side have kindly agreed to switch it with doubts over their pitch and with Old Techs players attending the funeral of Shane Hedges on Friday afternoon (2.45pm) at Weston Mill.

“We asked Totnes if they would come down to us,” said Techs’ Shaun Bedford-Smith.

“It is not going to be ideal playing the day after Shane’s funeral. It will be another tough day.”

Techs will be short of numbers as many of their servicemen are away in either Norway or America.

Seventh-placed Techs could do with a win to close the gap on the teams above them.

“There’s a much of a muchness in the league and you can soon jump up three or four places,” said Bedford-Smith. “A lot of it comes down to player availability. Totnes are an example of that – one week they could not get a team out and the next they beat Tamar Saracens.”

Saracens have not played since that loss, but they are scheduled to host Buckfastleigh at home on Saturday.

The game should have taken place last weekend but was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

If they are able to get the match on this Saturday they certainly will not be taking Buckfastleigh lightly, even though they sit second from bottom. Saracens were not able to beat Buccs last season, losing away and drawing at home.

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