TAMAR Saracens and Old Techs will lock horns again on Saturday in a re-arranged Devon One and Lockie Cup double-header at the Parkway.
The original match in early October was abandoned just before the 60th-minute mark due to a neck injury suffered by Techs’ young prop Harley Adams when a five-metre scrum went down.
Sarries were awarded a penalty try at that scrum so had just gone 21-13 up, having narrowly led 14-13 at half-time.
It was a tight game and both clubs are expecting it to be the same this weekend.
“The last game was quite open and was played in the right spirit,” said Techs coach Shaun Bedford-Smith. “They got a couple of quick breakaway tries, but we worked our way back into it and there was only a point in it at half-time. It was quite close.
“It is going to be a tough, hard game – they always are.”
Tamar Saracens’ Pete Lethbridge added: “I think we were controlling the game at the time, but Techs are always a hard team to play against on any day. We don’t know what squad they are going to have, but it is always a close encounter.”
Techs have not lost since the end of September. Last week they beat Launceston IIs 34-14 in a friendly and before that put 50 points on Buckfastleigh in the league.
Sarries, though, suffered a shock 49-0 defeat at South Molton last week. However, that was only their second loss of the season and came with a makeshift side.
“We are looking forward to this game and trying to right some of the wrongs from last week,” said Lethbridge, who is hoping for a good crowd on Saturday.
“We have got a massive squad this week and so have a bit of a headache about who we pick. We certainly should have a different squad to last week.”
He added: “We just have to turn up and do what we have to do – play our patterns and plays and make sure our set-piece goes right.
“But they (Techs) are a tough team to crack down. We are expecting another hard, physical encounter with them.”
Bedford-Smith added: “They (Saracens) will have players back this week and I think they will want to prove a point after the scoreline last week.
“I am not reading too much into last week’s result as we’ve had our issues with unavailabiliies and injuries and have had to go away with a scratch side.”
Techs say they are not going to be quite as strong as they have been in recent weeks.
“It was supposed to be a free weekend so people have arranged stuff and, on top of that, a lot of the army lads have gone away on exercise to Norway and some others have got to go away and do Remembrance stuff,” said Bedford-Smith.
“I think we have six back who were missing last week but 12 or 13 not available.
“But we should still be able to put out a good side as we have got some strength in depth this season.”
Bedford-Smith will be missing the derby match as he will be at Twickenham watching England play Australia as a guest of RFU president Jeff Blackett.
The Old Techs and Plymouth Combination coach was nominated for an RFU President’s Value the Volunteer Outstanding Contribution Award for his work in Plymouth rugby over the years.
Bedford-Smith, who did not know he had been nominated, admitted he was taken aback when he received a letter from the RFU inviting him to Twickenham.
“It was a surprise and a shock when it came through,” he said. “You don’t do it to get an award or anything, but obviously it is nice to get recognised.”
Bedford-Smith, though, is gutted to be missing his team play.
“It was supposed to be a free weekend but we have this rearranged game,” he said. “I don’t like missing any game, especially a derby, but I will be keeping up-to-date with it.”