Rugby

Plymouth Combination rugby finals return with RNEC Cup and Pedrick Cup

Devonport Services II winning the Lockie Cup in 2019

THE first Plymouth Combination rugby finals for three years take place on Wednesday night at the Rectory.

The RNEC Cup and Pedrick Cup will be the first competitions to be completed since 2019 due to Covid, with the Lockie Cup and Ellis Trophy finals taking place next week.

Plymstock Albion Oaks will be in two finals on Wednesday. Their firsts will play Devonport Services II in the RNEC Cup at around 7.30pm, after their second team have contested the Pederick Cup with Plympton Victoria (6pm).

“It’s good to have two cup finals,” said Oaks’ Aiden Taylor.

“They (Services II) will be tough, but we don’t really know what to expect. However, we know they do play some good rugby and they have some great players in there – their whole squad is good.

“Our twos hopefully will be strong as well, but it is just front-row we are a bit short with.”

For Devonport Services, Wednesday night kick-starts a massive 10 days for them that will see them play in three cup finals and a possible league title-decider.

This coming Saturday, their first team will play Crediton at the Rectory in the Devon Senior Shield final, then their third team will play Tavistock IIs in the Ellis Trophy before Services’ first visit St Austell for their final league match, where they will know a five-point win could secure them the South West One title.

“We have got three finals in seven days and essentially it is four as the St Austell league game is going to be like a cup final,” said Devonport Services’ head coach Mike Lewis.

“There is certainly plenty on the line in the next couple of weeks. We are certainly hoping for four wins, but there are so many variables.”

He added: “The second team are really looking forward to Wednesday.

“The chaps have worked hard this season. Like every club due to Covid, numbers have been up and down every week. One week the team will be making a long trip with the bare minimum numbers but then the next week there will have great numbers.

“But Wednesday is the crescendo of the season for the second team.  It is their last game and they are really looking forward to it. It really is nice having a cup final.

“Oaks are a fantastic team and they play some great rugby at times and so do we. I think it is going to be a tight one.”

Devon Merit Table side Plympton Victoria are also looking forward to playing in a cup final.

They are hoping they might be able to upset Oaks’ second team after pushing them hard in a recent league meeting.

“We know who they are and we did come close to turning them over only last month,” said Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt. “I think it will be an interesting game.

“Having a final is a nice reward for the season as there has been a lot of hard work put in this year. But selection has been really tough. I think it took two days, as everyone wants to play in a final.

“Everyone is just thoroughly looking forward to it.”

Admission into the Rectory for the finals night will be £5 for adults (cash only), with under-16s free.

The Plymouth Combination have asked spectators not to park on the streets next to the ground to avoid problems for residents.

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