Knowles bags a hat-trick as Plymouth Combination side claim big win over Torbay

THE PLYMOUTH Combination representative rugby team turned on the style to claim a 47-22 over Torbay Sharks at the Rectory on Saturday.

The Sharks have had the better of recent meetings but the Plymouth side took the lead early on with a penalty from Sam Matts and never really looked back.

Devonport Services winger Toby Knowles led the way for the Combination with a hat-trick of tries, with Tavistock centre Jake Le Gassick bagging two and Tamar Saracens’ Adam Corbet and Greg Parrott also crossing.

Knowles went over for the first try from the halfway line after good play by his Services team-mate and captain for the day Tom Richards.

The visitors hit back with a touch-down by Eoghan Westhoff but the Combination side quickly responded. From a scrum inside their 22, Plymstock Albion Oaks number eight Ryan McKibbin picked and went before the ball eventually got out to Le Gassick who, without hesitation, took the straight route to the try line. Matts added the conversion to make it 15-5.

On 22 minutes, the Sharks cut the gap to three points with a solo effort from Westhoff, which Tom Osborn converted.

At that point, it looked like Torbay were getting into their stride, and they pulled level with a penalty from Osborn.

But just before half-time Knowles scored a second try after good play by club colleague James Hocking. Matts converted to leave the score at the break at 22-15.

The Combination crucially got the first try of the second period when Knowles went over for his hat-trick.

And three minutes later the hosts scored again. Devon U20 flanker Hocking made an excellent run from just inside the halfway line and after a couple of handoffs and he made it to within 10 feet of the line before he was stopped. However, he was able to pop the ball out for Le Gassick to score an easy second try, which Matts converted to make it 34-15.

Torbay pulled one back through Osborn, but Matts kicked a penalty to edge his side three scores ahead.

The Combination then had two tries ruled out before front-rower Corbett got over from a catch-and-drive move to make it 42-22.

And it soon became 47-22 when the Combination scored from a scrum courtesy of Parrott after good play by McKibbin and the influential Richards.

That proved to be the final score as the Plymouth side got their revenge from losing the last meeting back in 2019.

The team were coached by Old Techs’ Shaun Bedford-Smith, with help from Tamar Saracens’ Pete Lethbridge.

The Plymouth Combination side: Fred Smale (OPMs), Toby Knowles (Devonport Services), Jake Le Gassick (Tavistock), Tom Richards (Devonport Services), Green Parrott (Tamar Saracens), Jack Easton (Tavistock), Sam Matts (OPMs), Josh O’Neil (Tavistock), Adam Corbet (Tamar Saracens), Tom Hicklin (Tamar Saracens), Dan Smith (Plymouth Argaum), James Douglas (Old Technicians), Jamie Legg (Tavistock), James Hocking (Devonport Services), Ryan McKibbin (Plymstock Albion Oaks). Reps: Connor McQueen (Old Technicians), Billy Garrett (OPMs), Charlie Brown (Tavistock), Lewis Harvey (Old Technicians), Delvin Skinner (Devonport Services).

More pictures can be viewed HERE.


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