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GALLERY: Hocking scores two tries as Devonport Services overcome Tamar Saracens

HIGHLY-rated young back-row forward James Hocking scored two tries in 10 minutes just before half-time as a strong Devonport Services IIs side beat Tamar Saracens 14-0 at Keyham on Friday night.

Services’ seconds will be playing in the Counties 2 Devon league this season – a division higher than Tamar Saracens – and they had plenty of first team experience in their side on Friday.

As expected, the hosts did dominant possession and territory, but Sarries, just like against Tavistock the previous week, will have been delighted how they defended and frustrated their more experienced opponents. They also came agonisingly close to scoring in the dying minutes, but just could not get the ball over the line.

“I think if we had got that try it would have been a really good reward for the last two weeks,” said Tamar Saracens head coach Mike Lewis.

“We are trying new stuff and that would have been the perfect reward.

“But I really enjoyed the game and I know the boys did. I think we are only five or 10 per cent away from where we want to be.”

He added: “As I said last week, we are trying to change the principles of how we play and it is going to take a little time, but I think by the first or second game of the season it is going to click and going to flow.

“They (Services) had a really strong team out. I think 10 of those players are going to get at least a handful of first team caps this season so it is brilliant to see that they have so much depth.

“But we had good depth this week in the squad and it showed with boys coming on and it not changing the complexion of the game. Any time we put anyone on they fitted into the systems really well.”

Devon U20 player Hocking certainly took his chance to impress new Services coach Ben Russell. He took both his tries really well. The first was made by Toby Knowles, who made some good elusive runs on the night, while former Plymstock Albion Oaks and Argaum player Mike Hunt put in some great tackles for Devonport.

Services’ first team will be in action today when they make the tough trip to old rivals Wadebridge.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Services cricket team will be looking for more glory when they play in the P&D Cup final at Manadon.

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