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GALLERY: Tavistock pick up injuries in narrow pre-season defeat to Saltash

TAVISTOCK’S Jack Easton picked up a worrying looking injury in their narrow 14-12 defeat at Saltash on Saturday in the final match of their pre-season campaign.

The influential half-back had to be helped off the field with a knee problem after mistiming a tackle that earned him a yellow card.

Prop Darren Guppy also had to go off with a suspected broken rib just minutes later in what proved to be a bit of a costly afternoon for Tavistock.

“Guppy’s injury is probably a broken rib, which might be a matter of weeks,” said Tavistock head coach Joel Caddy. “Jack Easton’s injury is his knee and how long that will be is anyone’s guess. He is going to Derriford to get it checked out.

“It is just one of those things. We will just have to get around it.”

The match between the two level eight sides was evenly matched. The teams had enjoyed three good fixtures against each other last season, including in the Lockie Cup final, and that continued on Saturday, although this time there were a lot of turnovers and knock-ons with both clubs experimenting a bit.

Tavistock took the lead in the fourth minute with a try by centre Liam Watts, which Easton converted.

But five minutes later Saltash levelled when young fly-half Ollie Crawford pounced on a loose ball after Tavistock had failed to gather a tricky Ryan Cruickshanks kick forward. Cruickshanks added the conversion.

Both teams had tries disallowed in the closing stages of the first half as they went in at the break level at 7-7.

However, straight after the interval, Saltash went in front when Devon Marshall scored in the left corner after Crawford had come agonisingly close before producing a good off-load to keep the attack going. Crucially, Cruickshanks converted from the touchline.

Tavistock then picked up a couple of yellow cards for tackling players in the air, but 10 minutes from time they scored on the left through Martin Budden. However, the try was not converted and Tavistock were not able to make the most of some late pressure.

Both teams though were happy with the run-out at Moorlands Lane.

“It was a win against a good team,” said Saltash’s head coach Steve Down.  “Overall, I am quite pleased with our pre-season.

“We have played a good side this week, which has tested our set piece and that’s great as it gives us some more work-ons.

“It was Ollie Crawford’s first game at 10. He has come through the colts and he managed the game very well. I was really pleased with Ollie – he made a try and scored a try.

“Matt Cockie in the second-row joined us quite recently and it was his first proper run-out with us.

“Jack Thorn played six and he has never played six at this level before.

“The squad has done well for us the last few weeks. The guys that are going to come back in to challenge for positions are going to have to work hard because the squad has really stood up in the last few games.”

Tavistock’s head coach Caddy said: “I quite enjoyed it – it was a good game – and we had loads of new lads playing. There was barely anyone the same from when we played played them in the Lockie Cup final.”

Ivybridge ended their short pre-season campaign with a big 75-21 home victory over league-below Wadebridge.

Centre Cameron Dale, hooker Henry Trudgill and Will Peakman all scored two tries each, while Adam Northcott, Charlie Teague, Sam Furse, Lewie Riley and Matt Grieveson also crossed the whitewash, with Grieveson kicking 10 conversions.

“We were really pleased with our performance,” said Ivybridge’s director of rugby Jamie Tripcony.

“Wadebridge had a fantastic season last year and we were really keen to reach out and have a fixture with them.

“We were really pleased they took on the fixture away from home. You could tell they’d had a successful season as they were a well-drilled team. They didn’t have many opportunities, but the ones they did have they certainly put them away.

“Full credit to Wadebridge as they really threw the kitchen sink at us. I think they had a few pull-outs, but full credit to them.”

Tripcony added: “Unfortunately, we should have had more than double the amount of pre-season games than we did have, but for one reason or another we only had two. So we kind of had to change our plan.

“The ultimate plan is just to get players game-time where possible.

“But I was really impressed with the players that kind of made their debuts. They all really stepped up.”

Ivybridge will open their league season next Saturday with a Devon derby match against Exmouth at Cross-in-Hand.

Plymouth Argaum will go into their Devon West campaign in confident mood after beating higher league Illogan Park 20-12 at Bickleigh Down on Saturday, despite missing a number of key players.

Darren Ewers had given them the lead, but their Cornish visitors pulled level to make the half-time score 5-5.

But after the break, Kallan Bryce and Owen Goucher crossed for tries and Jake Turfrey kicked a conversion and a penalty to secure them the win.

“I was really, really proud of the guys,” said Argaum head coach Dean Avery. “They have bought into everything that we have been doing and have a really good structure.

“The guys stuck to the structure well. We scored some good tries, but we did have a lot of players out. I think we had 14 unavailable, including uur captain Dan Smith, so it was really, really positive. The guys that came in really stood up and they have beaten a team a league above them.”

Plymouth Dolphins played their first proper game of rugby on Saturday as they took on Devon Merit Table side Plympton Victoria at St Mary’s Field.

Plym Vic won 17-0 thanks to two tries from summer signing Ben Hadfield and one from Josh Pinder, but neither side were really worried about the score.

“It was just a brilliant day of rugby,” said Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt, who is on the sidelines after tearing his Achilles against Plymouth Argaum in their other pre-season game.

“We got out what we wanted out of the game and so did they. It was their first game they have ever played.

“We all had a good game and then went to the pub and a good day was had by all.”

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