REGIONAL ONE SOUTH WEST
IVYBRIDGE and Devonport Services both came a cropper on long away trips at the weekend to suffer their first defeats of the season in Regional One South West.
The Bridgers, who had won both their opening two games, were beaten 48-27 away at Chew Valley, while Services went down 28-15 at Old Centralians.
Ivybridge did at least pick up a bonus point thanks to tries by Tom Scoles, Matt Finn, Charlie Briant and Charlie Teague, but they felt they could have done better.
“It was a tough day at the office,” said Ivybridge’s director of rugby Jamie Tripcony.
“First half again our discipline let us down a bit. We had two yellow cards in quick succession so we were down to 13 for nearly 10 minutes and Chew Valley capitalised on that and scored a lot of points during that time. We were then always playing catch-up.
“We got to half-time and we were still pretty composed and the main message was to stick to our systems.
“And we did actually do that for 20 or so minutes and we got back into the game and got it to 27-27. But, unfortunately, at that time momentum kind of shifted again to Chew Valley.
“Full credit to Chew Valley, they chucked the kitchen sink at us for 20 minutes and we went quite a few points down and at that stage there was no real way to come back.”
He added: “We did manage to get a try-scoring bonus point. But there was a stage at 27-27 where we felt we could have got a little bit more out of the game, yet it wasn’t meant to be.
“As a team we are going to regroup and make sure we are fully prepared for Lydney at home.”
Devonport Services also made a slow start away as they trailed Old Centralians 14-3 at half-time in Gloucestershire.
Richard West scored their only points in the opening 40 minutes but after the interval the visitors got going and went 15-14 ahead thanks to converted try in the corner by Toby Knowles and then a touch-down from scrum-half Dylan Daley following a quick-tap penalty.
But their hard-work in getting back into the game was wasted as they conceded two relatively soft tries in the final 20 minutes to return empty handed.
“It is what it is,” said head coach Ben Russell. “We have gone up a league and this will be a good learning curve.
“We need to be more clinical and finish opportunities when we get them.
“It wasn’t our best day at the office but we will learn from it and move on.
“The disappointing thing was we didn’t play very well first half, but at the start of the second half we did what we were supposed to do and moved the ball around and scored two good tries to go 15-14 up.
“However, then we just fell away from the plan again, but, as I said, it is a learning moment, as it always is when you lose.”
He added: “Old Centralians deserved it in the end really. They stuck at their game-plan.
“We probably deserved to come away with a bonus point just about, so that’s more of a kick.
“But it is only game two go us and it was our second away from home. We have training on Tuesday and Thursday and are looking forward to Brixham on Saturday.”
COUNTIES ONE WESTERN WEST
PLYMSTOCK Albion Oaks bounced back in style from their heavy away defeat to Kingsbridge last weekend by convincingly beating Paignton 45-20 at Horsham Fields on Saturday.
It was newly-promoted Oaks’ second successive home win and puts them fifth in the table after three games at the higher level.
Oaks did the damage in the second period after only leading 5-3 at the break, but, playing downhill after the break, they ran in six tries.
Hooker Aiden Taylor continued his hot-try scoring form with two against Paignton to take his career tally for Oaks to 50 in just 86 games.
There was also two tries for Alex Chapman, while Kyle Browne, on his league debut for Plymstock, also crossed, as did Corey Jamieson and Jack Welch, while Pete Keanie kicked five conversions.
Oaks had gone to Kingsbridge without a host of key players but the likes of Stu Kirkwood, Sean Wills, Corey Jamieson, Kieran Jamieson and Ryan McKibbin were all back on Saturday, while former Brixham, Newton Abbo and Devonport Services back Browne was also available having not played for more than two years.
“Having players back made a huge difference,” said player-coach Taylor.
“Kyle Browne also finally played for us. We don’t know how many games we will get out of him, but it was good to have him this week when we were short in the centres. He played really well, despite having not played rugby in two years.”
Taylor added: “The half-time score was tight, but we had all the possession yet just couldn’t score – couldn’t finish that last pass.
“But second half we tore them to shreds and scored six tries. Down the slope it was always going to happen.”
COUNTIES TWO DEVON
TAVISTOCK’S stunning start to the 2022-23 season continued on Saturday as they ran in 12 tries to hammer Brixham II 79-0 at Sandy Park.
It was a perfect way for the club to celebrate their VP and sponsors day.
Tavistock, who sit top of the early league table with a 100 per cent record, were 34-0 up at half-time and they did not take their foot of the gas second half.
Once again scrum-half George Hillson led the scoring for Tavistock with an impressive individual tally of 37 points. He scored four tries, kicked seven conversions and a penalty.
Jamie Legg, who was crucial in Tavistock’s line-out, bagged a hat-trick, while Ethan Lamerton got two, to go with other touch-downs from Jack Lewis, Jack Easton and Jake Le Gassick.
Tavistock’s big win came despite having forward Charlie Charlton sent off midway through the second half.
“I would say that is the best we have played,” said head coach Joel Caddy.
“We looked after the ball and our set-piece was really good – we were on top in the scrum and they didn’t really get any decent ball there and we won a few against the head and our line-out function really well as well.
“Jamie Legg was jumping at the back of the line-out which won us a lot of really good ball which gave George Hillson front-foot ball to work off. We were getting over the gain-line and keeping the ball alive with off-loads and if the off-loads weren’t on the lads were clever enough not to force it.
“We were just getting top quality ball and we just ran riot.
“We scored some really, really top-notch team tries.
“I was expecting quite a tough battle and for the game to be quite close, but it was nothing like it. We were pretty exceptional and they just didn’t get a chance to play.”
He added: “At half-time the challenge to the lads was to keep them to nil. It didn’t matter if we didn’t score another point we just wanted to nil them as we tend not to do that to sides.
“Everyone had an outstanding game, but the forwards have to take a lot of credit as they produced top quality ball for the backs.”
Ivybridge II made it two wins a row as they beat Exeter Saracens 34-3 at Cross-in-Hand.
Ivybridge got the start they wanted with a try straight from the kick-off and that was quickly followed by two more as they led 17-0 at half-time.
Exeter Saracens enjoyed more possession second half and tested Ivybridge with some promising breaks but the hosts defence was good and they added another 17 points in the second period.
Their tries came from Jake Neville, George Montgomery, Theo Clarke, George Vertessy and Sam Wilmington.
Vice-captain Ben Hooper said: “We defended well in the second half and we managed to keep them out which was great.”
Devonport Services II got their first win in Counties Two Devon with a 36-13 home victory over North Tawton.
Isaih Akinrowo bagged two tries for Services, who also had Luke Stannard, Josh Hemmings, Matt Richards and Joe Brearley touching down. Matt Richards also kicked three conversions.
North Tawton’s only try came from Will Lethbridge, with James Bowden kicking the rest of their points.
COUNTIES TWO CORNWALL
SALTASH kept up their scintillating form in the Counties Two Cornwall league with a 62-15 home victory over Helston.
Saturday’s win followed on from a 74-0 victory over Hayle and 66-0 triumph against Camborne School of Mines.
But the Ashes were given a bit of a shock by Helston, who were leading after 30 minutes.
Helston, led by their pack, really took the game to Saltash in the first half, but the hosts weathered the storm and then turned on the style second half.
The visitors took the lead after only three minutes with a try by Ben Lenderyou following a kick ahead.
But Saltash came back to level nine minutes later when Lewis Stuart jinked over the Helston line.
However, Saltash were having difficulties in containing the Helston forwards and after some pressure from the visitors they took the lead again with a Paul Saberton penalty.
The Ashes missed a couple of their own penalties before Lewis Stuart went over on the left wing following a good move put his team 10-8 in front.
Two further quick home tries by Jay Moriarty and Andy Walsh just before the interval gave the home side a 20-8 advantage.
The second half started with Ryan Cruickshanks scoring a try after just two minutes, which was converted by youngster Oli Crawford following an inspired change of kicker by the coaches.
As Saltash began to control the visiting forwards and gain more possession for their backs further tries came from Danny Snook, Rob Walsh and Ryan Rayner, all converted by Crawford to make it 48-8.
A lapse in concentration by the Ashes allowed Jake Bowers to go over for Helston’s second try which was converted by Saberton.
Andy Walsh extended the home advantage with another try, converted by Crawford after 71 minutes.
Saltash were well in command in the closing stages and were awarded a penalty try at the death to complete a well-earned victory.
Forwards Devon Bennett-Murray, Ryan Rayner and Lewis Wells drove hard to gain control over the Helston pack and behind the scrum the backs all combined well to keep the scoreboard ticking.
In a league that has already split into two, Liskeard-Looe are up to fifth after their claimed their second win in three games with a 20-7 away victory at Newquay Hornets.
It was the Lions’ first away game of the season and so they will be delighted to have come back with four points, especially with a much-changed team.
The visitors had to soak up some early pressure from Newquay before going 10-0 up with a Ieuan Evans penalty and a converted try by Billy Edwards.
But the home side hit back and closed the gap to 10-7 just before half-time with a converted try.
In a competitive game, where both teams tried to play attacking rugby, Liskeard just had the edge up front and Baz Hocking scored a catch-and-drive tries to put them 15-7 ahead.
And, with time running out, Liskeard won a scrum against the head and Hocking broke from number eight before feeding Kieran Underhill to score.
COUNTIES THREE DEVON EAST
OPMs got their Devon East season off to a tremendous start with a 68-7 home win over a young Exeter Athletic side at King George V Playing Fields on Saturday.
The Old Boys ended up running in 10 tries, with young brothers Fred and Matt Smale accounting for four of them.
OPMs only led 19-0 at half-time with breakaway tries from Pete Regan, Fred Smale and Matt Smale.
The hosts did not really have a lot of pressure in Exeter’s half in a scrappy first period, but they did find their form after the interval and did produce some good tries.
Fred Smale got a second straight after the break and then further touch-downs followed from Dan Bristow, James Glasson, Corbin Turner, Matt Smale, Henry Matthews and Shaughn Lewis, with the two Smales and Regan all chipping in with conversions.
Exeter Athletic, who have had to totally rebuild their side over the summer after losing players to higher league Topsham and Exeter Saracens, did have some good moments and scored a fine try midway through the second half through winger Luke Fiddes, which Harrison Greenslade converted.
New OPMs head coach Andy Williams was happy with what he saw, particularly second half, but he is not getting carried away.
“We had a players’ meeting at the start of the year and they said what they wanted to do and all we have tried to do is put things in place to enable us to play the rugby we did in the last 25 minutes.
“Fair play to Exeter, they stuck at it and scored a good try.
“For us there’s still a lot to work on, but it is pleasing and the boys deserved to have a good night and start again on Tuesday.”
On claiming such a big win in their first match, Williams said: “I think it could be a blessing and a curse. Other teams are going to look at that, but we might not have the rub of the green next time. We’ll just see what happens. We are just looking forward to the rest of the season.”
COUNTIES THREE DEVON WEST
TAMAR Saracens made it three wins out of three in Devon West with a hard-earned 12-0 home victory over Salcombe on Saturday.
Sarries had to overcome the sending off of full-back Frazer Tatchell towards the end of the first half to keep their winning run going.
Dan Best scored both tries for Sarries, with his first coming on 16 minutes before he added a second in the 55th minute.
Salcombe, who included former Ivybridge lock Dom Loomes in their starting line-up, had beaten Argaum and Paignton II in their opening two games.
“It’s a win and a nil against us, which we are happy with,” said Saracens’ director of rugby Pete Lethbridge.
“It was good in places, but it wasn’t as good as last week. We were a little bit flat and narrow and we probably tried too many off-loads and fancy plays and that last pass just never went to hand.
“Our scrum was good, but our line-out miss-fired a little bit so we will work on that this week.
“But it was a win and we are happy, but I think it is only about 60 per cent of our ability.
“We are nearly there, but it’s just about a little bit of fine tuning.”
Lethbridge did say the team showed character to dig deep in the second half when they were down to 14 players.
Plymouth Argaum are finally up-and-running after their beat Totnes 64-7 away on Saturday.
Argaum had picked up bonus points in defeats to Salcombe and Tamar Saracens in their opening two games but on Saturday they finally got the win new head coach Dean Avery wanted.
“I am a lot happier,” said Avery. “I think it is coming together.
“There were plenty of positives. We had a strong team, although we were missing Jack Morris.
“It was so much better from us, but Totnes did have a very young side out.
“We had got two bonus points in our first two games and had been in both those matches, but hopefully, this is a turning point now.
“Our line-outs and scrums were much better this week and we moved the ball around a lot better.”
Argaum were boosted by having the likes of Dan Smith, Jake Turfrey, Will Lloyd and Tom Worboys back, along with Dan James, who has returned to the club.
Smith was joint man-of-the-match with Tom Holliday, who scored a hat-trick of tries, while Turfrey bag a couple. Owen Goucher also got two, while James got a try on his return to rugby and Dave Clack and Darren Ewers also crossed the whitewash.
Argaum did have to drop-kick all their conversions after leaving their kicking team in the changing rooms.
Plymstock Albion Oaks II are still waiting for their first win in the league. They went down 48-14 at Teignmouth II. Jack Green and Ash Parsons scored Oaks’ tries, with Parsons converting both.
Old Techs were without a game this weekend.
DEVON MERIT TABLE
PLYMPTON Victoria took plenty of positives from their 41-21 opening day defeat to a strong Torquay Athletic II side at St Mary’s on Saturday in the Devon Merit Table.
“We know they will have first team players in their squad so you expect a tough day,” said Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt. “But it was a good game all around.
“We could have taken more of our chances, but we are fairly happy with three tries against a team like them.
“What was really encouraging was the numbers we had.”
Ben Hadfield, a summer signing from Plymstock Albion Oaks, got two of Plym Vic’s tries, with Chris Barrett kicking three conversions.
OPM Jesters should have been hosting DHSOB at King George V Playing Fields in the Merit Table, but the visitors pulled out of the fixture.
However, the Jesters, who were celebrating their club reunion on Saturday, managed to get a game against a strong Ivybridge III team, who won 64-0
The Ivybridge side, who were 26-0 up at half-time, included a good mix of promising youngsters and some players with first team experience like Luke Martell, Harrison Legge and Will Murden.
The Jesters found it hard to stop the strong running from Ivybridge’s number eight, hooker, centres and wingers.
Early in the first half the Jesters did have some good pressure but Ivybridge manage to keep them out and then took control.
Swipe to see full gallery. All pictures are low resolution and are protected by copyright.