RUGBY PREVIEWS: Saltash prepare for top-of-the-table clash with St Ives

WHILE other teams are enjoying a blank weekend, Saltash face probably their toughest test of the season,with a trip west to take on St Ives in a top-of-the-table Counties Two Cornwall clash.

The eagerly-awaited league meeting should have been played two weeks ago but was postponed after the referee was ill and no replacement could be found.

Unbeaten leaders Saltash also did not play last Saturday as Bodmin handed them a walkover, while St Ives came through a tricky test against Veor, winning 27-13.

Both Saltash and St Ives have not lost a game yet this season and both have been running up big scores.

Saltash are averaging more than 67 points per game, with St Ives, who have had two walkovers, averaging nearly 50 points.

St Ives have got a number of their squad back that previously got them up to South West One, including Jamie Prisk, who went off to play for Redruth in the National League before returning as player-coach, Ed Thirlby, who had spells at Penryn and Veor, and number eight Martin Lawrence, who was at Camborne.

It should be a great battle on Saturday and could be a crucial one in the season.

Saltash are pretty much at full strength. The only change to their starting XV that beat Veor 70-10 in their last outing is at hooker where Rob Walsh comes in for unavailable Axel Nicks.

Saltash: Ryan Cruickshanks, Will Morton, Greg Eatwell, Danny Snook, Jay Moriaty, Lewis Stuart, Jack Pritchard, Simon Nance, Rob Walsh, Ryan Simmons, Devon Bennett-Murray, Lewis Woolaway, Lewis Wells, Phil Eatwell, Ryan Rayner. Reps: Ben Simmons, Matt Coker, Tom Hollyman, Billy Dover.

Devonport Services should have been hosting Crediton in a re-arranged Devon Senior Cup game on Saturday but their opponents have pulled out of the fixture. 

Services head coach Ben Russell had been hoping to use the cup game to experiment a bit and have a look at some different players in different positions. Devonport have been handed the win.

However, Services’ third team will be in action when they travel over the Tamar to play Saltash II in the Ellis Cup (2.30pm).

Tavistock have also been left without a fixture after Tamar Saracens pulled out of their Lockie Cup clash.

In the Devon Merit Table, Plympton Victoria are due to make the short trip to Elburton to play the University of Plymouth.

Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt said: “Hopefully the game is on and hopefully we will do quite well.

“We have got a team and we are hoping to maybe scrape up a few more. Playing the students is always an adventure. I think the last time we played them they had about 40 players ranging from first team standard to fourth team standard.”

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