Gallery / Rugby

GALLERY: Tamar Saracens secure the bonus-point win they needed against Old Techs at Brickfields

TAMAR Saracens kept alive their faint hopes of the Counties Three Devon West title with a 24-0 win over big rivals Old Techs in front of nearly 400 people at Brickfields on Friday night.

Sarries knew they needed a bonus-point win to have any hope of chasing down their city rivals Plymouth Argaum.

Argaum will go into the final weekend of the season four points ahead of Sarries, who will play Topsham II the night before Argaum head to Salcombe.

If Sarries did get another bonus-point win at Topsham next Friday then Argaum would need to get two points against Salcombe.

But Sarries will know they will need to play better against Tospham than they did against Techs on Friday.

They did totally dominant territory and possession under the floodlights at Brickfields in stop-start contest, but did make really hard work off getting the four tries.

In the end, replacement Matt Cates came on and scored two good tries in the final quarter to secure them the five points.

“We were trying to come out and showcase what we can do, but we went against a lot of what we normally do,” admitted Tamar Saracens head coach Mike Lewis.

“I don’t think we have ever run so many lines where we have got isolated. So many times we went into contact by ourselves.

“It was a bit of a frustrating evening as we know we can play so much better than that.

“But what Techs really do well is that they will draw you into that dog fight and we did get drawn in.

“A few decisions towards the end could have really swung it towards us, but they really stifled us well.

“We were so uncharacteristic in the way we were trying to play. It was so frustrating watching from the touchline. We sent so many messages on just telling them to go through the phases and get to rucks quicker as then we would find the space, but we were just trying to score off the second phase all the time.

“Yet at the same time it was a great result and I am really proud of the boys, but going into Topsham next week we just need to iron out a few creases to try and get another five points.”

Old Techs official Shaun Bedford-Smith said: “We defended pretty much the whole game, so to keep them down to 24-0 for the amount of ball they had was a testament to our defence.

“They (Sarries) were pretty much at full strength and we had quite a few young and inexperience players out there and hopefully they will learn from that.

“We dug in like we always do. We were dogged, but we don’t want to be just defending.

“We did make them work hard for it, but the lads are a bit disappointed, however, you can’t take anything away from them – they went out and gave everything and that’s all you can ask.”

Techs were not helped by having to take off key players like James Douglas, Billy Evans and Will Booth with injuries at various points of a game that failed to get going due to the amount of stoppages.

Straight from the off, Sarries, who knew they had to win, got on top in the scrums and line-outs and Techs spent virtually the entire first 40 minutes in their own half.

Number eight Joey Pook gave Sarries the lead after just nine minutes when he went over from the back of a five-metre scrum.

Most of the 387 people inside Brickfields probably thought the floodgates might open then from the way Sarries had started, but they were only able to add one more try in the first half which came courtesy of winger Ryan Currie on 19 minutes to give them a 10-0 half-time lead.

There were a couple of scuffles in the first half and plenty of lectures from the referee. The half-time also had to be extended due to a neck injury to Techs centre Booth.

Techs were better in the second half and had a bit more possession but the game changed with the arrival on a number of Sarries replacements who brought more pace and urgency to the proceedings.

Cates had not been on long when he scored Sarries’ third try when he went over in the changing room corner following a quick tap penalty. Fellow replacement Lewis Swatton brilliantly converted that try from out wide.

And the pair again added another seven points when Cates produced a great run to cut through Techs defence and score under the posts to secure his side the all-important bonus point with 10 minutes to go.

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