Gallery / Rugby

GALLERY: Ivybridge open pre-season campaign with a win over Truro

IVYBRIDGE opened their pre-season campaign with a 29-12 win over Truro in windy conditions on Saturday at Cross-in-Hand.

The Bridgers were 29-0 up with 10 minutes to go in the match that was played in four periods, but Truro, who play in the league below, were rewarded for their efforts with two late tries by Matt Cross.

Experienced scrum-half Ben Watts gave Ivybridge a good start with two tries in the first quarter.

Winger Hayden Coles then added to that early in the second quarter to make it 15-0 at half-time.

The gale-force wind brought by Storm Antoni did make it difficult, but the Bridgers did have a good third period with number eight Will Peakman scoring a fine try and then the home side were awarded a penalty try for a last-gasp high tackle after a good break by Charlie Briant.

But Truro, who had to play 20 minutes with 14 men due to yellow cards, did show what they could do in the final quarter with some strong forward play that saw Cross touched down twice and Ashley Hoskin converting his first effort.

New Ivybridge head coach Davy McGregor was just happy his team got a win and got a good run-out.

“The big thing was to get a win,” said McGregor. “I wasn’t going to tell the lads that. It was about telling them to go out and enjoy themselves and the result will happen.

“But you do want to be beating the teams that are below you.”

He added: “This week we had 29 lads and we tried to give everyone a shout for at least 10 minutes.

“It was really pleasing to see boys playing positions they are not used to.

“The disappointing thing was that last 10 minutes when we gave them a few points.

“The big thing for me is how we act off the pitch and how we work together and that will all tie into those last 10 minutes.

“I think boys will learn that we can’t slip off at this level because teams will score tries.”

McGregor is delighted to have been given the chance to coach the Regional One South West side after leaving Plymouth Albion.

“For me it is my home club now as I am living in Ivybridge as well, which is great,” he said.

“I made the decision to retire from Albion five weeks ago.  The legs weren’t in and the head wasn’t in it and the opportunity to coach was massive again.

“And the club system and structure here means there’s a lot of players that can come through and develop.”

McGregor previously had a season coaching Tamar Saracens in Devon One.

“Sarries was great and I really enjoyed it,” said McGregor.

“The biggest difference is probably at level five there is an opportunity for boys within a couple of years to get into professional rugby and you also have boys who have played professional rugby. So, from that prospective there is probably a bit more competition and bite.”

McGregor is keen to keep Ivybridge’s tradition of developing young players going and he looking to arrange a number of under-23 fixtures to help former colts transition into the senior game.

The Bridgers do not have a fixture this coming weekend, but the following week their second team will host Paignton on the Friday night and the first team will entertain Crediton the following day.

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