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RUGBY REPORTS: Bonus-point wins for Devonport Services, Tavistock, Oaks, Saltash and Tamar Saracens

DEVONPORT Services made it two bonus-point wins out of two in Regional One South West on Saturday with a 35-19 away victory at Okehampton.

They scored five tries at the Showground – all courtesy of backs – with summer signings Freddie Davies and Harrison Coonick both bagging two apiece to go with one from Dylan Daley.

Services’ win at the weekend really showed their strength in depth as they were missing the likes of Matt Gregory, James Hocking, Joe Daley, Oli Symons, Shaun Crawford and Luke Stannard.

Ethan Millard, a summer arrival from OPMs, was handed his debut in the back-row, while Mark Friend, Aiden Taylor, James McFarlane and Matt Richards all also came into the team, while Sam Winfield and Isiah Akinrowo came on to the bench.

“The boys that came in stepped up and played well,” said head coach Ben Russell.

“It was good. We got a bonus-point which we didn’t do against them last year.

“It is only the second game of the season and it is just about building and building.

“The boys have come up here and done a job. Were we perfect? No, we weren’t. We gave Okehampton a sniff at times and they scored some tries.”

Russell was full of praise for former Saltash junior Freddie Davies.

“Freddie was outstanding,” said Russell. “He was our man of the match.”

Keiran Down had given Services an early lead with a penalty but Okehampton hit back with a converted try by fly-half Dan Fogerty.

Devonport, though, responded with Coonick making a try for Davies before the full-back then scored one of his own with a kick through and chase to make it 20-7.

Just before half-time Okehampton cut the gap to six points with a touch-down by Leon Horn after good play by Fogerty.

Davies gave Services breathing space at the start of the second half with another try before Down kicked a penalty to make it 30-14.

Saul Holliday got one back for the hosts, but Daley completed the scoring for a solid away win.

Ivybridge suffered last-gasp heartache away at Lydney on Saturday as the Forest of Dean club snatched a 34-32 victory with late try and touchline conversion.

The Bridgers, who had been frustrated to lose 24-10 at home to Launceston the week before, made a brilliant start at Regentsholme.

They stormed into a 22-0 lead, only for Lydney to hit back and level.

But Ivybridge pulled away again and went 32-22 ahead, only for Lydney to once again come back and grab a dramatic win after Ivybridge had given away a number of penalties and picked up two yellow cards.

“Discipline again just absolutely killed us,” admitted Ivybridge head coach Davy McGregor. “We gave away about 18 or 19 penalties. I don’t know if it was just a relaxation as we thought we had the game won as we had played some super rugby.”

McGregor added: “The boys played well and we had another new debutant in Jed Soper at hooker and he played well.

“But I just hope the boys learn from it. In two weeks we have had 34 penalties and you are not going to win rugby like that.

“It is about maturity and I just don’t know if we are at that level of maturity just yet. There’s going to be a few work-ons. It is something the players have to sort out as it is really affecting the momentum of the team.”

Ivybridge, who handed a first start to former Old Techs forward Sam Courtney as well as former colt Soper, did at least return from the long trip with two points, but that was of little comfort to McGregor.

“I am not really considering that as we should have had five,” he said. “You put yourself in a position to win the game but then put yourself in a position to lose it.”

He added: “We talked about bouncing back from two big defeats (firsts and seconds) and said if we could have two wins it would be a massive momentum shift. And we weren’t a million miles from it.

“The Vandals won, which we are proud of. If the Vandals are really pushing the first team that is massive win.”

Sam Brown gave Ivybridge an early lead with a penalty and then it got better for the visitors with Adam Northcott getting their opening try before Charlie Teague bagged two as they went 22-0 up.

Lydney kicked a penalty before half-time to make the score at the break 22-3.

Three unanswered tries after the interval pulled the hosts level, but then a Brown penalty and then a Henry Trudghill converted try moved Ivybridge 10 points clear. However, then it all went wrong again.

Ivybridge will be looking to get that first win of the season next weekend at home to newly-promoted Matson.


TAVISTOCK’S backs turned on the style as they secured their first win since promotion with an eye-catching 38-26 success over last season’s third-placed finishers Kingsbridge.

Tavistock’s clinical finishing on Saturday against one of the title favourites was in contrast to the previous weekend where they wasted numerous chances in a 18-14 defeat away at Falmouth.

Kingsbridge just did not know how to stop the pace in their backline. Liam Watts stole the show with a hat-trick of tries, with opposite winger Conor Packwood bagging two and influential scrum-half George Hillson also scoring a classic.

The win delighted Tavistock’s Kingsbridge-based head coach Joel Caddy.

“Considering who we were playing there was a certain element of joy in that victory,” admitted Caddy.

“They (Kingsbridge) are a good side and they kept going right until the end, but they just could not live with us at times.

“This week things worked that we didn’t make work last week.

“I said to the lads before the game that they just had to improve on the things we did wrong last week and whatever happens, happens. It just proved what can happen if we take our chances.”

He added: “Our pack were under the cosh a bit. They (Kingsbridge) were bloody good at the breakdown – they turned us over several times which is something for us to work on but that’s a fairly easy fix.

“And at times we just made some fundamental mistakes, which we don’t expect people to make. We knocked on three times at kick-offs. If you have just scored five or seven points you don’t want to be giving the opposition a scrum around your 22.

“But our discipline on the whole was pretty good and I think we have laid down a marker now for the season.

“I am well chuffed and I think the lads are pretty chuffed themselves.

“Kingsbridge will be up near the top come the end of the season. I know they had players missing, but had players missing so at the end of the day it was a fairly level playing field.”

In sweltering conditions – not something regulars at Sandy Park are used to – Tavistock were strong in the scrum early on but could not quite get going in the opening 20 minutes.

It was only when they went behind in the 19th minute that they seemed to find their top form.

Kingsbridge winger James Oggelsby had put his side in front with a try in the left corner after a clever chip from fly-half Fred Buckle.

But Tavistock replied straight from kick-off with Hillson breaking before he off-loaded close to the line for Watts to touch down in the left corner. Hillson added the tough conversion.

It got better for Tavistock when they scored within a minute of the next restart. After pressing down the left they got a line-out. From it they drove before Hillson broke off and went back down the blindside and once again fed Watts to score. Hillson again converted to give Tavistock a 14-7 half-time lead.

Kingsbridge levelled 10 minutes into the second half when centre Toby Baldry scored a fine try, which Max Ferguson converted.

But six minutes later Baldry was yellow carded as Tavistock really pressed Kingsbridge’s line and while he was off the field, the hosts scored three tries.

The first of those came after Tavistock ran back a Kingsbridge clearance kick with Watts doing well before a long pass found Packwood on the right and he powered over to score and Hillson converted.

Hillson then scored a great try. Tavistock turned Kingsbridge over and with the referee playing advantage he brilliantly chipped the ball over the visitors’ defence and he won the race to ground it.

And from the restart, Tavistock scored again with Watts bagging his hat-trick with a good break down the left wing.

Three minutes later Packwood added his second down the opposite wing after some more quick play by Hillson. That made it 38-14.

But Kingsbridge did finish strongly and bagged a bonus point in the closing stages with tries courtesy of Baldry and Ferguson.

Plymstock Albion Oaks are the early leaders of Western West after they claimed a 38-26 home win over newly-promoted St Ives.

The win followed on from a 31-12 victory over Paignton the previous weekend.

Oaks scored six tries against St Ives, with Peni Turua and Pete Keanie both bagging two, with Lewis Paterson and Duncan Bibby also crossing the whitewash. Paterson also added four conversions.

Former Plymouth Albion player Todd Prisk scored two tries for St Ives, with his brother Jamie also bagging one, along with Robbie Kessell as the visitors did claim a bonus point.

“They brought a big pack with the Prisk brothers and they are a solid outfit you can tell that,” said Oaks coach Lewis Paterson. “But we matched with a big physical pack and we stuck to our systems.

“You can see all the effort that is going into the coaching and game-plan and we just blew them away.

“I think again we were just a notch up physically and we executed some unbelievable tries. Our backs were very dominant.

“We gifted them two tries in the first half from a bit of ill-discipline, so we put ourselves under a bit of pressure, but they were a good side.

“It’s another five-point league win, which is what we set out for. We set targets for the first four games and we have accomplished what we set out to achieve in the opening two games.

“All-in-all it was a really good win.”


PLYMOUTH Argaum were brought down to earth after their impressive opening day win over Barnstaple II as they were beaten 40-31 away at South Molton on Saturday.

Argaum were 21-10 down at half-time when South Molton had a player sent off.

But straight after the break, the referee handed two yellow cards out to Argaum and awarded South Molton a penalty try.

The visitors then found themselves 40-10 down but they did come back strongly and snatched a bonus point.

Tom Mann scored two tries, with Darren Ewers, Dan Smith and Chris Perkins also crossing the whitewash, with Billy Stockwell kicking one conversion and Jake Turfrey two.

Luke Morris, Matt Hurrell, George Down, Brendon Darley and Oliver Squire scored for South Molton to go with the penalty try.

“We got a try-scoring bonus point which was good, but we just missed out on getting within seven,” said Argaum head coach Dean Avery.

“It was a frustrating day for us. We didn’t really perform. The boys left a lot out on the field.

“Everyone kind of used the weather as an excuse not to perform to the standard that we are used to. We did have a shortened warm-up and tried to stay in the changing rooms and I think maybe that upset us a bit.

“But their players looked like they wanted it more so I think they deserved the win. However, we showed in areas that we were the better side.

“However, I think that’s the first time in a long time where we didn’t have the advantage in the scrum. We are not really used to that, but we also had some injuries. We are also not used to only having just three subs. People were looking to the sideline as they are all used to having five people who can come on, but with only three at this level we need to get fitter.

“We had a good team out – we travelled well – so there are no excuses with the team.

“They (South Molton) are a good side. I think they were better than the side (Barnstaple II) that we played last week.”

Avery felt the two yellow cards at the start of the second half for Stockwell and Perkins were very harsh.

“All of sudden we went from being one up because of their red card to having two in the sin-bin and that period kind of change the game,” said Avery.

OPMs are still looking for their first win since promotion after narrowly losing 19-10 away at Withycombe.

However, they will have been encouraged by their display against a team that finished fourth last season.

OPMs certainly had their chances to claim the win. They dominated the scrums and missed three penalty kicks at goal.

The visitors, still without the injured Fred Smale, did take the lead in the fourth minute when Matt Smale kicked a penalty.

But Withycombe came back with a Joe Blythe try before taking a 12-3 half-time lead with a converted touch-down by Will Cooper.

Despite chances, there was no more scoring until the final five minutes of the game when Max Richards went over for a converted try for Withycombe before James Robinson scored a consolation effort for OPMs, which Smale converted.

The Old Boys will have been particularly frustrated not to have even got a bonus point for all their efforts at Raleigh Park.

Devonport Services II are the early leaders of Counties Two Devon after they crushed North Tawton 70-10 at the Rectory.

The Services II team were boosted by having the likes of Richard West, Andy Pond and Reuben Edwards coming in to face North Tawton.

Services did score 35 points in each half, while North Tawton’s points all came in the first period.

The hosts scored 10 tries in total, with Billy Sutton leading the way with four of them. Backs Toby Knowles and Edwards both scored two, while Manasa Tamanikairukuiovalau and Ellio Brasso also touched down. West kicked eight conversions, with Lewie Riley kicking the other two.

Ivybridge II got off the mark in 2023-24 with a hard-earned 21-17 home win over Barnstaple II at Cross-in-Hand.

It was a perfect way for the young Bridgers to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat to Torquay.

The Bridgers stormed into a 14-0 lead with tries by Owen Garner and Tom Hancocks, which were both converted by Lew Swatton.

But, after half-time, Barnstaple hit back with tries by Ryan Jago, Joe Messenger and Dylan Kingdon and a penalty by Ollie James to go 17-14 ahead.

However, Ivybridge snatched the win with a converted try by Owen Garner eight minutes from time.


SALTASH showed their strength in depth with a 55-10 away win at Bodmin in Counties Two Cornwall.

The Ashes, who were handed a walkover by St Just last week, were missing a host of regular players but they were still too strong for Bodmin.

Their young side took control straight away and scored in the second minute when Ollie Crawford sped down the left wing to touch down for a try converted by Ryan Cruickshanks.

A good break by Greg Eatwell led to a pass to Tom Hollyman, who crossed the Bodmin line to increase the Ashes lead after 20 minutes.

Cruickshanks then scored a good try five minutes later which he converted as the visitors kept the pressure on Bodmin.

Dale Partington put Saltash further ahead just before the interval with a well-worked touch-down.

The final act of the first half came from the Bodmin forwards who scored from a driving maul to make the score 24-5 at the break.

The early second half exchanges were even before the lively Billy Dover went through the Bodmin defence for a try on 46 minutes.

Seven minutes later Danny Snook, making his 50th appearance for the Ashes, increased their lead with a converted try to make it 36-5.

Bodmin battled hard to contain Saltash and were rewarded after 55 minutes with a breakaway try.

However, Saltash continued with their open play and got more tries through Partington and two from Frank Cozens, who impressed in the pack. Dale Thompson and Billy Dover also had big games.


TAMAR Saracens are the early pacesetters in Counties Three Devon South & West after beating Plympton Victoria 72-0 at the Parkway on Saturday.

That followed on from a 50-12 victory at Tavistock II the previous week.

Plym Vic were struggling for players due to holidays, injuries and work commitments and so handed Tamar Saracens the win before the game but the teams did play a shortened 12-a-side game under the RFU’s ‘Game-On’ rules.

Sarries had Reece Boase, Frazer Tatchell (2), Calum Perkin, Alex Parry and Lew Harris scoring tries in the first period to lead 32-0 before Josh Heath, Josh Perkin, Scott Cooper (2) and Tatchell added further touch-downs in the second period.

“We got a bit of fitness and a few things out of it,” said Tamar Saracens’ Pete Lethbridge.

“For the amount of time we were on the pitch there were some good systems there.

“To be fair to Plym Vic, they have a few good young players and they did try their hardest.”

Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt said: “It was one of those weeks where we had 19 unavailable, but fair play to Tamar Saracens for agreeing to do ‘game-on’.

“We really wanted to try and fulfil the fixture as we had 12 blokes that wanted to play and kudos for the lads that did play. We had a couple of new guys and a couple of old ones and our defence up the middle was pretty strong and their tries did come out wide.

“As mad as it sounds when you lose 72-0 but we actually enjoyed the day.”

Old Techs had a frustrating trip to Paignton II, where they narrowly lost 18-15.

Techs led 15-10 at half-time thanks to tries by new signing Ollie Davey and the returning Brett Tunnicliffe, with Ben Hockey kicking a penalty and a conversion.

A converted Olly Williams try and a Reece Titheridge penalty accounted for Paignton’s points in the first half.

Ben Salter then scored to pull the hosts level before Shaun Dallow kicked a match-winning penalty.

“It could have gone either way,” said Techs’ Shaun Bedford-Smith. “We missed a penalty to draw the game, which would have probably been a fair result, but that’s the way it goes. Small margins, but we had lots of new players.”

Plymstock Albion Oaks II, who had drawn with Paignton II the previous week, were well beaten 53-7 away at Dartmouth.

“The seconds had a tough time at Dartmouth,” said Oaks head coach Lewis Paterson. “But it is good experience for them. It is better than playing just scratch sides.

“We went to Dartmouth with a good squad but Dartmouth are obviously a well-drilled side. It is all a learning curve. We want players in the second team playing competitive rugby. That is why we are getting the results we are getting in the first team.”

Tavistock II were beaten 26-0 away at Kinsgbridge II, while in Counties Three Cornwall, Saltash II got their first win with a 41-29 home victory over Bude II at Moorlands Lane.

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