Barum were beaten at home by Bury St Edmunds on Saturday in National League Two South
Barnstaple are hoping for some good news on the injury front after picking up a crop of bumps and bruises early this season.
Barum went into Saturday’s home game with Bury St Edmunds, which they lost 39-24, with players missing up front and outside.
And gone for good is stand-off Fraser Honey, who has left Devon for family reasons and signed for National League Two South rivals...Bury St Edmonds.
Jeremy Chugg, chairman of rugby at Pottington Road, said the injury issues are testing the club’s strength in depth.
“We started the season without Ben Hilton anyway and lost Glyn Jenkins two games in, which meant both our outstanding locks from last season were out,” said Chugg.
“Matt Gohl – all six foot seven of him – has an ankle injury so that is another second row gone.
“With Winston James coming back from injury, we aren’t quite down to the bare bones in the pack, but not far off.
“Losing Fraser we didn’t see coming – and to lose Jordan Petherbridge as well to a bang on the head meant we were two fly-halves down too.
“Hopefully, Jordan will be back for Canterbury away this Saturday.
“We have been moving people around to cover the problem at half back and have been lucky that Jake Murphy has gone in there from the centre and done a fantastic job.
“That has meant re-jigging the centres, but you just have to get on with it and do the best you can.”
Chugg said defeats by Bury St Edmunds and Taunton were a timely reminder there are no easy games in National Two.
“After we defeated Redruth early on I think expectations went through the roof,” said Chugg.
“The last couple of results have been a reality check and something you just have to suck up.”
Chugg said Barum will try to play their way out of trouble rather than throw money at the problem.
“If we have to bring players in at a later date we will, but we have a budget and won’t be busting it on players we cannot afford,” said Chugg.
St Edmunds shot off into a 10-0 lead in the first 12 minutes, which meant Barum were always playing catch-up.
The scoring went tit-for-tat after that with Barnstaple closing the gap to 22-17 at half time.
Speedy wingman Kyle Speare bagged both Barum tries, which were converted by Murphy, who also slotted a penalty.
Any hopes of a Barum comeback were quashed after the break as Bury eased into a 32-17 lead with 20 minutes to go.
Nat Bayet’s try on 64 minutes, converted by Murphy, gave Barnstaple hope of a four-try bonus point and a losing one too. Bury scored their final try in the last minute to kill that idea stone dead.