Bounce back victory for Barnstaple

North Devon Gazette

Barnstaple bounced back from a 70-point whitewashing at Clifton in National Two South with a 35-17 home win over Westcliff.Â

Barum were always ahead from the second minute onwards after Jake Murphy kicked them into the lead with a penalty.Â

Murphy added four more penalties before the break to one in reply as Barum eased into a 15-3 half-time lead.Â

The second-half followed the first for a while with Murphy booting penalty number six. He took the running tally to 23-3 with a try soon after.Â

Barnstaple added further tries from Flyn Elworthy and Will Topps, one converted by Murphy, to run out comfortable winners.Â

However, the fourth try eluded Barnstaple and denied them an additional bonus point.Â

Jeremy Chugg, Barnstaple’s director of rugby, said getting key players back meant it was a far better performance than the one at Clifton.Â

“Both Carters played – Ryan and Jonny – and with Jake Murphy back we looked more cohesive behind the scrum,” said Chugg.Â

“Ben Hilton was back in the row and Dan Lee was on the flank, which gave us more control.Â

“With the sort of young side we have, if you don’t have enough control and things start going wrong, panic can set in and things only get worse.Â

“Our set piece went with control and composure, which meant we had an advantage over what looked like a decent team.Â

“I reckon we were fitter than they were and had a few more skills in one or two places, but their lads were well drilled and away from the scrum and defended well.”Â

Chugg’s only grumble was the referee’s interpretation of how to deal with petty infringements in the final third of the field.Â

Said Chugg: “My question to the referee and the advisor after the game was ‘how many penalties do you have to give away in the red zone before someone gets put in the sin-bin?’Â

“Westcliff gave away six or seven close to their line in a short period of time, yet no cardsÂ

“Jake kicked a fair few of the penalties, but give me five points over three every time and our try scoring chances would have been better against 14-men.”Â

Barnstaple are away to Esher this Saturday.Â