Barnstaple have no time to dwell on their 27-19 defeat at Drybrook as the big games keep coming.

Barum, second in the South West Premier Division, have a Devon derby date with University of Exeter at Pottington Road this Saturday.

The Students are unbeaten in their last five outings and beat Barnstaple 18-15 when the sides last met in October.

Defeat at Drybrook did not do too much harm to Barum’s promotion prospects as third-placed Maidenhead lost at Ivybridge and are seven points behind them.

Another defeat could be costly though as it opens the door for chasers Maidenhead, Ivybridge and the University to close the gap.

As Barum still have Ivybridge and Maidenhead to play, there is not a huge amount of room for error in the final seven games.

Jeremy Chugg, the director of rugby at Barnstaple, said he hoped to see a reaction from the players this Saturday.

“We knew Drybrook would be a difficult place to go to as they take rugby seriously in that part of the world – as Newton Abbot, Exmouth and Ivybridge all found out the hard way before us,” said Chugg.

“Four of our final seven games are at home and it is important we keep Pottington Road as our redoubt for the rest of the season.

“We know the threat the Students face from our defeat down there when they scored a try right at the end when we had switched off.

“If we are serious about reaching the play-offs – and we are – then we have to play flat out for the full 80 minutes from now.”

Drybrook went ahead on two minutes with a converted try, fell 12-7 behind to two Barum tries while they had man in the sin-bin, and by half time had opened up a 17-12 lead.

Two more tries followed in the second half and all Barnstaple could muster was a consolation score in the last minute.

Barum’s try scorers were Adam Lloyd, James Starkey and George Snell. Jake Murphy kicked two conversions.