Barnstaple can expect a thorough test of their promotion credentials when they pay a visit to Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.

Barnstaple v Okehampton in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Okehampton in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob Collins

Barum's 24-0 derby win over Okehampton last time out opened up a seven-point lead over Weston at the top of the table.

A Barnstaple win this Saturday will guarantee them the South West Premier top spot over Christmas, irrespective of what happens at Bracknell on December 21.

Weston know they have to win to avoid slipping 10, 11 or even 12 points off the pace, a deficit which would take some making up in the second half of the season.

And with a perfect record at home this season, Weston will fancy their chances of overturning Barnstaple and narrowing the gap.

Barnstaple v Okehampton in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob CollinsBarnstaple v Okehampton in the South West Premier. Picture: Bob Collins

Jeremy Chugg, the director of rugby at Barnstaple, is relaxed going into the game at Sunnyside Road.

"There are two teams to beat in our division this season: us and them," said Chugg.

"Weston have not lost at home often in the past two seasons so we know it will be a tough game.

"Having said that, these are the games you have to win if you are serious about promotion.

"I said a few weeks ago the games against Maidenhead, Okehampton and Weston in the run up to Christmas would be three of our toughest this season.

"We have won the first two and there is no reason why we can't win the third."

Chugg was wary of Okehampton going into last Saturday's meeting at Pottington Road, but his fears proved largely unfounded.

"We put them away with three tries in the first 20 minutes and that left them no way back," said Chugg.

"Having got Okehampton where we wanted them, the second half became one of those games where two sides knock lumps out of each other."

Winston James, Jake Murphy and Tom Clarke scored the tries that put Barnstaple on top before the break. Kyran McManus converted one.

Martinas Dromantis scored the fourth and bonus point try late in the game.