Barnstaple suffer big defeat in National Two South opener

Barnstaple in action against Ivybridge in the South West Premier

Barnstaple in action against Ivybridge in the South West Premier - Credit: Matt Smart

Things can only get better for Barnstaple after a 71-0 hammering at Clifton in their National Two South opener.

The Bristol side shot into a 38-0 lead in the first half and carried on scoring at a similar rate in the second half.

Jeremy Chugg, back as director of rugby at Barnstaple for a second spell, said his side may be the first to suffer a pasting by Clifton but are unlikely to be the last.

“Clifton have got quite a side together this season thanks to Bristol Academy players and a few dual-registrations,” said Chugg.

“We had three or four missing, but had all of them been able to play it would not have made much difference.

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“Perhaps we might have lost a little less heavily and could have scored some points, but I doubt it would have been any more than that.

“The important thing on days like this is that no one gets injured and we came through unscathed. The last thing you want is a crop of injuries affecting the games coming up that we could win.”

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Barum are at home to Westcliff  from Southend, Essex this Saturday - a side they have only met once before.

“We went up there a three or four years ago and lost in a promotion play-off game, which probably did us a favour as we were not ready to go up then,” said Chugg.

New player-coach Jonny Carter missed at centre the Clifton defeat as he was self-isolating and No.8 Dan Lee was at his brother’s wedding. Both should reappear against Westcliff.

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