Barnstaple skipper Winston James said it was a sign of the team’s improvement that they didn’t crack under pressure in the Devon derby with Exmouth.

Barum won the game 23-20 thanks to a late penalty from Jordan Petherbridge.

Exmouth had been 20-3 down early in the second half, but battled back to draw level with 10 minutes to go.

The large crowd was further swollen by people wanting to pay their respects to former All Black Jerry Collins.

The Kiwi flanker made headlines all over the world in 2007 when he holidayed in Barnstaple and asked the club for a game, turning out for the second XV at Newton Abbot.

Collins died during the summer in a car accident in France.

Barnstaple played in Barbarians-style socks from Collins’ home club Northern United, which were flown over from New Zealand specially.

Skipper James led the side out wearing the blue and white socks as the teams gathered for a minute’s silence before the match.

“It was a special moment and a sad one too,” he said.

“Jerry wore Barnstaple socks when he played for the Barbarians against South Africa so we felt it was appropriate to repay the compliment.”