Barnstaple must find consitancy on the road.
BARNSTAPLE don’t have much time to pick themselves up after their 30-16 defeat at Exmouth in the Devon derby.
The National Three South West campaign resumes this Saturday with a visit to Pottington Road from table-topping London Irish Wild Geese.
All sorts of claims and counter-claims are made about just how close the ‘amateur’ Wild Geese are to the Premiership operation. The truth remains elusive.
However, as a stand-alone operation the Geese are eight from eight and only Newton Abbot have been remotely close to beating them this season.
It is going to be a challenge for Barnstaple, who dropped into the bottom half of the table following their defeat by Exmouth.
“I have no complaints about the result at Exmouth, but wasn’t happy about some of the things we did,” said director of rugby Kevin Squire.
“Looking back there were choices we made before half time when the game was on a knife edge which came back to haunt us.
“Exmouth scored a try which should not have been give due to a forward pass – which their coach agreed with afterwards – and we didn’t kick a penalty which was there for the taking.
“Had we been ahead at half time the game may have worked out differently for us.
“Exmouth are strong, but not as strong as I was expecting, and I look forward to getting them back at our place in the second half of the season.
“At home we are a different side and with London Irish coming up we need to be.
“It worries me a bit that we seem to have become two sides – the home one and the away one – when what we need to be is consistent wherever we are playing.
“I thought we had moved on from that a couple of years ago, but we have lost a lot of players since last season and they have not been indoctrinated in the same way.”
It didn’t help Barnstaple’s prospects that they went to Exmouth without forwards James Lewis and Mark Berry, both of whom should be fit to pace London Irish.
Barnstaple’s only try at Exmouth was scored by prop Joe Bussell in the second half.
Josh Squire booted three first-half penalties and a conversion after the break.
BIDEFORD slipped further behind leaders St Austell at the top of the Western Counties table when they let Okehampton come back from 27-0 down at half time to draw 27-all.
It seemed all systems go in the first half, but after the break Okehampton had their slope behind them.
And not for the first time this season, Bideford found defending a lead harder than creating one.
Okes felt a bit hard done by about the award of a penalty try for a challenge on Bideford scrum-half Chris Snell when he didn’t have the ball, but couldn’t complain about either of the tries scored by Kiwi Andrew Baxter.
James Buckland made the running for Baxter’s first try with Andy Loosemoore’s lay-off the key to the second.
Ollie Wickett put over all three conversions and a couple of penalties to complete the first-half scoring.
The second half opened with Okes pulling six points back with a couple of Craig Dennis penalties.
Tom McGratton scored from No.8 for Dennis to convert as the gap narrowed.
Luke Honeychurch ran through for a try, Dennis adding the extras, then Neil Perrott picked and went from five metres for Dennis to level it with his kick. Bideford are at home to Penryn this Saturday.
A LATE Courtney Lucas try helped South Molton beat Torrington 23-10 and preserve their 100 per cent start to the season.
Molton had the edge up front throughout but the visiting side looked dangerous with the ball in hand as both sides battled for ascendancy.
South Molton opened the scoring with a penalty from Steve Ayres, who extended the advantage with the first try of the game.
When Barnaby Newell scored the home side’s second of the game before the break South Molton were well in control.
Torrington responded in the second period and threatened a comeback.
Nick Evans was the danger man for the visitors, scoring a try, conversion and penalty to bring his side within three points.
Ayres slotted another penalty to edge his side further in front and the game remained in the balance until Lucas’ late try, converted by Ayres.
There are no league games this weekend in Devon One or Devon Two.
ILFRACOMBE moved back into promotion contention in Devon Two with a crushing 58-0 win over visiting Devonport HSOB.
The North Devon side scored eight tries on their way to a comfortable victory over winless DHSOB.
Dave Griffiths and Leo Cooper scored two tries while Nicky Sandbach, Rob Holmes, Jake Thompson and Sam Morgan-Russell also crossed for the home side.
Holmes also added 18 points from the boot as Ilfracombe, who led 18-0 at half time, ran away with things.