Coaches Comments from Clifton game
"Having spent the whole week battling against the odds to raise a team, the squad that took to the field were great representatives of the club and played with pride in the jersey.
"At one stage on Thursday, it looked like we would have to play without a full front row compliment, such were our issues, and at one stage on Friday, it looked like we would not have a full back line, or have to play with Dave Bargent on the wing. The way in which the side that we threw together, worked hard for each other and created huge problems for an impressive Clifton outfit, was very pleasing and showed excellent team spirit.
"We managed to field seven under 20's in our squad , including Man of the match Charlie Gibbings, Dan Armstrong, George Mears and James Mattin who were all playing colts rugby for the club in the last couple of years. In Dan's case, he is the current Colts captain and this shows how the future looks bright for the Cockles. James Mattin had his best game for the club to date, stepping in at nine following the late withdrawal of Ruairi Cushion, who had work commitments with the Exeter Chiefs. Another teenager Dan Swain, had an impressive game in the back row.
Injuries and unavailabilities to Props Ollie Dawe, Tom Brown, Altan Ozdemir and Andy Lendon meant a National League bench spot for Grant Vaughan-Atkins. In a back line missing scrum halves Matt Ryan, Ruairi Cushion, Lloyd Watkins and Sam Conway, fly half George Meadows, and centres Tom Bedford, Henry Goldson and Alex Goldman meant a last minute call up for George Mears at full back, back from university, and Richard Cadywould stepped into the ten shirt, having gained a late release from the Royal Navy. The 5-0 split on the bench, a further indicatication of our issues at the weekend.
"I was extremely proud of the way in which we regrouped following two early Clifton scores, and at 20-24 with fifteen minutes remaining, I really felt we could go on and win the game. It was somewhat symbolic of our season that we had a try ruled out with the very last play of the game for an adjudged forward pass that cost us a bonus point.
"Plenty to be positive about , and really pleasing to ensure a number of young players gained valuable exposure to National Two rugby. There is a good chance that ten Cockles could be wearing a Devon Shirt tomorrow night v Cornwall at Tiverton Rugby Club, 7.30pm kick off. Back rower James Harris is set to captain the side in the first half."
Updated 18:20 - 20 Apr 2017 by Exmouth RFC Webmaster
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