Fabulous rugby from both teams, visitors on tour Barkers' Butts from Coventry and Exmouth U16's entertained a large crowd at the Imperial Recreation Ground. From the start it was clear to see that Barkers had come to play the wide game and immediately put Exmouth on the back foot. Although Exmouth through Brad Cooke
won every lineout, attack and defence, 2 great tries from speedy backs put the visitors 10-0 up after 20 minutes. The huge Barkers pack dominated the early exchanges but gradually the Exmouth forwards started to gain momentum, the first half finished with a flourish, Niall Lawson getting the try with a great touchline conversion from Brandon Perry. After half time the Exmouth lads moved up the tempo of their game. Fabulous work from Will Irving
, Connor O'Shaugnessy and the ever destructive Matt Harris caught Barkers by surprise. Big hit tackles from all 3 disrupted Barkers pattern of play and the pack started to get the upper hand. Matt Wells
and Chris Skinner hustled the mid field to cause further problems for the visitors. After a series of well delivered drives from the forwards Sam Conway dotted down off the back of a goal line ruck. Further dominance ensured the Exmouth forwards then produced a text book catch and power drive from a lineout with Dan Bradford Jones grabbing the try, 17-10 to Exmouth. In a rare excursion to Exmouth territory Barkers' Butts showed they were not down and grabbed their 3rd try, 17-15 to the young Cockles. With 10 minutes left on the clock Barkers pressed hard however Exmouth showed the desire to win and marshalled the game. Exmouth lost a man to a yellow card but the squad closed ranks and held out for a great victory in their last U16 game together. A great squad performance. Jake Gillham does need a bigger dress next time!