JJ’d and Jessy’d
In a great advert for South West Premier and also Devon Rugby, Exmouth and Newton Abbot threw caution to the wind and played expansive rugby at a pace and standard that would not look out of place at least one league above.
Newton, boosted by the short term arrival of Samoan International JJ Taulagi , and with former Premiership speedster Matt Jess pulling strings behind the scrum , Newton were always a threat and certainly caused damage off any poor kick or any error made by ourselves. In the end, we were on the wrong end of some fine margins and took two bonus points for our troubles, losing 48-42.
14-21 Point Margin for error
Three key decisions certainly did not go our way, and if any one of those three key incidents had been given in our favour then the result would have been very different. That is how close the game was, and how evenly matched the teams were on the day. Fair play to Newton, and in particular their outside backs who caused damage and took their opportunities. Jessy showed his quality, and was a constant thorn In our defence. They were well organised and dangerous with ball in hand.
A penalty try and yellow card against, a ball dropped over the try line but awarded, and a very good shout for a penalty try for us all went against us .... but ... in the words of Steve Perry ... "If my Aunty had a co@£ , she would be my uncle" ... there isn't anything we can do about it now.
In a game of very fine margins, we feel as if we have been dealt a tough blow. However, this should take nothing away from Newton who were good value for their win, and will be a tough team to beat this season without a doubt. It is important that we attribute our loss to internal rather than external reasons, and take some ownership and control to improve as a team. We took two points away from home but could easily have taken five.
Should we have taken a scrum with the very last play with Luke Mingo in the bin, perhaps, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. We missed our line out throw and lift under pressure and we should have executed on both fronts. Could we have exited better, and could our kick chase have had more organisation about it, without doubt. Our defence in broken field play was not quite good enough on the day, and we must work hard to rectify this. All too often teams are scoring far too easily against us, and this is not acceptable. Our target was to not kick loosely to the Newton back three who are all very dangerous … on three occasions we did, and we were punished accordingly.
We hope to welcome back from injury props George Savage from Tom Brown, back five forwards Ben Hawley, Sam Richardson and Dave Bargent, and outside backs Henry Goldson and Richard Bright ahead of the game against Bournemouth. In addition to this , Harvey Ridgeway is progressing well, and we also hope to welcome back Royal Navy pair Harrison Marsh (front row) and Lewis Cooper (back five) next week following work commitments.
GOAL KICKING MASTERCLASS
On a final note, has there ever been such an outstanding goal kicking performance in a league game as put on by Rob Avery-Wright and Tom Whelan? Only one kick was missed in a game that amassed 90 points … fair play to both players. If there was any ‘neutrals’ in the ground, we are sure you enjoyed your day in what was a defence coaches nightmare …
Updated 11:59 - 12 Oct 2017 by Exmouth RFC Webmaster