Exmouth Colts 19 v 7 Newton Abbot Colts
Exmouth Colts outplay Newton's bigger pack
The opening game of the season for both sides delivered an entertaining match as the Cockles hosted the All Whites from Newton Abbott. The ground was firm following the good weather we have recently enjoyed but a strong wind, blowing straight down the pitch, brought with it rain which made for several early season handling errors.
Exmouth started into the wind and, with the advantage of a free-ball following a penalty infringement from the visitors, a speculative cross kick resulted in a penalty try: a defender collared the chasing winger who did not have the ball and the referee decided the foul play stopped a probable try. Cook converted and the home side had seven point start.
Newton’s game plan was to use their strong (and bigger) forwards to run attacking lines close to the breakdown. This worked well but a good chase by Seagar of a clearance kick moved the Cockles into the Newton half. A subsequent line out led to a driven maul, off which White spotted a gap and scored against his old club. Cook again converted.
Exmouth’s line out functioned well in the blustery wind and their final points of the half were scored by Armstrong following another line out move from the training manual.
Newton’s Colts were still at the races and their trademark pick-and-go won them a try and conversion when their scrum-half cleverly sniped around the ruck following a sustained period of pressure. Half-time saw the scores 19-7 in Exmouth’s favour.
In the second period Exmouth coped better with the strike running from the guests and made better use of the wind than Newton had to keep play away from the danger zone. No points were added by either side but both teams continued to work hard and entertain the damp crowd. Man of the Match awards went to Morgan White (Exmouth) and the visiting Hooker but all players can be pleased with their first run out of the season. Many of the home side played out of their normal positions and the Exmouth coaches were pleased with everyone’s performance.