Exmouth 33 - 20 Newton Abbot
Good home win for Exmouth U13s
Exmouth U 13’s entertained Newton Abbot on Sunday expecting a tough encounter but a couple of early tries seemed to upset the visitors rythym and Exmouth were able to dominate the first half despite trialling a new back line. Stewart Masters was making his first start at stand off and Zac Tucker at outside centre.
Thomas Preece opened the scoring with good pace to touch down under the Posts and Masters added the extras, this was quickly followed by a try from Tucker and another successful kick from Masters. Newton Abbot picked themselves up and were pressing hard on the Exmouth line determined to get themselves back into the game. The cockles knocked the ball forward in an attempt to secure the ball and from the 5 metre scrum the Newton No 10 found a gap in the home defence and ducked in for an unconverted try.
The Cockles then had their best period of the match working the ball well through several phases and retaining possession, Vinnie Neath Rogers eventually punctured the visitors defence to secure the Cockles 3rd try this time Masters was just wide of the posts. The final try of the half was finished off by Harry Sprague following some good scrumaging from the Pack and working through the phases again. The half finished with the Cockles leading 20 points to 5.
Newton Abbot came out for the second half a little more organised and played some quick rugby and were soon in for a try in the corner but the long kick was just wide of the posts. This was now developing into a closely fought contest and Newton had their hosts on the back foot. Unfortunately for the visitors they were penalised for being offside 5m from the Cockles try line and a quick tap penalty from Scrum Half Josh Cressal found Sprague in open space and with a combination of power and pace he broke through the Newton defence and made the length of the pitch to score under the posts.
Newton were soon applying more pressure and this time it was Exmouth penalised on their own 5m line and a determined effort resulted in another unconverted try for the visitors. The Exmouth defence was surely being tested in the second half and for the most part it stood firm but when Newton broke down the right it looked as though a try was inevitable until a fine covering tackle from Flanker Owen Tidball bundled the visitors wing into touch. The visitors secured good lineout ball and quickly had the ball on the opposite wing to score in the corner.
There were elements of this performance which the Exmouth coaching team will want to work on but they must be pleased with the number of phases the young cockles went through to keep possession, however some passing was a not as accurate as it should be which slowed things down considerably. The ball carrying from Jared Palmer in particular was encouraging but the whole team were playing better at the pick and go aspect of the game.
Finishing 33 – 20 up against Newton Abbot is a good result on any day and keeps the Cockles on track for a very successful season.