A fixture gap for Exmouth U16 was filled last Sunday when Somerset side Taunton agreed to come and play a friendly match at the Imperial Ground. Another very entertaining game was enjoyed by players and supporters alike. The close score of 10-12 was the result of a fierce but fair battle with many positives for both teams.
Coach Justice reshuffled the pack and was rewarded with a confident forward display with the tight scrum taking several balls against the head and pressuring the Taunton line out through the game. The home side back row gave something away in height and weight but not in heart and work-rate.
Taylor-Adey’s performance at lock-forward, which earned him recognition as Man of the Match, included a strong and weaving run through the Taunton defence to score the first of his brace. The first broken tackle was near the half-way line but “Binky” had to shape his running line cleverly to pass the covering defenders. The second home try followed a line-out drive supported by some of the backs and was the final play of the match. The conversion was agonisingly close and would have meant the honours were shared.
Exmouth failed to convert the first try and the final difference was the conversion of Taunton’s first try which, like their second, was scored following strong running by the backs.
The Cockles’ players can be pleased that they got very close to beating a strong Taunton side which was very competitive at the breakdown. The U16s are making good progress with several players getting experience in new positions and covering injuries, lots of good individual performances and, pleasingly, a sporting and positive attitude which the visiting coach noted and praised.
Next week the Cockles start their cup campaign at Newton Abbot.