Launceston v Exmouth U16 - 17 January 2016
The Cockles always serve up an entertaining match when they play the Launceston and this friendly at Polson Bridge was no exception. The last contest ended 36-0 in Exmouth’s favour but this return was a tough test as five Cockles were away, representing Devon.
Launceston took an early lead, stretching Exmouth wide and scoring two converted tries. But Exmouth were making their hosts work hard for every inch and, in possession, were able to press forward. The gap was halved when an attacking line-out saw stand-off and acting captain Fulthorpe find a well-engineered gap to score under the posts (14-7).
Continued good work from the pack had its reward later in the half when Taylor powered through to score a second Cockles’ try. The touchline conversion fell just short but the full-strength home team had been rattled.
Launceston started the second half well and a combination of close driving and clever kicking by the number 10 kept them in control. A prolonged siege saw the All Blacks score three tries before Exmouth could hit back. When they did it was a strong finish from Hurley ending good interplay from backs and forwards. The move took the team from defending the try line to crossing the opponent’s at a pace the defenders could not cope with. The conversion was added but any optimism this brought was crushed when Launceston scored next. The game ended 37-19 in the home side’s favour.
Every Cockle can be pleased with his performance, with many playing in unfamiliar positions or combinations but the pack, under Oates’s command, and a new midfield combination went particularly well. Davies and Schunk completed their first full matches and Taylor took the Man of the Match award. This week sees a Floodlit fixture v Exeter Saracens on Friday night.