Fishermen have backline to bother former leaders
BRIXHAM coach Dan Parkes hopes to have skipper Adam Thomas and pacy back Tom McLean back in action for Saturday's trip to Weston.
McLean has missed the last two matches due to injury, most recently the 28-3 win over Barnstaple at Astley Park last Saturday.
Thomas, a cornerstone of the pack, missed the victory over Barnstaple due to an injury sustained in the pre-match warm-up.
"We had the tackle pads out and while we were doing a ruck drill someone's boot caught Adam in the face," said Parkes.
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"Not surprisingly, he was a bit groggy after that so he went off to hospital for a check over."
The last-minute disruption didn't affect Brixham too badly as they were 14-0 up in a hurry and 23-3 up at half time.
Barnstaple came more into the game in the second half, but were kept a respectable distance away from the try line.
"Defensively, it was our best performance in the three and a half years I have been at the club," said Parkes.
"Our line speed was good – we flew up at them – and looked very safe.
"Sometimes when we score an early try, as Harry Davis did, it is easy to go off the boil. This was one game where we put in a performance for the full 80 minutes."
Weston lost for the first time last Saturday when Newton Abbot turned them over 28-22.
Parkes knows that with their own supporters urging them on, Weston will be out to bounce back.
"It is going to be a test for us, but with London Irish Amateurs (top) and Exmouth (4th) to come this month you can say that about every game," said Parkes.
"We have played Weston pre-season for the past couple of years and know they are strong in the scrum.
"If we can match Weston up front – and we will be working on that at training – our backs will give them trouble."
Brixham surprised their visitors by scoring from their first attack – winger Harry Davis picked the ball up from his toes to shoot into the corner for a try.
Ben Lovell's conversion attempt was foiled by the post but he soon made amends with a penalty goal.
Brixham extended their lead on the 13-minute mark when centre Kyle Browne found a gap to go through under the posts. Lovell converted and Brixham led 15-0.
Following a line-out, a rolling maul took the Brixham pack 20 metres before being halted close to the try line. Quick thinking, and quicker movement, by scrum-half Matt Clarke took him over the line. A second conversion miss by Lovell was followed again by a successful penalty.
Barnstaple got on the scoreboard with a Josh Squire penalty before the break.
Barnstaple came out all guns blazing in the second half. Dominating possession they mounted continuous attacks. Brixham put in the heavy tackles and held Barum at bay. When play resumed after the injury to James, Brixham attacked from a scrum in midfield and No.8 Jarryd Harris released Matt Clarke for his second try.