RUGBY: Brixham face tough task, Newton Abbot relish derby
BRIXHAM have a tough task on their hands against visiting Oxford Harlequins: how to improve on their 67-26 win at Old Patesians first time out.
"Almost every game is a new experience for us as we have not been in this division before," said Brixham's assistant coach Ian Morgan. "It is crucial we keep our feet on the ground and regard every team as having the potential to beat us."
Barnstaple, who won 49-14 at Oxford last time, are at home to fancied Redingensians.
"Ask me the two teams I expect to make the running and I would say Exmouth and Redingensians," said Barnstaple supremo Kevin Squire.
"We have five senior players back this week – Tom Skelding, Mark Lea, Sam Roberts, Gary Turner and Kelli Taufinu – and need all their experience."
Exmouth and Newton Abbot meet on the Imperial Ground in the first Devon derby of the season in National Three South West.
Both sides won last time out – Newton by a whisker, Exmouth by a distance – not that form means too much when these two arch-rivals meet.
Although Exmouth have had the best of recent encounters – five wins in the last six engagements – director of rugby Chris Wright said it's all about the 80 minutes tomorrow.
"Newton have changed personnel a fair bit since last season and are always up for games against us," said Wright.
The All Whites will be without wing Jake Monnington – he has to work – so add the versatile Neil Johns to the match-day squad. Prop Lloyd Radford is on holiday, which means a call-up from the 2nd XV for Matt Dowrick.
Roy Henderson, Newton's director of rugby, said it was not just the new faces such as James Head and Ed McGinley, who bagged two tries against Chippenham, Exmouth needed to watch out for.
"Something we needed to address from last season was our fitness and I think Exmouth will notice the difference," said Henderson.