RUGBY PREVIEW: Brixham hope to bounce back, Newton Abbot step into the unknown
BRIXHAM will hope to bounce back from their defeat at Redingensians when they host Amersham.
After 60-point wins over Old Pats and Oxford Harlequins in their first two games, there was an element of coming down to earth with a bump against the Rams.
However, Redingensians are widely tipped to improve on last season’s third-place finish.
“We defended well for massive amounts of time against a powerful side who had to work hard to beat us,” said Brixham coach Dan Parkes.
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“Our game management could have been better – Reds are not the sort of side you are going to run through from your own 22 – and against the better sides we need to be a bit more switched on.”
Newton Abbot will be stepping into unknown territory when they head to Maidenhead. Not only are the Berkshire side newcomers to the division, they also play on an artificial 3G surface.
“As I understand it we are the first team to play their first XV on the pitch since it was laid,” said Newton’s director of rugby Roy Henderson. “Supposedly, it looks like grass, feels like grass, won’t burn you and you wear normal boots. We will know more around half-past four on Saturday.”
Exmouth’s absent friends could find it hard getting back in the side for tomorrow’s Imperial Ground clash with Oxford Harlequins.
The Cockles went to Old Patesians six players short of a full-strength squad and came away with a 35-31 National Three South West win.
Jon Hill, the Exmouth head coach, said it would be hard to leave anyone out after such an emphatic win on the road.
“Ross Moorshead, the captain, and George Savage will come back in and Paul Morgan has to be considered after scoring five tries for the second XV against Sidmouth,” said Hill.
“Although there will be a few changes, we won’t be tinkering too much.”
Barnstaple look in good shape after they put 50 points on lowly Amersham – and the expectation will be for another wide margin when winless Avonmouth visit Pottington.
Kevin Squire, Barnstaple’s director of rugby, is forthright in his pre-match comments but by no means complacent.
“It is a home game and one we will be expected to win,” said Squire. “There is a big difference between expected and assumed though. Once you start assuming you are going to win without putting the effort in you can come unstuck.”
Josh Lee is set to come into the Barum pack for Kelle Taufinu’u at flank forward. Forward Matt Gohl is added to the bench as replacement.
Taunton’s National Two South programme continues with a trip to the Fens to play Shelford.