RUGBY PREVIEW: Newton Abbot wary, Brixham seeking clarity
NEWTON Abbot have every reason to be wary of hosting Oxford Harlequins tomorrow despite the massive gap between them in the National Three South West table.
While Quins were edging home by a point against Malvern last time out to claim their first league win of the season, Newton Abbot were making it six out of seven at Old Patesians.
Quins have strengthened their squad by signing two Pacific Islanders, which suggests that they are serious about getting away from the wrong end of the table.
Newton's director of rugby Roy Henderson said: "We will be confident but not over-confident. This time last year Bridgwater came to us in similar circumstances and we were relieved to scrape home against them with a try in the last minute. You can never take anything for granted."
Brixham coach Dan Parkes wants to see some clearer thinking on the tactical side when his side go to Chippenham. The Fishermen lost 20-15 at Weston last time out in a game where Parkes felt they got their strategies wrong.
"We have got a good dry weather game, but now the wet weather is here we have to adapt," Parkes said. "Sometimes you have to get the driving game out, but we have been a bit slow doing that."
Barnstaple go into the Devon derby against Exmouth in confident mood after dispatching Chippenham last time out.
Barum bounced back from a defeat at Brixham to beat Chippenham 25-12, which was the morale-booster they needed.
"It wasn't just winning but the performance that made it possible," said Barnstaple's director of rugby Kevin Squire. "If we can play like that at Exmouth, they will have to work very hard to get anything out of us."
Exmouth head coach Jon Hill said: "Like us, they [Barnstaple] play an attacking brand of rugby so it should be a competitive game between two sides who have a lot of respect for each other."