RUGBY PREVIEW: Wright knows Exmouth must improve to take points off Redingensians
Exmouth have to step up a gear against Redingensians tomorrow as their 65-12 win over Oxford Harlequins is not going to mean a thing.
The Cockles are joint fourth in the National Three South West table – they share with Devon rivals Newton Abbot and Barnstaple – after their runaway victory over Oxford.
Redingensians, who just missed out on the play-offs last season, were going great guns again until losing 20-17 at Chippenham last Saturday.
Chris Wright, Exmouth's director of rugby, said what was good enough to beat Oxford will not cut the mustard against the Rams.
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"We scored ten tries against Quins and could have had four or five more, but squandered them," said Wright.
"Redingensians are a different proposition completely and we won't get anywhere near as many chances to score, never mind the luxury of not taking them.
"When chances come our way we have to take them. We won up there last season, so know it can be done, but can't expect to do it again unless we are at the top of our game."
Jeremy Chugg, Barnstaple's locum director of rugby in the absence of the hospitalised Kevin Squire, is another who knows a tougher game is on the way. Barum go to leaders Weston-super-Mare fresh from defeating Avonmouth 35-8 at Pottington Road.
Weston play a different brand of rugby to the Mouth, which Barum will have to adjust to quickly.
"Give us the ball – especially from turn overs – and there aren't many teams who can live with us," claimed Chugg.
"Weston are big and will be physical around the rucks, which is where a lot of ball comes from. We will need to man-up at ruck time, otherwise they will knock us off the ball."
Skipper and flanker Winston James faces a late fitness test on a knee injury.
Brixham – who with 33 tries in four games have the Midas touch when it comes to scoring – are away to Avonmouth. The two sides came up together last season – the Mouth via the play-offs – and know each other well.
While Brixham will be favourites against the winless Severnsiders, it is not a foregone conclusion according to head coach Dan Parkes.
"Avonmouth have had some difficult games to start with like Weston and Barnstaple away, which are a test for any side," said Parkes.
"It is a hard place to win and it is only the season before last that we lost there ourselves."
Newton Abbot have fitness doubts over wings Josh Smith and Ed McGinley, who scored six tries between them at Maidenhead last Saturday.
With leaders Weston just eight days away, neither is likely to be risked at home to lowly Malvern tomorrow.
Taunton Titans' season in National Two does not get any easier as they return to Hyde Park to face unbeaten leaders Henley Hawks. The Titans have only won once this season and one place and four points away from the drop zone after losing 32-23 away to third-placed Shelford last time out.