All Whites can get back on track at home
NEWTON ABBOT hope to get back to winning ways at Rackerhayes on Saturday with Maidenhead making their first visit (2.30pm).
The Berkshire club have won only once since demotion last season and currently sit entrenched at the bottom of National Three (SW).
When Newton helped the host club christen their 3G pitch, the All Whites were 62-21 winners.
And unless Maidenhead have strengthened significantly in the interim – and their results don't evidence a revivial – the Rackerhayes faithful should be well rewarded.
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The All Whites were simply blown away last time out at London Irish Wild Geese, losing 55-17.
A whirlwind start from the home side saw them score three tries – all converted – in the opening 10 minutes.
The Wild Geese were 30 points ahead before Ed McGinlay crossed for a try and 40-10 to the good at half time, McGinlay having scored his second try of the game and tenth of the season to give his side some consolation from a one-sided first spell.
If any comfort came from the game for Newton it was the post break effort.
The visitors only lost the second half 15-7 which in the context of the game was a significant improvement.
Newton grabbed a third try and were a bit disappointed not to get a fourth try which would have meant a bonus point from the trip to Sunbury-on-Thames.
Newton's Director of Rugby Roy Henderson commented: "We scored three tries of our own – good ones, too – but although we had Irish hemmed in on their line, we didn't get the decisions."
When the two sides met way back in September, Newton had led 20-6 before a five-try blitz by the pacy Irish backs give the visitors an eventual 35-28 margin of victory.
Their speedy threequarters were to the fore again.
Henderson added: "It is not that we played badly as we didn't, but the reality is they were just too quick for us when they started running the ball and we could not catch them."
Newton's second half points came from centre Kevin Dennis. Fly half Rob Avery-Wright converted with his only successful strike of the afternoon.
The recent successive trio of Devon derby wins had served to keep Newton in the top four, but a win at Irish was needed to keep the All Whites in the promotion mix.
However, this defeat and Redingensians 36-21 win at Brixham saw the Reading-based club move into fourth at Newton's expense.
While the First XV entertain the home crowd this weekend, the Seconds and Thirds are at Okehampton and the Colts travel to Tiverton.