Cockles director of rugby Chris Wright talks of the opening game, the season ahead and this Saturday’s meeting with Newton Abbot

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Exmouth director of rugby Chris Wright said: “It was our first visit to Malvern which took us on a lengthy trip on one of the busiest weekends for traffic as the summer holidays draw to an end. However, the journey was a smooth one and the game itself was simply a continuation of what the team had produced in the pre-season games with Launceston and Plymouth Albion. I was very interested to see that ten of the guys who lined up for Plymouth Albion it he recent game with us were on duty for their championship opener and that speaks volumes for the way we, as a team, played against them! Pre-season was good, but what I saw on Saturday at Malvern, for me, came from the heart of last season’s end of campaign run.”

“A big plus for me was the way we defended as a unit, there was a real resolve about the defence throughout.”

He continued: “We saw in those eleven from twelve wins in the run-in that we had found a new resilience and, more importantly I feel, it has dawned on the squad as a whole that the only way we are going to achieve long term success together is if we all do our bit. That means people trusting their team mates and equally being prepared to put their body on the line for the cause. That sort of things comes from camaraderie and a desire to succeed and that was noticeable in abundance at Malvern.”

Wright then talked of what he was particularly looking for this coming season: “There is something I am looking for this season above all else. Of course you can set targets and then crucial injuries can set in, loss of form and all sorts of other issues. However, the one thing we can control is consistency of performance and that is the key for me this season. For a long time now the club has been blessed with a real inconsistency and that’s something I want us to address together. If we can then marry that new found consistency with an upping of just ten per cent on the performance levels of last season’s winning run, then we will be where I would like us to be come the end of this campaign.”

More pressing issues concern the next game.

Wright says: “ We have the first of what will be a number of Devon derby matches this season with the visit of Newton Abbot (2.30pm). We have had the sign over them in recent meetings. I think it’s five out of the last six that have seen us emerge on top. We have a fully fit squad available and have the added bonus of having one or two who were not on duty at Malvern back with us so there’s real competition for places”

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