London Irish Wild Geese 21, Exmouth 15

Having not played for a month the Cockles put in a positive performance at Sunbury and, if ‘lady luck’ had been on their side they would have returned to Devon with the win.

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The hosts made the early running with a penalty kick on seven minutes as the Cockles strayed offside.

Exmouth then took the lead with a well worked try. Skipper Ross Morshead made good ground from a scrum on half way before a dazzling run from Rich Cadywould

opened up the home defence and quick hands to Alex Brown saw the touch down in the corner.

With a slender lead, the Cockles switched off, a missed tackle from the restart saw the Wildgeese score an unconverted try!

Exmouth came back with vengeance. However, all too often mistakes occurred at critical phases.

Exmouth looked to have scored a second try through Prop Dan Pullinger touching down only to see the score ruled out for crossing, leaving the Cockles players and supporters bemused.

Worse to come was a converted try for the hosts following a missed forward pass from the team of three.

Cadywould struck with a penalty just before the break and the deficit was just seven points at 15-8 at half-time.

The Cockles started the second period with real vigour and levelled after five minutes with a second try out wide for Brown and Cadywould slotted a fine touch line

conversion.

With their tails up the Cockles with Jack Fahy, Richard Bolt and Garry Hooper along with sub James Harris making telling contributions, looked to be in the ascendency.

With Exmouth on the attack the match referee was caught in contact and hit the deck, the players unaware of his situation played on Exmouth breaking through the home defence into the 22. However, one of the assistant referees intervened and play was pulled back into the Cockles half.

This seemed to knock the visitors back and the hosts took advantage with two swift successful penalty kicks.

Exmouth gained good field position as the half drew to a close, but could not get

the decisive score. They were unlucky when Rich Bright was illegally halted with seven minutes to play and just one man to beat.

The offending home player was sent to the sin-bin, but the try was denied.

To add insult to injury a very kickable penalty to the home side saw them tuck it away to brings sighs of relief all round for the home faithful.

Cockles director or rugby Chris Wright said: “In the grander scheme of things a point won on the road represents a good result.

Particularly as it came at a side who are clearly on the up!

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that both Taunton and Launceston had conceded 40 plus points on their visits to the Wild Geese.”

Exmouth will look to end their search for a victory when they entertain Dings Crusaders who are a team the Cockles must leapfrog in the table to avoid the drop!

Wright says: “Hopefully the Cockles support will turn out in big numbers and play their usual role as the team’s 16th player.” Kick-off on Saturday is 2pm.

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