Thursday, April 24, 2014
After the disappointment of the Devon Festival being cancelled due to the weather Exmouth Under-12s played host to two touring sides from Wales.
St Josephs Casneydd RFC from Newport and Gowerton RFC from Swansea, made up the visiting opposition.
The first match against a St Josephs side with flare and pace was an entertaining game which ended in a 15-15 draw.
The first try was scored by Ben Dawson for the Cockles mid way through the first half and this was how it remained in an otherwise evenly balanced first half.
St Jo’s came out in the second half with renewed vigour and quickly ran in two tries to take the lead. However, Exmouth were not prepared to lie down and allow the game to run away from them. And it was again evenly balanced in the middle of the field until Harry Sprague picked up a loose ball and broke through the middle to level the score. This was followed by a very good kick from the restart by St Jo’s which found touch five metres out. From the line out they secured quick ball and scored to restore their lead. Exmouth then put up a high kick which was followed up at pace and from the resulting ruck Owen Tidball scampered over to earn the home side a well deserved draw.
In the second game against Gowerton Exmouth were obviously showing signs of fatigue up against very big and powerful opponents. Right from the very first minute it was clear they Cockles were going to struggle against a style of play they had not encountered before. The visitors played a very direct game with virtually no passing beyond their dominating forwards who crashed through the Exmouth defence at will. This was a very good training exercise for Exmouth and showed up some areas for improvement when facing such opponents. In the end Gowerton ran in 12 unanswered tries against a tired, but otherwise hard battling, Exmouth side.
This was a good performance from Exmouth and they are now well prepared for their own tour to Mullion next weekend.