Cockles coach speaks about a ‘thoroughly disappointing home show.”
PUBLISHED: 19:31 21 October 2017 | UPDATED: 19:31 21 October 2017
Exmouth crashed to a first home defeat of the South West Premier season, and a third defeat in three outings, going down 27-17 to visiting Bournemouth that departed with a richly deserved victory leaving the Cockles with nothing to show for what proved to be a miserable afternoon for the Imperial Ground faithful.
Cockles’ head coach Jon Hill pulled no punches when he said after the game: “That was a bitterly disappointing home loss. Bournemouth were impressive in everything they did and returned to Hampshire leaving us with no league points for our efforts.”
He continued: “Bournemouth looked after the ball better than we did and were much more disciplined. That’s something that was highlighted by the fact that we suffered three yellow cards throughout the game and indeed, played for a total of 30 minutes out of the 80 with just 14 men.”
As for why the Cockles lose, Hill said: “We were beaten by the better side, who looked after the ball for long periods of play and were direct with their play, making inroads around weak fringe defence from ourselves.
““Bournemouth won the territorial battle with a better kick game, and we tried to run our way out of our own 22 on too many occasions.
“Even in the first half when facing a big wind, we had opportunities to clear our lines, but struggled.
“We inevitably gave penalties away by playing too many phases and making errors.”
Hill was complementary to the victors. He said: “Much credit must go to Bournemouth, who were very smart in the second half. They ran direct running lines, nothing flash, but very effective.
“When we had the ball, even with a massive wind, we failed to play territory, once again, trying to chase the game by scoring from deep.
This is particularly disappointing as it is something we have talked about a lot, but failed to action.”
There were positives for Hill who also said: “Ben Hawley was outstanding in our pack, and Jack Fahy led by example from start to finish with some crunching hits.
“We will reflect on this, but not dwell on it and we simply have to learn the lessons that came from it. We were beaten by a better side on the day. Their [Bournemouth], ball retention, work rate and execution of game plan was better than ours.
“Happily, this is not something we often say, especially at home, and not something I ever want to say again.”
Hill wrapped up his thoughts on the day saying: “Well done to Bournemouth and, as far as we are concerned it is now very much a case of onwards and upwards.”
On Saturday (October 28), the Cockles are away at Bracknell (3pm).