‘Stag do fatigue’ comes to the fore in Cockles meeting with Exeter Chiefs XV
PUBLISHED: 11:06 26 August 2017
Exmouth RFC player –attack coach Tom Whelan was most upbeat after the pre-season meeting with an Exeter Chiefs XV at the Imperial Ground.
As expected, the visiting’s side extra quality came through for them to win the game, 59-43, but there were many positives for the Cockles coaching staff to draw from with regard to the 80 minutes of action.
Whelan said: “As a coaching team, we were really pleased with the progress we have made in the pre season period, and having led 43-28 after 60 minutes against the Chiefs XV, we could not have asked for a lot more from the guys.
“Our set piece was very dominant throughout, scoring push over tries, and the performance of front row Tom Brown, Charlie Gibbings and Tom Barnard was a huge plus for us.”
He continued: “Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t quite sustain the pace of the game, perhaps affected adversely by half the squad returning from our captains stag do on Tuesday after a hard weekend in Prague!
“We were also missing some key players for us due to injury and unavailability and the Chiefs bench were able to come on and make a big impact in the game, that we couldn’t quite live with.
“The pace and intensity of the game was extremely high, and full credit to the Chiefs for maintaining that in the last quarter.
“That said, our attack worked well, and Henry Goldson, Richard Bright and Alex Goldman had excellent games going forward and we really got our offload game going.
“We will be disappointed with some of our defensive play and in particular conceding off a first phase at least twice which is unacceptable.
“We hope to welcome back George Savage, Davy McGregor, Ben Hawley, Dan Swain, James Harris, Matt Ryan and George Meadows for selection to next weeks first league game [Cockles are home on Saturday, September 2, with an Imperial Ground game against Lydney (2pm)], and it is sure to bring about some interesting selection decisions, with so many players putting their hand in the air in the game against the Chiefs.”