After a total of 42 days since Exmouth first-team had played a match, they finally had a start against Cornish All Blacks at Launceston RFC on Saturday.

The side were a little game rusty in their first outing since December 17 but the outcome was entertaining for rugby enthusiasts, as Exmouth took away one losing bonus point.

A lively first half, littered with errors from both teams, saw a lot of back and forth with little scoring. The CAB’s had played the week before and it showed slightly.

Exmouth took the lead on three minutes from a George Meadows penalty but, 20 minutes later, Launceston took the lead with the first of five tries. Closing in on half time, Nick Headley busted through to score the first of his hat-trick, Meadows added the conversion, 7-10 to the Cockles. Exmouth were then little unlucky to get held up on the CABs try line.

The second half started with a bang. Headley broke through the lapse defence and Meadows again from the tee, 7-17, it was going so well. The next 22 minutes went to CABs.

A mix of deadly catch and drives at the lineout, plus a little luck with some pace, they added four tries and one conversion, 29-17. It wasn’t that the Cockles played badly, they had their few opportunities, they just could not get enough of the ball to play with, gave away needless penalties that were kicked to the corners and, when they did get hold of the ball, they lost it again quickly.

With ball in hand, Matt Ryan, Jake Inglis, Dave Bargent and Nick Headley, who completed his try trio on 77 minutes, looked threatening throughout. The forwards worked hard and were as close to their ‘A’ game as they could be after a long lay-off. Final score, 29-24.

The game did appear to finish slightly early and as CABS were awarded a penalty, they kicked to touch, the referee blew his whistle. Perhaps a final let-off to secure an away point.

Team: Jack Madge, Will Ridout, Gareth Walker, Steve Pape, Archie Cruze, Connor O’Shaughnessy. Max Keen, Toby Papp, Matt Ryan, George Meadows, James Clarke, Dave Bargent, Nick Headley, Jake Inglis, Robbie Weeks. Reps: Brad Skinner, Jack Hamilton, Ben Mellor.