Withycombe were unable to find their normal rugby rhythm, as they went down to a 25-7 defeat at Exeter Saracens, writes Adam Curtis.

The game got off to a positive start with some early possession in a decent position. However, with a few early calls going the way of Sarries, they got themselves into the game and equalled out the possession and territory to confine play largely within the middle third of the pitch.

The hosts had two opportunities to get ahead through penalty kicks inside the opening quarter, but with both attempts missing the mark, the game remained scoreless until the second twenty minutes. With a Withy goal line dropout not making a huge amount of distance, Sarries collected the ball and ran in to score.

An immediate response from Withy saw them run the ball through the hands, eventually facilitating a break from Joe Blyth, who scored under the posts. Lewis Tose’s conversion levelled the scores after around 27 minutes.

Blyth thought he was in for a second score minutes later with a great breaking interception, but the run was extinguished by the referee coming back after playing advantage to Sarries.

The home side would score again shortly after this with some uncharacteristic poor tackling handing them an easy score in the corner. One final scoring opportunity came to Saracens by way of another penalty kick seven minutes into ‘final play’ to give the side a 17-7 lead at the break.

The second half saw large amounts of shared play, but with Saracens gaining significant ground from their penalties. The Withy defence would be able to deal with most of what Exeter could throw at us, but with another kickable penalty shortly after the hour-mark, the hosts further extended their lead. The final blow came after Sarries collected their own chip kick to score.

The final score: Exeter Saracens 25, Withycombe 7.

Not our game this week, but we can learn from our mistakes, reset and prepare for our next game at home to Honiton in a fortnight’s time. Kick off from Raleigh Park will be at 2:30pm.