Our weekly chat with Cockles head coach Steve Perry

Action from the Cockles defeat at Bracknell. Picture JAN MCCARTHY

Action from the Cockles defeat at Bracknell. Picture JAN MCCARTHY - Credit: Archant

Exmouth head coach Steve Perry was left disappointed with his team’s performance after they lost at Bracknell.

The Cockles’ head coach said: “Hand on heart, that’s our poorest collective performance of the season so far!

“As a contest, it was one littered with mistakes and that’s the case for both teams. We got the early scores, and, had we gone in with an advantage then, who knows? However, them scoring just before the break changed the complexion of our half-time thoughts.”

He continued: “We had done well to get ourselves 12 points to the good, but I do feel that perhaps it ought to have been 17 points to us before they got any back and that may well have changed the direction of the game.

“We did enjoy the benefit of slope and conditions in the first half and so it was always going to be a tough task in the second half – and so it was.

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“The fact that we did not gain a bigger advantage was simply down to us not executing things in the manner we would have wished to do so!

“That said, I have no doubt that they (Bracknell), will probably feel the ‘right team won’ on the day, but I was certainly left lamenting that it had not been anything like our best and I mean that in individual and collective terms.”

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Perry was clear as to what had been ‘the difference’ on the day, something he explained saying: “They took their chances well and, to be honest, I felt they defended better than we did.

“Our continuing Achilles heel is the penalty count. We do seem to have a problem in that area and it is something we continue to work on in training. That said, missed tackles and line breaks bring about many of the penalties and sometimes it’s very much the case that it is opposition class and individual skill that fashions those opportunities for the opposition.”

He went on: “Given that I have already lamented the fact that it was our poorest shift to date this season, these things can be measured, at the end of a campaign, as occasional blips, and I have no doubt that our performance up in Berkshire will prove to be just that.”

On the decision making at the end [the Cockles spurned a kick to bag a losing bonus point, instead making an on-pitch decision to go for the fourth try and the ‘reward’ of two losing bonus points – but, in the end they got neither], Perry said: “It is what is and I am not going to condone anyone for being brave and seeking to land us bonus points. That said, it is something we perhaps need to look at should the situation present itself in similar fashion in future games.”

The head coach went on: “The games continue to roll in thick and fast and we have no time to mope on another defeat.

“What we need to do is dust ourselves down and go again on Saturday in what I am sure is going to be a terrific Devon derby occasion at the Imperial Ground.”

Saturday’s meeting with Brixham kicks-off at 2pm.

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