Cheltenham defeat for the Cockles
PUBLISHED: 10:49 24 November 2010
EXMOUTH faced new league opposition for consecutive weeks playing away at Cheltenham on Saturday, looking to follow on from their demolition at home of high fliers Bridgewater and Albion the previous week.
Cheltenham having found life difficult in their early season fixtures had found a new confidence and on the back of two league victories and the long trip prior to the game, coupled with overcast conditions and a near empty home stadium did little to inspire the Cockles!
where sure to test the Cockles.
Exmouth’s Andrew Powell got the visitors up and running with a penalty, soon cancelled out by similar fro the hosts.
Despite dominating the line-out and looking secure in the scrummage, the Cockles, all too often, lost the ball or were guilty of making basic errors.
A powerful run from Garry Hooper resulted in Powell crossing for the Cockles opening try, converted by Hooper and the Cockles led 10-3.
Winger Matt Ryan was despatched to the sin for not rolling away in the tackle didn’t help and, while the Cockles looked flat, the hosts gained in confidence heading into half-time.
After the break another Cockles player found himself sin binned and that too helped strengthen the home sides resolve.
A loose tackle in midfield aided the home cause and worse was to come for the Cockles as they shipped a further try and a penalty to fall ten points behind with 15 minutes remaining.
Hooper was quick to reduce the arrears with a well taken try wide out and the Cockles pushed for the winning score, alas luck seemed to have deserted them and, if it could go wrong it did, leaving Cheltenham to hold on for a 20-15 victory.
On Saturday the Cockles host Chinnor (2.30pm) when they will seek to rediscover their previous winning ways. Director of Rugby Chris Wright said: “The players are fully aware of where they went wrong on Saturday the game was theirs for the taking, it was certainly three points lost rather than one point gained, so, as a squad they will be working hard this week in training to resolve those issue in preparation for Chinnor”. .