Cockles chat - the views of Cockles head coach Steve Perry

PUBLISHED: 13:21 03 March 2020

Exmouth at home to Barnstaple. Ref exsp 35 19TI 9020. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth at home to Barnstaple. Ref exsp 35 19TI 9020. Picture: Terry Ife


Speaking a couple of days after the narrow defeat at Brixham, Cockles head coach Steve Perry said: “The result was, of course, disappointing, but there was much of the performance for us to be pleased with.”

He continued: "Throughout the game we played very well, we worked exceptionally hard and defended with real gusto and spirit - and no small measure of quality. Once again it was down to those small margins. I suppose, if one was to be hyper critical, you'd point to a lack of discipline in as much as one of the Brixham tires came when we were a man light due to a sin-binning. We also 'missed' a tackle for another of their tries and, in such a close contest, these things are were games are won and lost."

The Cockles travelled to Brixham without a number of regulars with no fewer than three of the 1st XV squad having become fathers in the week before the game, plus Dave Bargent was missing owing to holidays and also missing were Nick Headley (work) and Shane Cooper (injury).

The head coach said: "I know I have said this before, but the absences, for whatever reason, are not things to be dwelt on in as much as this standard of rugby is very much about the wider squad and it's good that we have such an eager bunch because, when two or three or even more are unavailable, we have others keen to step up to the plate and do a job for the side. I am a big advocate in the view that the success of a squad is gauged in its true form over the course of a full campaign and not over a number of games. Utimatley we are all judged, not on what we do in September of the first month of the year, but when the dust has settled and the campaign is done - that is when we are best judged."

For Saturday's visit of Camborne the Cockles hope to have as many as four of the seven who missed the Brixham game, back on duty. That will no doubt come as a relief to the head coach as he is missing the services of George Meadows and Alex Goldman for the visit of the Cornish side.

Speaking about the challenge that Camborne will present, the head coach says: "The game we won down at their place was one I missed! They [Camborne] are a good side, but we have much to play for and the fact that we can emulate what we achieved against Okehampton - complete a seasonal double - adds spice to the game.

"We have four of our last six league games at home and that gives us a big advantage and it is one we need to force home. We generally have a good record at the Imperial Ground and the team have certainly stepped up to the plate on our own turf when it has been required and I am sure they will do so again this coming matchday."

After the Camborne game, the remaining fixtures for the Cockles are:

Mar 14 home to Weston-super-Mare

Mar 21 - away to Drybrook

Mar 28 - home to University

Apr 4 - free date

Apr 11 - home to Bracknell

Apr 18 - away to Ivybridge

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