Cockles chat with Exmouth RFC head coach Steve Perry

PUBLISHED: 21:52 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:52 16 October 2019

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

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Exmouth head coach Steve Perry was very honest and forthright when he spoke a couple of days after the Cockles' heavy 63-7 defeat at Weston-super-Mare.

Having already sat through the match video, he said: "We did not perform. Indeed, we were very poor and, against a side that, on the day, certainly played a level or two better than we did, you could not argue against the fact that we got what we deserved. The overriding post match thought was one of that we simply have to be better than that!"

He continued: "It was not a comfortable afternoon in any shape or form and from the early stages it was clear that we were in for a rough ride.

"They were able to dominate the scrum from the off - though I might add that they were aided by being what I will politely call 'street wise' in that department. We were unable to handle them and so got shoved around more than we'd like to think we would be!"

As bad as it was for the travelling support - and the coach there were elements of the performance that the coach drew comfort from. He explained saying: "I must acknowledge the shift from the senior players in our team who I thought really stood up in the face of adversity and gave everything to the cause."

He continued: "The performance of the senior lads will hopefully have impacted on the younger players in the group and, as I always say, win or lose, if our players can continue to learn and so develop their game, then some good will come out of every experience we go through together on the rugby pitch."

When you suffer such a defeat, whatever the sport you play, it's always good to have a tough outing in the very next game to help sharpen minds and that is certainly what the Cockles face for, on Saturday (October 19), they entertain the South West Premier's only unbeaten side this season - Barnstaple.

The Cockles' head coach says: "Yes, I do think it's a good thing that our next game is another very tough contest. Barnstaple have started the season very well and they will certainly present a challenge."

Perry then said: "It's a shame that I have to say this - indeed, for any coach this is not what they enjoy saying, or want to make a habit of saying - but, I sincerely hope we do see a great improvement all round from the team on Saturday against Barnstaple. As a coach it is my job to get the very best out of the players both as individuals and as a collective group. For whatever reason, that did not happen at Weston, but it needs to happen this coming matchday - and it will.

"That is the one comfort, if that's the right word to use, that I can take from the disappointment of last Saturday and that is that it clearly hurt all that were involved and I am sure we will see a real effort to deliver the sort of performance that the home faithful have got used to seeing at the Imperial Ground."

Last, but not least, we asked the Cockles head coach if there was any news on the player front with regard to players who have been missing coming back into action and he replied: "I am very hopefully we might see Dave [Bargent] back for this next game, but I am not sure about James [Harris].

"It might be too soon for James, but he's not far off being ready."

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