Our weekly chat with Cockles head coach Steve Perry.

PUBLISHED: 14:45 18 September 2018

Exmouth’s Tom Whelan gets the ball away to Sam Richardson in the meeting with Exeter University. Picture SUE HALSE

Exmouth’s Tom Whelan gets the ball away to Sam Richardson in the meeting with Exeter University. Picture SUE HALSE


We caught up with Cockles’ head coach once the weekend dust had settled on his side’s 31-24 win over University and, first up, we asked what his thoughts were, in general, of the performance.

He said: “Very pleasing. A big thing for me was the way that, with 10 minutes left, they were just a score away and threw everything they had at us.

“It was not pretty, in terms of our work, perhaps I should call it ‘ugly’, but it’s very important to be able to do the ‘ugly’ stuff in such games to get you over the winning line and we certainly did it well.”

The start of the second half was dramatic in terms of there seeming to be a burst of action. Was anything in particular said during the interval?

The head coach responded: “Nothing heavy was said at the interval. But what we did look to focus on was, when we got back out on the pitch, to try to improve the way we worked and use the wide channels, and it worked well for us early in the second half.”

The Cockles shipped four tries in the contest, but Perry was very clear about the origin of the tries they conceded. He said; “One of the tries was well crafted and, as such, at times you have to admire that when it comes against you. However, three of the four tries were most certainly down to our individual mistakes and, as well as the team played collectively, we do need to stop the silly mistakes which could cost us dear in very tight games.”

Scrum half Matt Ryan picked up the Man of the Match award; what are your thoughts on that? “It was richly deserved and Matt did play well.

“The key for me is that we are blessed in the scrum half role for, the game before, young Sam Fulthorpe had an exceptional game. We opted to make a number of changes against the students, and it worked well for us, but the big thing for us now is that we clearly have a high degree of competition for places in the first XV and that augers well for the future.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s Imperial Ground meeting with Weston-super-Mare, the Cockles head coach said: “They [Weston] have had a tough start and arguably met three of the division’s leading sides, so we must not be fooled by fledgling table positions.

“They have an ex-pro in their ranks and will carry a real threat to our aspirations. That said, I was very happy within our game management against University and I’ll be looking for more of the same against Weston.”

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