Cockles chatter – our weekly chat with Cockles head coach Steve ‘Pez’ Perry

PUBLISHED: 10:21 30 January 2019

Ben Hawley scores one of the Cocles' five tries in the win over Ivybridge. Picture JASON FAHY

Ben Hawley scores one of the Cocles' five tries in the win over Ivybridge. Picture JASON FAHY


Cockles head coach Steve Perry was clear as to what had cost his team so dear at Maidenhead. He explained saying: the two handling mistakes – basics errors – inside four minutes was a real shock to the system. No mater what pre-match plan you may – or may not – have, to then effectively ‘gift’ the opposition two early tries, leaves you playing catch-up and effectively having a mountain to climb.”

He continued: “Having said that, we cannot lay the blame of our defeat solely at the door of the two errors, for we also shipped two other tries. Indeed, they had the bonus point wrapped up by half-time.

“No, it was a disappointing day for us and you could feel that in the dressing room, post match, when it was clear to me that the players also felt that they had perhaps not done as well as they might have wished to do, but, I say again, you cannot, certainly at this level, gift the opposition two such soft scores at any stage and hope to take anything from a game.”

The Cockles head coach did have praise for young James Goss, who stepped into the first XV for the first time at hooker and did well. Perry said: “James [Goss] has earned his chance coming through the 2nd XV and we, as a club, are mindful of the need for us to give young players an opportunity and one such chance came with availability as it was for the Maidenhead game. The experience will have done him no harm at all.”

As for the artificial surface, the Cockles head coach said: “The warm-up was very good and I thought the lads looked sharp; there was a good speed of ball movement and it all augured well for the following 80 minutes, until, of course, we shot ourselves in the foot with those two, almost unbelievable, and thankfully very rare, basic mistakes!”

The Cockles are without a game this coming Saturday (February 2) and, once again, Perry is hoping his players take the opportunity to ‘have a day off’ from the rigours of their league campaign so they are all fighting fit for the Devon derby meeting with Newton Abbot at the Imperial Ground on February 9.

Newton Abbot sit second bottom of the table, some 20 points behind the Cockles – who in turn are a similar distance away from the team lying second to champions-in-waiting Bournemouth, Barnstaple.

However, the Cockles head coach is not expecting it to be anything but tough when Newton Abbot are in Exmouth on Saturday week.

He says: “They [Newton Abbot] may well sit second bottom, but, as a club, they have good strong ties with Exeter Chiefs and the College and I don’t doubt that they will bring a strong side to us for game that carries that extra ‘spice’ that derby matches hold.”

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