Cockles coach chat – our weekly chat with Cockles head coach Steve Perry

PUBLISHED: 20:43 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 20:43 13 February 2019

Action from the Cockles Devon derby win over Newton Abbot. Picture JASON FAHY

Action from the Cockles Devon derby win over Newton Abbot. Picture JASON FAHY

Archant

Exmouth head coach Steve Perry enjoyed his team’s overall performance in the win over Newton Abbot.

He said: “It’s always good to get a bonus point success in a derby game and I felt a big plus on the day was how solid our scrum was. I was also pleased with our commitment which, to a man, was very good.

“The lads gave their all and you cannot ask for more. If there was something to take from the game that underlines we still have work to do, then it is the fact that we conceded three tries and that suggests we had some defensive lapses.”

With seven games to go, is there anything in particular that you would like to see from the team over what is effectively the final quarter of the South West Premier campaign?

Perry replies saying: “Consistency is the key and I am keen for us to continue to look to build a good ‘culture’ within the club that breeds good habits and helps us going forward.

“I also feel that the latter stages of a campaign also offer up the opportunity to give players who might not yet have had their chance to step up the platform to show what they are capable of. It is, of course, not always the case that we can afford ourselves that luxury as much depends on general player availability together with the type of opposition and ground conditions we face that particular matchday.”

In Saturday’s game, the Cockles were forced, through injury, to use all three available replacements before the half-time break and, while this is unusual, it does add weight to the Cockles’ head coach’s view that perhaps it’s time for this level of the game to be given a couple more replacements.

He says: “Saturday was one of those occasions when we had used all three replacements, owing to injury, before the break and this does make for a problem later in the game if more injuries are suffered. Don’t get me wrong, I get why the ‘only three replacements’ rule is with us, but it may be that it needs looking at again as there are occasions, particularly in attritional contests, when you do need to have access to more than the current three replacements.”

Away from the latest matchday success, the Cockles have made a new signing and it sees head coach Steve Perry link up once again with Steve Pape, who has switched to the Imperial Ground after a spell as player coach at Hornets.

Perry says: “He [Steve Pape] is a fine player – a huge asset in a front five – and someone I know well having played with him at the Cornish All Blacks and we were also together at Barnstaple. As well as being a good player, he is also a terrific person and has a great work ethic with regard to the game and how it should be played.

“My belief is that you can never have too much experience, particularly with regard to helping younger players on their pathway towards being as good as they can be. What Steve brings to us as a player and as a coach is genuine quality and I am absolutely certain that our younger players are going to benefit greatly from his presence on and off the pitch.”

Pape was unavailable for the Newton Abbot game, but he is set to make his first start in a Cockles shirt this Saturday (February 16) when the team play away at Old Patesians.

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