Cockles coach speaks on the narrow Hornets success

PUBLISHED: 12:33 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:33 12 February 2015

Exmouth took on Bracknell at the Imperial ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 6623-06-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Exmouth took on Bracknell at the Imperial ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 6623-06-15SH. Photo Simon Horn


Exmouth coach Jon Hill spoke after the Cockles narrow success at Hornets.

He said: “The fact that we went away against a quality side and won, having been 14-0 down early in the game suggests this was a great victory. The reality is that we ‘got out of jail’, and very nearly left ourselves too much to do!

“We played our worst rugby of the season in the first 25 minutes and were lucky not be have been more points down. Full credit must go to Hornets who completely dominated us in all areas during this initial spell and showed why they are a top five side in this division. In Alex Chase. Phil Hogarth and Sonny Haines, they have three experienced forwards who were pulling the strings and causing us problems.

“After this initial spell, we were 14-0 down had Chris Bentley in the sin bin and Matt Harris had come off injured. That left us staring down the barrel! What happened next was most pleasing for us coaches, as the players rolled up their sleeves, pulled tight as one and got their act together. This was a true measure of team spirit, and something that club and its supporters can be very proud of.

“Mark Wathes, James Harris, Tom Emery and Ollie Pyne were instrumental in the comeback, and we looked very lively with ball in hand. We asked massive questions of the well organised Hornets defence by playing with pace in a high tempo attack. The drop goal from Richard Cadywould was well taken and was after sustained periods of pressure, although we had missed 13 points from missed kicks during the game, which may have proved costly.

“We have a lot to learn from the game, including how we can be weak mentally leading into a huge fixture. Our start to the game and our warm up was not acceptable, and it absolutely told in the opening quarter of the game. We were lucky not to have conceded more, and collectively we must not pat each other on the back and say well done, but we must consider how we can improve our processes to ensure we are not in that situation again.

“With Redingensians losing, this weekend is another huge step for us, and creates an opportunity. Our sights now are on the Devon Derby in two weeks time. This is a huge game for us, and we are well aware of how important it is to keep up the momentum. There is still a long way to go, with many twists and turns, and we must control what we can control.

“We should have regular first XV players Garry Hooper, Ali Hill and Jack Fahy all available for the Newton Abbot game after the trio all missed the Hornets victory.”

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