Cockles head coach speaks about the loss at Bracknell

PUBLISHED: 16:23 30 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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Cockles head coach Steve Perry was quite candid as to what had gone wrong, certainly in the first half, of the Cockles' defeat on their South West Premier visit to Bracknell.

Speaking a couple of days after the 12-0 defeat he said: "We were not good enough in the first half.

"We were faced with playing downhill with a slight breeze, but it was very wet. However, notwithstanding the difficulties we were faced with, the bottom line is that we did not start well and our sluggish beginning stayed with us through to half-time."

He continued: "Salvation comes with the fact that our second half performance was much improved and, with a bit of luck, we would certainly have got at least one score on the board."

On the fact that it was only the third time in 111 away games that the Cockles have come home without a point to their name, Perry lamented: "Look, we cannot argue with the fact that, historically, the Cockles seem to have a problem with away games. That's actually a problem that affects a lot of teams, but is also something that we need to address. It is a concern that we seem to get off the coach after these long trips and then all our pre-match game plans seem to be left on the coach. That was the case at Bracknell and it was only when we got together at the break that we managed to then go back out and we performed with greater energy after the restart and certainly enjoyed more possession."

As for not scoring any points at Bracknell, Perry said: "It was not for the want of trying. We did create some opportunities that offered chances to shoot for goal, but we turned those chances down to be positive and look for a seven point score.

"In a low scoring affair perhaps kicking points is the answer, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and points were not scored by us for whatever reason."

To the question of 'what, if anything pleased you about the performance at Bracknell, the head coach replied: "The response in the second half was good. The increased levels of energy and desire shown suggested that had we applied such from the very first whistle then we surely would not have returned to Exmouth empty-handed."

Last, but not least, we asked, given the team has now lost three successive games [prior to Bracknell the Cockles lost at home to Barnstaple and, the week before, were heavily beaten at Weston-super-Mare], is it a good thing or a bad thing that there is now a Saturday off? Perry said: "It's a good thing, but only because we have had eight weeks of tough rugby and a Saturday off will do everybody the chance to recharge their batteries so we can get back to business on November 9, and the home game against Brixham."

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