Exmouth all set for ‘banana skin’ visit of Old Patesians

PUBLISHED: 10:31 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:31 26 October 2018

The two number nines, Sam Fulthorpe of Exmouth and Matt Jess of Newton Abbot in action during the game. Picture CONTRIBUTED

The two number nines, Sam Fulthorpe of Exmouth and Matt Jess of Newton Abbot in action during the game. Picture CONTRIBUTED

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Exmouth head into Saturday’s South West Premier home game against Old Patesians boosted by the return of Ross Morshead and Nick Halse, who both missed last Saturday’s first away win of the season – the Cockles’ 25-21 success at Newton Abbot.

Sam Fulthorpe in action for Exmouth during the win at Newton Abbot. Picture CONTRIBUTEDSam Fulthorpe in action for Exmouth during the win at Newton Abbot. Picture CONTRIBUTED

The return of the pair is timely, for the Cockles are set to be without the injured Sam Richardson and the unavailable Sam Whitehead and James Harris.

Cockles head coach Steve Perry says: “I am not the sort of coach who laments missing players. I much prefer to focus on the lads that are available and, let’s face it, someone being unavailable and therefore not in the starting XV leaves the door open for someone else to come in and take the shirt, and competition for places in the starting XV is a very healthy thing to have.”

As for the visit of Old Patesians, who will arrive at the Imperial Ground rock bottom of the South West premier table having lost all seven of their matches so far this season, Perry says: “It’s a potential banana skin and we shall need to be focused and well prepared mentally to make sure that we impose ourselves on the contest and do what we are good at for the 80 minutes.

“Let’s face it, with a ‘played seven, lost seven’ record, they [Old Patesians] will come to us with absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

As for the health of the Cockles in general, the head coach says: “Things are going well with all three senior XVs enjoying success. That’s so good for the wider club as it gives everyone a lift. The training has been positive and numbers good and the fact that the distance between the club’s 1st and 2nd XVs is not that great, it means we have plenty of players in the 2nds who are more than capable of stepping up and doing a job in the 1st XV.”

He added: “A key for me is also that the players in all three senior XVs really do appear to be playing with a smile on their face and enjoying what they are about and, for me, that’s a big part of the overall wellbeing of any rugby club, that people are happy to be involved, they want to play and they want to play with a smile on their face.”

The last time Old Patesians visited Exmouth was in the 2015/16 season when the Cockles registered a ‘double’, winning the Imperial Ground meeting played on December 12, 46-19, having already beaten the Cheltenham-based side 64-13 up in Gloucestershire.

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