Exmouth away day blues
PUBLISHED: 16:09 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:48 10 June 2010
Copyright Archant Ltd
Bracknell 47pts, Exmouth 7 South West One TEN months ago Exmouth travelled to Bracknell and they were soundly beaten in an EDF Cup game played in atrocious conditions. Maybe this gave the home side a physiological edge for this first league encounter
Bracknell 47pts, Exmouth 7South West OneTEN months ago Exmouth travelled to Bracknell and they were soundly beaten in an EDF Cup game played in atrocious conditions. Maybe this gave the home side a physiological edge for this first league encounter and certainly the fine weather allowed Bracknell to play a fast, open style of rugby. Coached by former England flanker Chris Sheasby, the Bracknell pack were matched by the Cockles in the set pieces. Once the ball came outside it was a different matter. Exmouth lost their stand-off Nick Grant to injury after half an hour but by then Bracknell had built a 19-0 lead and looked ready to put the Cockles to the sword.Playing down a considerable slope, Bracknell kicked off and within two minutes tight-head Andy van Zyl scored a try, converted by skipper Ben Nowak. Minutes later Exmouth were penalised and the kick to the five-metre line set up a catch-and-drive move which was finished off by flanker Rudal Aiono. Nowak missed the conversion but with 12 points on the board the home side were flying. Exmouth stemmed the flow and even nicked a couple of line-outs, but with Bracknell controlling the half it was no surprise when a slick backs' move put winger Nick Shears over with Nowak adding the points. The last ten minutes were all Bracknell. With the ball passing through many hands, full-back Dave Budge finished off with Nowak again converting.Two minutes later Nowak scored and converted to post a half-time lead of 33-0.Exmouth kicked off the second half for what must have felt like a daunting task. They set to it and the players will be disappointed that they shipped another couple of tries in a half which they dominated for long periods. With four minutes played Exmouth won a scrum against the put in. Following loose play, Seb Phelps chased down a kick ahead to score. Richard Cadywould converted and the Cockles had the best possible start to the half. They continued to take the game to Bracknell throughout the half, but were unable to penetrate a defence which had the Sheasby hallmark. With about 10 minutes to go any thoughts of closing the points gap were dashed when flyer Stu Mackay went over for Nowak to convert.The final act was played out by scrum half Dan Ap Dafydd, who scored with skipper Nowak kicking his sixth conversion.This was Exmouth's third away game in the league since promotion and their third loss by more than 40 points.Exmouth take a break from league duty this Saturday but have to travel to Kent to meet Bromley in the first round of the EDF National Trophy.League rugby resumes the following weekend with the visit of Bristol side Cleve. Following four challenging games against the top sides, the Cockles now need to start building some league points.