Exmouth RFC latest - Cockles chat with head coach Steve Perry

PUBLISHED: 08:35 11 December 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 delighted with the team's performance on the artificial pitch that is home to Exeter University who won Saturday's South West Premier meeting 31-26, writes Steve Birley.

He said: "We played very well in general throughout and there were mitigating circumstances with regard to our defeat."

He continued: "The second half injuries to Nick [hooker Nick Halse] and George [fly half George Meadows] certainly played a big part. Now, that statement is no reflection on the lads who stepped up to take over, in fact I can halve no complaints about how anyone performed in the game, but those two are key players and were big influences during the first half when we got just rewards for our dominance."

The Cockles head coach added: "In addition to the injuries the red card was also crucial and, while I can honestly say I did not see the supposed misdemeanour, the referee had a good game and was probably left with no choice."

Perry was keen to laud the Cockles overall performance, saying: "I was so pleased with the effort and intensity of our play. That was fired home to me the following day when I sat back to watch once again the defeat we suffered at home to Brixham and, when I had gone through that game once more and put the 80 minutes against that that we served up against University it was very clear that the lads had both listened to what had been asked of them post Brixham and in midweek training because the improvement in general play was there for all to see."

Five defeats in the last six games is the stark reality of the current situation, but the Cockles head coach feels results will improve.

He said: "The key to us improving our results is to make sure we all keep working honestly and with real intensity both on the training ground and on matchdays.

"Performances like the one at University, if reproduced on a regular and consistent basis, will see a marked change in our results. It is also a fact that togetherness and trying hard for each other are also key to improving things and I saw that in abundance in Saturday's game."

To the question of his thoughts on the G4 surfaces, the Cockles head coach said: "I am neither against, nor wholly for. I think it remains work in progress for many. If you are of the younger age group then I think the surface is fine, but if you are older then the surface becomes slightly less forgiving!"

There's no game for the Cockles this Saturday (December 14) and so we asked the head coach if not having a game is a good thing or a bad thing.

He replied: "It is what it is. There will be a school of thought that says you need a game to continue momentum and work up a good rhythm, but the opposite side of that is the fact that rest and recuperation in what is a long demanding season is also very high on the list of important things. Hopefully the lads will embrace the opportunity of a 'Saturday off' and come back to train hard in midweek ahead o the pre-Christmas meeting with Launceston."

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