Exmouth RFC latest – Cockles head coach looks at the home meeting with Barnstaple.

PUBLISHED: 10:57 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:57 01 March 2019

Steve Pape in debut action for Exmouth at Old Patesians. Picture EXMOUTH RFC

Steve Pape in debut action for Exmouth at Old Patesians. Picture EXMOUTH RFC

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Exmouth head coach Steve Perry could be forgiven for wanting his side to do nothing other than defeat his former team – Barnstaple – when the Cockles entertain them on Saturday (March 2) at the Imperial Ground.

Henry Goldson scores one of the Cockles tries in the home win over Newton Abbot. Picture JASON FAHYHenry Goldson scores one of the Cockles tries in the home win over Newton Abbot. Picture JASON FAHY

However, and rather typical of the Cockles head coach, he is adamant that the meeting with Barum must not be about him and his former charges, but about how the Cockles, to a man, go about their business.

He says: “This game is no different to any other during my time at the club. I want nothing more than to see the players respond to what we are looking for and to enjoy playing their rugby.

“In the last outing [the win at Old Patesians the weekend before last] we did some very good things, but we also did some poor things and what we need to do is focus on what we are good at – and continue working on those to make us even stronger in those departments of the game we are competent in – but, and just as important to my mind, we need to recognise our weaknesses and look to improve on them game by game.”

“The key thing from the Old Pats win was that I know we still have lots to work on, but, equally, we have plenty to work with!”

Nick Headley scores one of the Cockles tries in the home win over Newton Abbot. Picture JASON FAHYNick Headley scores one of the Cockles tries in the home win over Newton Abbot. Picture JASON FAHY

Perry is looking forward to seeing the first home appearance in a Cockles shirt for Steve Pape, of whom he says: “He [Pape] settled in very quickly in his first outing in the win at Old Patesians. It’s clear what he brings to the side with his experience – something he has plenty of – and it’s his presence which can be very influential in the big games, and the meeting with Barnstaple is very much of that ‘ilk’.”

Back to the Barnstaple game and Perry says: “It may become game that is heavily influenced by the weather conditions. The forecast for Saturday - albeit in the midweek before the game – suggests high winds and driving rain and that will present both sets of players with a problem. It may well be a question of who plays the conditions the better!”

He continued: “They [Barnstaple] are a good side and are not second in the table without good reason. They have also achieved some very good away results so far this season. But, as I have already alluded to, it’s not about them; indeed it’s never, for me, about the opposition – it’s all about what we do and how we go about executing our game plan. I expect a tight affair, but am confident that, with what seems to be a clean bill of health, we will be able to field a side that looks to continue what, for us, is a very good home record this season.”

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