Withy coach speaks about the win at Ilfracombe

PUBLISHED: 10:44 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 04 December 2019

Action from the Withycombe win at Ilfracombe.Picture ADAM CURTIS.

Action from the Withycombe win at Ilfracombe.Picture ADAM CURTIS.


Withycombe made it nine wins from nine Devon One outings this season as they recorded a 31-19 win at Ilfracombe.

Speaking after the win in North Devon, Withy head coach Sam Williams said: "We travelled to Ilfracombe a little light in terms of a number of players not being available. There was no great issue with that for the date had originally been a 'free' matchday for us and some of the lads had made other arrangements."

He continued: "That said we were still able to field a strong side, and the game provided an opportunity for several players to get game time, including the return of Jake Watts to 1st Xv action while Chris Gibbons was able to play a full half for the first time since his injury lay-off and what I would say is that both Jake and Chris Both made significant impacts off the bench, with the set piece and carrying aspects of the game improving with their arrival."

Of the test that Withy at Ilfracoombe, the head coach said: "The Ilfracombe performance, and the individual quality of a number of their players belied their league position and I am sure that their fortunes will change shortly.

"Against that, it's fair to say we were far from our best and the long journey combined with so many changes meant it took us a while to find our rhythm

"Being level at the break meant that the team talk was relatively simple, in as much all I need to ask was that we make sure we were the better side out there for the remainder of the game!"

On the second half show, Williams said: The second spell saw the pack find some flow and the phase play that has been a feature this year returned, as did our line speed.

"This led to Ilfracombe starting to make mistakes that they had not done in the first half and our lads clearly grew in confidence and it was very pleasing that we scored tow more tires after the break to make sure we bagged another bonus point win away from Raleigh Park."

He added: "What this win at Ilfracombe underlines is the good depth we currently have to the squad and the clear fact that the players, to a man, understand the game plan, and are moving to a point where regardless of selection we are able to perform consistently."

Finally, the head coach had words of praise for a number of individuals.

He said: "I would like to make special mention of the shift from Ben Dawson, who, on his return to the 1st XV after several games with the colts, scored two excellent tries, the second being a superb solo effort.

"I'd also like to commend George Toomey who performed well despite not feeling too well, and to Will Hockin who picked up the defensive slack and got his head in the spokes on several occasions."

Looking ahead to Saturday's (December 7) Raleigh Park meeting with Totnes, Williams said: "With a fuller list to choose from I'm sure selection this week will be tricky to say the least!"

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