Honiton RFC 1st XV 15, Exeter Saracens 16

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Honiton lost a tight game at Allhallows on Saturday afternoon, going down 16-15 to local rivals Exeter Saracens. Sarries were far more clinical and well drilled in the contact areas, and used a simple game plan to score their points, writes Nick Guilbert.

Honiton have been promoted twice in recent seasons by playing a flamboyant style of rugby, but changes in personnel and more poignantly, opposition, are forcing a change in style that is taking a while to bed in.

The Lacemen were guilty of coughing up the ball countless times in an error-strewn first half that saw them dominate territory. With Saracens let off the hook easily, the away side gained some decent territory from Honiton penalties and, with Abbott marshalling from nine, they manoeuvred into scoring territory. In fairness to the home side they defended their line well for 10, 12, 14 or so phases, but eventually the Saracens’ 12 broke through a weak tackle for a seven pointer on the stroke of half time. Before the try Meadows had knocked over six points as had Saracens, so at half time it was 13-6 to the visitors.

Saracens started the second period very brightly, and only a fantastic covering tackle from Webber denied the Exeter seven from crossing to the left of the posts. Honiton scrambled through the second period and did turn the screw with Meadows landing two more shots at goal. Moving into the final 10 minutes Honiton gathered significant momentum but not enough to cross the whitewash for the killer blow.

A hugely disappointing day for Honiton who must acquire the killer instinct if they are to stand a chance of staying in this league.

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