Honiton 2nds beaten at Exmouth but the scoreline does not reflect the Otters efforts

Honiton rugby action

Honiton rugby action - Credit: Archant

Honiton Otters went down 52-7 on their visit to Exmouth for the first league game of a new campaign.

The Lacemen's 2nd XV made the short trip across East Devon with a very forward heavy squad of 16.

With several players playing out of position, expectations were not particularly high, but it was the Otters who made the brighter start.

There was very strong defence, especially in the middle with Andy Canniford, Dom Lovesy and Steve Trenchard, working hard to stop their big runners in the midfield. The pack also seemed to be getting the upper hand on the scrums and managed to put Exmouth under real pressure in this area.

It was not until the 20th minute that the Otters resistance was finally broken as the home side found a gap on the Honiton defence and powered through with a series of give-and-goes to score the games first try.

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Honiton hit back with real intent, but the game then saw some outbreaks of ill discipline which resulted in a red card for the home side, leaving them depleted in the front row, meaning scrums went uncontested.

This was when the game seemed to really change as the Tons' biggest advantage was taken away and the home side ran in three more tries to reach half-time leading 28-0.

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In the second half Honiton seemed to lose momentum at the break and struggled to get going again and saw Exmouth run in a couple more tries.

Honiton's hard work on the day was eventually rewarded when Steve Trenchard crossed for what proved to be a consolation, though they did finish on the front foot after a stern talking to from vice captain Austin Elliot saw the players pick up the pace a little and a few good phases were put together.

It would be fair to say the score didn't reflect the effort put in by the 16 that travelled on a hot day. There were some good individual performances, with Finley Blackmore putting a good shift out on the wing, but the Honiton Man of the Match award went to fly half, Andy Canniford, who worked hard all day with some strong defence and some very powerful carries.

On Saturday Honiton 2nds take on North Tawton.

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