Honiton’s pack power the key as Kingsbridge are beaten

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9448. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9448. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

With a slight respite in the weather Saturday saw the first team entertain third place Kingsbridge at Allhallows, writes Jerry Rice.

Having frankly, been thrashed by 68 points to 10 away at their place earlier in the season, the days tasks was big. Having said that, the Ton's performances over recent weeks has seen marked improvements in their playing standards and with a good side on paper, confidence was high right from the off.

Honiton elected to play up the slope and with a keen wind to their backs made early inroads and they were first on the score board with an early penalty slotted by Ollie Cave. Honiton continued to be positive and drives and carries at the opposition were working well. Ross Watts got the first try off the day and he finished well scoring to the left of the uprights after some good work by Robert Price and with Cave kicking the extras with 15 minutes on the clock Honiton were ten points to the good. Player coach Alex Brooks was kicking well from hand and the Kings were under pressure. The other factor was the Honiton scrum was starting to show dominance and after a series of good scrums the ball was fed to Cave who crossed for another try and with the conversion going over, the lead was stretched out to 17-0 and Honiton were looking very impressive. Half time came and for the supporters, a 17-0 lead against a top three side was more that they dreamed of.

Honiton started the second half in much the say vein and the opposition scrum was again under a lot of pressure every time they packed down. A good backs move saw Sam Heathcott find space and given his pace he crossed out wide for Honiton's third try of the afternoon. Against the run of play Kingsbridge managed to break their duck with a try but this was short lived as again Honiton got close and from yet another impressive scrum, Harry Wright broke from the base and after the recycle, impressive scrumhalf Jonny house darted over for the bonus point score. Again a scrum close to the visitors lines saw Honiton demolish the scrum and once again, House reaped the rewards laid down by the big men with Honiton's fifth try of the afternoon. Cave added the extras and Honiton had the game in the bag at 34-5. Kingsbridge did rally a bit and got the next score very much against the run of play but this was short lived as another 5 metre scrum for Honiton saw the pack again rumble the South Devon forwards back over their line and this time, Wright scored and with Cave converting Honiton were now 41-12 to the good. Unfortunately a bit of a lapse in concentration at the death say visitors get their third try but it was all too late and Frankly Honiton had done a number on them.

This was Honiton's most impressive performance of the year and Groves' men played extremely well as a unit. It was good to see Ben Logan back in action and with the usual heavy guns rampaging well it was a joy to watch the performance. The man of the match award rightly went to the pack because as a collective it was from their platform that the impressive win was set up.

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Honiton are not out of the woods yet but this win was a real morale booster and makes it look like survival is possible.

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