Honiton lost their way against Bideford

Honiton hampered by basic errors

Honiton lost out by 39 points to 24 against a clinical Bideford side in North Devon. The top of the table clash saw the second-placed visitors come out on the wrong end of the result in an entertaining game, where both sides played attractive running rugby.

Honiton, to their credit, played exceptionally well in the opening quarter of the game, moving the ball across the field well, and ensuring they were the first to the breakdown. The pace of the Lacemen’s attack in these opening periods blew the home side away. Webber kicked an early penalty before decent running rugby saw the visitors press their hosts once more. Meadows and Norman combined to put Sampson in open space down the left hand side. Sampson crossed the line unopposed in the corner but, as the defence closed in, he cleverly dummied and made 15 yards infield to ease the pressure on Webber for the conversion kick. Webber converted.

Honiton again used their pace around the park to hassle their hosts. Having won a scrummage on the right-hand side, Honiton used the blindside to good effect with winger Small making excellent yards before being hauled down.

As Honiton attacked the ball was intercepted and it looked like the chance had been lost, but the wealth of Honiton support play forced the home side to panic. Good awareness from Lane saw him intercept and cross right of the posts for another converted score.

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The home side had scored a penalty during this period but had been largely outplayed, with the Lacemen silencing the partisan home crowd.

However, the home side showed why they are currently league leaders, and as Honiton eased off the gas, they came back into the game using their pacey back line.

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From a set piece scrummage they moved the ball wide and rounded the Lacemen using their speed, creating a two on one which they did not waste. Shortly afterwards another wide move saw them score again and bring the scores level.

Honiton had clearly lost the momentum from their prosperous start and conceded again before half time.

At the interval the score lay at 24-17, and Honiton knew their performance in the final 20 minutes of the half had been unacceptable.A poor start to the second half saw Honiton concede three tries and, therefore, the game.

Defence is key at any level, and Bideford countered on Honiton errors to create chances outwide by outnumbering the Lacemen. Honiton have to learn to commit the correct numbers when defending rucks to ensure they are not caught out wide as readily.

Honiton ploughed on and showed good spirit in the final period, scoring again through Webber. Basic errors hampered them in the final 20 minutes, and they just could not carve out enough opportunities to acquire a losing bonus point.

? Honiton 2nds lost to a strong Barnstaple seconds 24-5. Honiton’s points were scored by Dan Garmen, who was named Man of the Match. The U14s continued their unbeaten season with a hard-fought 19-15 win over reigning cup champs Crediton.

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