Honiton RFC pleased with final training match
On Saturday Honiton RFC concluded their pre-season build up with a full game against Sidmouth who play their rugby one league higher than Honiton.
This was ideal preparation for the Lacemen as following promotion last season they now find themselves very the much in the uncharted waters of Western Counties league rugby. Entry into this league sees the men from the town now playing rugby at the highest level Honiton has ever achieved and they are very much “punching above their weight”.
The goal for the season is very much just to be in the league at the end of the season and to maintain the status they have worked hard to achieve. Anything else is a bonus as they try to compete with their bigger, much richer and pedigreed oppositions.
Under the watchful eyes of new “player coach” Callum Hill, Honiton took the field in confident mood as the conditioned training session against Sidmouth on Tuesday night, saw them get the better of several of the set plays. Unfortunately for both sides the lovely August weather made handling conditions very difficult and understandably both sides made several unforced errors.
Sidmouth, playing up the Allhallows field, probably had the better of the first half and had the majority of the territorial advantage. Honiton’s main strength throughout the game was their defence and they were able to nullify many of the attacks. The visitors did also have first use of a strong wind and they pinned Honiton into the corners on several occasions.
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Sidmouth broke the deadlock after 35 minutes with a patient passage of play that saw Honiton run out of defenders up the right and they crossed for an unconverted try. Honiton rallied and pressed the visitors’ line but a handing error made when in control of a passage of play saw the half end with the score at 5-10 to the senior side.
With troops re-adjusted by both sides Honiton were caught napping from the kick off and a good handling move from the seasiders saw them go round the Honiton defence out wide to touch down in the corner for another unconverted score.
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You’d be forgiven for thinking Honiton were all but beat but this score seemed to kick Honiton into life and with the use of the wind George Meadows controlled the home side’s attacks which got stronger and stronger as the game went on. The deadlock was broken after a patient build up of phases saw Isaac Dalton crash over near the uprights for a well-worked team try. The screw was turned from then on and a neat kick by the impressive James Coutes gathered and fed skipper Josh Barratt and with the conversion going over Honiton were in the lead. Then with time running out a similar kick saw Barratt latch onto the ball and the score put Honiton clear and the final score was a hard fought 21-10 victory to the Lacemen.
For Honiton this was just the tonic and a positive boost for the club as they face the daunting prospect of next Saturdays long trip to the much fancied St Austell. Defence was the real positive for Honiton and the new faces of George Meadows , Luke Witton and Adam Thompson all more than played their part in the positive result. As we say, always room for improvement though… and line outs and securing the ball at rucks are two areas to work on during this week’s training.