Lacked ruthlessness and paid price

Honiton RFC 1st XV bumbled to a 5-5 draw at Plymouth Barbarians on Saturday afternoon overlooking the Tamar, writes Nick Guilbert.

Honiton bumbled to a 5-5 draw at Plymouth Barbarians on Saturday afternoon overlooking the Tamar. It was a disappointing result for the Lacemen as they dominated the game but chose wrong options consecutively and failed to take their opportunities. Honiton faced the slight slope in the first half and, having received the kick off, started brightly. In truth Honiton played with a fair level of exuberance all day, but it never clicked. They moved the ball purposefully, using the whole width of the pitch, and stretched the Plymouth side accordingly. Spinning the ball away from the home side's pack proved a good tactic and Honiton threatened constantly, but, to their detriment it was not their only constant as they regularly gave away needless penalties. Whatever the level of refereeing, Honiton continued to infringe and were punished each time. The Lacemen, to their credit, elected to play rather than kick up the slope and, with the back division continuing to make yards out wide, Honiton progressed. However, they often failed to keep up with themselves and the last man became isolated. Honiton had numerous chances but handling skills and decision making let them down. Eventually, the Baabaas cleared, and, with Nex in the bin for a kick out, the Plymouth side pressed home the advantage. They took a short throw following a penalty kick. The front man caught and pressed forwards, as he was tackled his second row team mate was on hand for the offload and he crashed over for an unconverted score. With the score at 5-0 at half time Honiton knew that if they could find their finishing feet they would win. Unfortunately they never really did. Ironically they scored their points within moments of the re-start, Rice disrupting the home side's catch and put them on to the back foot. Honiton carried a level of intensity that the Plymouth side couldn't handle and soon after De Large went over for an unconverted score. As the game wore on, Honiton looked to be on the verge of scoring many times but never crossed the whitewash. Nex, Guilbert and Hannay all missed kicks at goal, and their team eventually paid the price for not being ruthless enough.The final whistle saw Honiton exasperated and looking to make amends against Wessex next week.

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