Honiton 2nd XV must raise their game

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:09 16 June 2010

Honiton 2nd XV started their season with a long and difficult trip up to Bideford.

Honiton 2nd XV started their season with a long and difficult trip up to Bideford.

Honiton managed to hang on in this league last season and are now the only Devon outfit left in that league. Having said that, if they are to remain in the league, they will have to play much better than this. Sides have to win some of their own set piece plays and not gift the opposition scores.

Right from the start Honiton were on the back foot and it was only stout tackling that kept Bideford's strong runners at bay. With the first scrum of the day five metres out from Honiton's line, a strike against the head gifted the home eight a free run and he crashed over for the score. Honiton rallied but, again, positive running saw the home side touch down again. Honiton settled down and pressed on several occasions and they finished the half strongly. They could consider themselves unlucky to not to have grounded a good forward drive over the line.

Turning round 14-0 down Honiton felt they were still in with a shout, but they hit the destruct button and gifted the opposition two quick tries and really that was game over. Living off scrappy possession, fly half Salter tried to generate attacks but, to be fair, Honiton did not look like scoring and, on the hour, again a mistake saw Bideford score a final try to run out comfortable winners by 34-0.

Honiton can and will play a lot better than this.

On a positive note, last year's Colts, Clarke, Collins and Williams, all looked encouraging. Salter at 10 worked hard with poor quality ball and young James Cootie, at the back, was the pick of the players with several good breaks and try saving tackles.

Next week it's an easy trip to Kingsbridge!

Honiton Colts learned three valuable lessons on their first league outing at Tiverton.

One: Pre-match preparation is crucial.

Two: If you're driving yourselves, bring a map, Honiton to Tiverton is not via Yeovil! Three: When playing, stick to the game plan!

Despite the disrupted preparation, Honiton did start well and took the game to their hosts spending much of the first half in the mid Devon sides's 22.

However, whilst the forwards dominated, they lacked the required control and this often resulted in turnover ball and all the pressure failed to produce points. Coupled with this, hasty decision making also saw Honiton spurn three easy points by taking a quick tap instead of kicking for goal.

Honiton did eventually score just before half time with Small joining the line from deep and breaking two tackles to score a typical Small try. Meadows converted.

The second half was a pretty even event, although Tiverton had more possession than they did in the first half.

Several substitutions saw Tivvy's already lumpy pack grow even bigger and they soon evened the score with a converted try after the replacement 2nd row crashed through several half-hearted tackles.

With a large crowd behind them, the home-side grew in confidence. The loss of the influential Small to a shoulder injury and Clark with suspected hamstring trouble reduced Honiton to 14.

Tivvy played the advantage of an extra man well and scored two further tries either side of a Honiton penalty but, had Honiton stuck to their game-plan, the ball would have been in another area of the field and it would have been unlikely that Tivvy would have scored either try. The final score was a disappointing 17-7 defeat.

It was a disappointing start to the season but a number of positives were taken away. There were some good individual performances, particularly from Wood, Rice, Fahy and Wilkins and the things to work on are easy to fix.

The Colts are home to Okehampton next week

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