Honiton’s pre-season morale booster

PUBLISHED: 10:57 31 August 2011

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Honiton RFC 1st XV turned the form book on its head on Saturday afternoon with a convincing win over touring side Camphill. They play in Midlands 1 West, where they finished fourth last year. This division is deemed to be a level five standard, whilst Honiton in Devon and Cornwall is deemed to be level eight, writes Nick Guilbert.

The three tries to one victory made a mockery of the RFU structure and underlines the strength of rugby down in these parts.

Honiton arrived at the club to see that the opposition had been training for some time. This can be quite daunting, but the Lacemen were confident and not intimidated as they started up the slope.

In the two weeks that have passed since the Sarries’ game the forwards have addressed the issues at the lineout, and showed huge improvements.

It was from such a platform that Channing broke the gain line taking advantage of a dog leg in the defence formed by good dummy running from Hyland. Channing shipped the ball wide to full back Couttes who drew the last man before offloading to Lichfield. He still had a fair bit to do from 20 odd yards, but he used his pace to score in the corner.

The score remained the same for the opening quarter with both sides showing endeavour, but lacking control in equal measure.

With the game being played as four separate quarters, Honiton played the second period down the slope and looked dangerous.

The scrummage in the main went the way of the home side, and they used this advantage and their greater mobility around the park to break into Camphill territory.

They came within five yards and Camphill were penalised several times before Honiton made several “pre-season errors” with Rice first throwing a poor pass to Kenny and then Huggett being adjudged to kill the ball. So the second quarter ended scoreless.

Honiton changed personnel for the third period and lost their dominance in the scrummage. Honiton were also guilty of conceding a lot of penalties and this continued in the third quarter to leave the Lacemen defending a scrummage on their own five yard line. They couldn’t hold Camphill off and the away side scored.

The Lacemen re-gathered their composure and good rucking ensured they maintained the ball as they arrived in Camphill territory.

In truth, Honiton were struggling to break down the defensive line before Barratt chipped ahead before the ball bounced favourably for him to re-gather and dot down.

Camphill showed some qualities but it was the home side that were in control.

As the game entered the final quarter it was Honiton again who were superior. A little bit of patience allowed Honiton to put danger-man Barratt on a one-on-one, and he rightly backed his power to cross from five yards in clubhouse corner.

It was a good day for the Lacemen and the selection committee will have plenty to consider in the next few days as Honiton start their league campaign at home next week against Torrington.


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