Massive win, but scrappy play

PUBLISHED: 11:42 19 October 2011

Honiton v Withycombe. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 2139-42-11TI To Order a copy of this photo visit and click on myphotos24

Honiton v Withycombe. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 2139-42-11TI To Order a copy of this photo visit and click on myphotos24


Honiton clambered to second in the Devon and Cornwall league with a scrappy 53-27 win over Withycombe at Allhallows. It was the most points scored all season by Honiton - but also the most conceded, writes Nick Guilbert.

Despite the positive result, there was a significant air of disappointment as the players felt they could have done so much better.

Withycombe came with a game plan to disrupt Honiton and they endeavoured to lower the tone whenever possible, in a bid to offset the home side.

Honiton were prepared for their tactics and produced service with a smile for the majority of the game.

Playing up the slope, Honiton received the kick off and opened their account without hesitation. With conditions ideal for running rugby Honiton soon stretched their East Devon counter parts all over the park. Good handling from backs and forwards put Dobson in space up the left hand side. Quick recycling allowed Canniford to carry the ball to the try line, before further recycling allowed Coutts to score outwide.

Honiton scored a penalty soon after, but as happened several times throughout the afternoon they were caught asleep. The away side won a penalty and kicked to touch down the right hand side. They moved the ball to the left hand side and Honiton did not react quickly enough, or work hard enough to cover the ground and defend their line. The attack was stopped short but the robust 8 Richards scored from a pick and drive at the ruck.

It kicked Honiton on and soon decent set piece ball saw Channing break the line and offload to Canniford. Canniford still had a fair bit to do from twenty five yards, but backed his pace to touch down to the right of the posts.

Further pressure saw Rice kick to the top corner, and as Withycombe threw in on their own five yard line Lane reacted first to the over throw to crash over from five yards.

Dobson grabbed a try each before half time, but Withycombe did score two more of their own to make it 24-15 at the break.

They upped the ante by scoring immediately after the restart. The glory of the Honiton back three at present is that they look comfortable kicking from hand or running the ball back.

Having set the platform for the attack, Selway dotted down from short range to make it comfortable for the home side. The Exmouth side realised this, and upped their play, which eventually boiled over into a melee. This only stoked up the home side to produce a clynical final period, which saw further tries for Hyland, Coutts, Dobson and Kenny.

Withycombe did score a converted try near the end following some poor tackling, but it was to no avail as Honiton ended comfortable winners.

Next week Honiton entertain Liskeard-Looe in what will be another difficult encounter.

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