Exmouth: Two early tries for Withycombe RFC secures home victory versus Tavistock

  Posted: 11.10.21 at 10:04 by Adam Curtis

Two quick-fire tries in the first half proved key to remain unbeaten at home

With last week’s last-minute heartbreak down in Cornwall still fresh in the minds of the players, it was key that the same mistakes weren’t to be made again. However, with a fresh new shirt and a host of players coming back into the team from injury, there was a great opportunity to get the season back on track as they welcomed Tavistock to Raleigh Park.

Withies took the opportunity well as they converted early pressure on the visitors into points via the boot of Tom Cooke in a fourth minute penalty on the 10m line to give us a 3-0 lead.

Withy dominance in attack would continue for large parts of the opening quarter of the game, but the Tavistock defence was equally as impressive, forcing a few errors, both forced and unforced, from our boys. At one point, an impressive run of play saw almost every Withy player on the pitch touch the ball before a break by Sam Warren was halted just a couple of yards from the line.

With 25min on the clock, the Withies struck with a double-header of tries. The first coming when a strong counter ruck on the Tavi 5m line was rewarded with a penalty taken quickly by Liam Cullen. Cullen linked up with Mike Richards to provide the additional strength to power the ball over the line for the opening try which was duly converted by Tom Cooke.

The second try came almost immediately from the restart as a stunning break from Flanker Joe Blyth made the distance down the pitch allowing for a perfectly timed pass out to the waiting Sam Warren to score in the corner; another pinpoint accurate touchline kick from Cooke put the Withies 17 points up just before the half hour mark.

Withycombe RFC wins a line-out. Credit: Jim Davis

Following this flurry of action, play settled back down for both sides to see the remainder of the half play out without any further points scored.

As the second half got underway, a refreshed Tavistock side put on some pressure of their own, forcing the Withies to play a more defensive game. Although possession was shared between the sides, it was the Moorlanders that enjoyed the lion’s share of it. This wasn’t to say that the hosts would be without opportunities of their own as they would make regular trips back into the visitor’s red zone, continuing the exciting nature of the game.

It was to be the visitors that would get the only points in the second half though when a sustained period of pressure in the Withycombe 22’ eventually forced open a gap in the strong defensive line to allow Tavi prop Richard Cann to storm in at the corner for an unconverted try.

Keen not to see a repeat of last week, the boys in green and black got back on top of the game, pushing forward and testing the Tavistock defence once again. However, this defence remained tight, preventing any more scoring opportunities for the boys.

Final score: Withycombe 17, Tavistock 5.

Two quick-fire tries in the first half proved key to remain unbeaten at home. Credit: Jim Davis

Overall, a much-improved performance from the side, one that will hopefully bring confidence in the side which they can bring to future games.

The boys will now enjoy a week’s rest with no game next week but will return in a fortnight when they travel back down to Cornwall once again to face Liskeard-Looe on the 23rd October.

For those that still crave some rugby action, the Withy 2s are back on the field next week away at Sidmouth.

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