Totnes v Topsham
We are Devon Cup finalists for the second year running
I know we had hoped to have woken up in Valencia with fuzzy heads and some great stories today, sadly however it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, as a squad we still have a lot be thankful for. We are Devon Cup finalists for the second year running and have an exciting period of rugby to look forward to, which includes matches every Sunday in March and a festival in early April.
On behalf of us all, a huge thank you to Ian and Sarah for all their incredible hard work, effort and communication for what promised to be memorable tour. Next season we have plans to host a Spanish team(s) in Topsham. I’m also sure we can manage a tour, possibly to Wales. It may feel too early to ask for volunteers, but please don’t hesitate to come forward if you want to help with any of the planning.
There is also the small matter of a very tense semi-final last week to report on. Having never played Totnes before, we weren’t sure what to expect. Whilst we didn’t get a shock, we certainly had a wakeup call. The statistics, had there been any, would have shown possession approx. 65% in favour of Totnes. I also think a TMO would have awarded Totnes one, maybe two more tries than the ref actually did, such was the intensity of the game.
The flip side is that our tackle count was off the scale, showing the boys have fully taken on board the NFL mantra that ‘offense wins games, defense wins championships’. As one of the best attacking sides in Devon, we have shifted our focus in training to working more on our defence and it showed (and was needed). Brin’s tackling was text book, and the team did some outstanding work, notably Izaak and Rhys, repeatedly holding Totnes up on our try line.
The defence of Kits and Sam B was resolute throughout, as was Toby’s imposing and focussed attitude and tackling. Sam P (‘who always gets you a try’) did an outstanding job on the wing. He showed his strength, pace and awareness with two very well taken tries in either half. His second was particularly impressive with the ball being offloaded in the tackle well by Sam B, to Josh and then to Sam P, who had to cut inside and get past two Totnes players.
The scrum and lineout did very well, and there was some good hooking by Charlie and lineout catching by George on show.
DJ had a very good game, which had its fair share of kicking. He led by his performance, his opportunistic try at the end showing his focus, concentration and determination to win.
The difference between the two sides was that we took the few opportunities that came our way, and Totnes didn’t. Thank you as always to the substitutes who made the trip. It’s not easy and we understand your frustration. There will be match time for all the boys in March and the festival.
We now play Cullumpton in the final on Sun 29 Apr at Barnstaple. K Off at 3.00pm.
Finally, congratulations to Brin, Toby and Tom K who were successful at the recent Devon u15 trial.