MATCH REPORT – SATURDAY 9th MARCH 2019
By Website Admin
TORQUAY ATHLETIC 48 v TAVISTOCK 12
Following two away defeats to Lanner and South Molton Torquay Athletic got back to winning ways in some style at the Rec. This against a side in especially good form, who had won their last six League matches, which included a home win against fourth placed Plymstock Albion Oaks and an away victory at South Molton.
Over the last three League games Tics' struggled to gain quality possession in the set scrum against three much heavier packs and this had affected their ability to use the preferred wide game. Tavvy arrived with what looked like a bigger set of forwards, but with Isaac Fahey back from injury and starting in the second row Torquay had a little more oomph up front – no doubt helped by the scrum time coaching of former Player Gavyn Webber, who had been taking sessions at training on a regular basis to improve technique.
The dry conditions and dry ball helped Torquay, who were in possession of the four try bonus point by the half way mark and who scored tries that were well crafted and pleasing on the eye. As against South Molton the previous week the passing was well timed and crisp (although on that occasion Tics' were powerless to do too much to stop two scrum pushover tries and a final one late on from a short range catch and drive, when down to thirteen men on the park).
Seven of the eight tries were scored by backs, as the Moorlanders struggled to defend against accuracy and pace. However it was a Team effort, with the forwards intent on also facilitating quick movement of the ball to space and playing their part, notably at re-start time with good drills.
The forwards try came from No 8 Josh Mackin following a lineout catch and drive from close in to make it 5 – 0, early on.
The following try details established from supporters at the match, which was sponsored by the Past Players Association:
A chip by Jacob Loewy was caught by Fahey, who released left wing Ben Spears, who was keen to add to his recent try tally and duly did so, with Mawgan Penrice converting for 14 – 0. Loewy was playing at scrum half, and caught the eye when taking down a very well built Tavvy prop on more than one occasion.
Next a clearance from hand in their own 22' by Tavvy only found Tom Whitford, who shipped on to Penrice to score out wide. 19 – 0.
On 25 minutes home centre Nathan Pring was shown yellow and whilst he was in the bin there was pressure from Tavvy after a penalty and they scored an unconverted try for 19 – 5.
There followed an individual try for right wing Luke Hedges, who weaved infield from the Tavvy 10 metre line, beating several would be defenders before touching down under the posts. Penrice's conversion gave Tics a secure 26 – 5 lead.
Then following a pick up at the back of a scrum Mackin made ground before phase play set up front foot possession. A well timed run by an intuitive Tom Drake from full back split two defenders and he went on to score, with a conversion following for 33 – 5.
Backs Coach James Wood then showed an appreciation of space as he ran swiftly from half way to score a solo try for 38 – 5. Tavvy then scored a coverted try before Drake added his second try for 43 – 5.
Just prior to time added on Fahey made 30 metres following a lineout and set Jonathan Berry free to wrap up the scoring at 48 – 12. A healthy scoreline, although Torquay may also feel that another couple of scores were “left out on the field.” However that would be churlish frollowing a good all round display.
Next week there is a welcome rest for all Senior Teams.
15 – Tom Drake, 14 – Luke Hedges, 13 – James Wood, 12 – Nathan Pring, 11 – Ben Spears, 10 – Mawgan Penrice, 9 – Jacob Loewy.
1 – Liam Murray, 2 – George Helmore, 3 – Lloyd Penhalagan, 4 – Isaac Fahey, 5 – Tom Whitford, 6 – Carl Turner, 7 – Ash Sharp, 8 – Josh Mackin.
Replacements: James Davies, Josh Lydon and Jonathan Berry.
The Extras were grateful to Newcross for coming over at short notice for a friendly at TVN. The Kingsteignton side had lost a friendly themselves when a Paignton XV could not be raised and Torquay's opponents in DMT2 SW, Tavistock Development, were also afflicted by a lack of numbers.
Unfortunately the Extras have suffered from a dearth of home matches, due to the fact that Tavistock were the fourth Merit Table opponent to pull out of an away match. Thankfully Newcross brought a squad of twenty two, whilst Tics' had nineteen available, so that a good number of players got a run out.
Tics scored five tries (two converted) for a tally of 29 points, to match the same figure scored by Newcross (although the Referee seemed to believe that the Torquay tally was only twenty seven). Never mind: it was a good work out for the Seconds, who face Merit Table toppers Salcombe at home in three weeks time to wrap up their Merit Table League matches.
The Colts were also in Merit Table action, but travelled with some trepidation to Exeter Athletic, on account of the fact that the former Exeter Youth side had only been able to raise nine players the previous week, when facing Brixham.
In the event Exeter mustered thirteen players and an agreement was reached to play twelve a side with contested scrums in which both flankers were dropped, along with one back.
The young Tics ran out 22 – 7 winners with two tries for Ben Thomas, and one each for Gabriel Ross and Jake Shinner. There was a conversion by Louie Smith.