Team: Archie Palmer, Rudi Phillips, Jack Wills, JJ Slater, Elliot Raud, Ollie Hargreaves, Gus Carruthers, Oliver Tillen, Archie Thornhill, Archie Clarke, Oliver Broom, Will McLeod, Harrison Jelley, Ethan Webb, Jack Scrivens (Capt)
It was a perfect morning at Bravelands, with blue skies, soft but firm ground with a lush covering of grass, and a clearly marked out pitch… oh hang on a minute… someone had mown off the markings… 😉
Oh well back to coning the lines out for the minute… LOL At least we had some fab new poles to mark out the try lines and half way line.
We had played Brixham last season and they had pushed us close, with us usually sneaking a victory, so had been expecting a similarly close match today. So far this season we had come up against teams from Withycombe, Newton Abbot, and Crediton with physically larger players, but Brixham bucked this trend with the majority of their players either being the same size as our lads or smaller. Our lads were to take full advantage of this during the matches..
It was evident from the start of the game that our boys were up for the game despite the eerie silence from the touchlines due to silent Sunday. The lads tore into the Brixham line quickly turning them over and setting Oliver Tillen free who made a strong and direct run up the middle of the park to cross for Exeter’s first try of the day. Brixham restarted the game and made some good progress towards the Exeter line, but the boys were strong in defence and eventually forcing the Brixham team into an error. Harrison Jelley pounced on the ball and didn’t need a second invitation to exploit the mistake tearing through the Brixham team to cross for the second try of the day. Brixham rallied at this point and for several minutes pushed the Exeter lads back towards their own line. Some excellent team defending could not thwart Brixham this time with them eventually crossing for their first try of the day. Ollie Broom responded immediately with a rampaging run to score his first and Exeters third of the day.
End of quarter 3-1 EXETER
Exeter began the second quarter with the ball, and began as they meant to go on, by scoring another quick try through Harrison Jelley. Following the restart and some more great team defence Brixham spilled the ball for Archie Palmer to scoop up and gallop through the despairing tackles of the Brixham team for his first try of the match. Brixham tried hard to overcome the Exeter team, but try as they might they couldn’t make any real headway due to the excellent team work of all the boys in putting them under continual pressure. This pressure lead to a further try for the Youth lads when Will McLeod stepped his way through several attempted tackles to scroe Exeter’s 6th and final try of the first game.
End of quarter : 6 – 1 EXETER WIN
During the coaches post game 1 chat with the lads, we asked them what they could have done better during that match. The replied with several comments. We could have passed better said one, another said we could have off loaded better. So we challenged the lads to see whether they could follow this through by only scoring a try after making five passes, or 5 offloads, or a combination of the two. This challenge made the 2nd half a real pleasure to watch!
Shortly after starting the 2nd half the Exeter lads ferocious tackling caused Brixham to lose the ball, Harrison Jelley seized upon this to make a break up the right side of the pitch. Remembering the 5 pass challenge he checked his run and offloaded to Jack Wills in support to his left. Jack weaved his way across the middle of the pitch, and spotted Rudi Phillips coming up at pace from deep. Jack offloaded perfectly and Rudi eased away from the Brixham cover to score one of the tries of the match. The boys were so pleased with themselves for this try that they forgot to defend from the restart, with almost the entire of the defence loading one side of the pitch adn leaving the other side wide open. Brixham saw their opportunity and punished Exeter by scoring a fine individual effort. The Exeter boys were clearly dissappointed at having conceded such a soft score after such a brilliant openind try and from the restart put together another well worked passage of play for Rudi Phillips to score his second of the match.
End of quarter 2-1 EXETER
The final quarter of the match began with Exeter quickly finding space and JJ Slater finishing off a well worked move to score in the corner. The boys had clearly take the 5 pass challenge to heart and put together some great phases of rugby interlinking well and providing good support as well. Brixham simply could not match this, with Exeter crossing for two further scores by Harrison Jelley and Ollie Hargreaves.
End of quarter 5-1 EXETER WIN
It was really pleasing to see Ethan Webb get his first match under his belt today having joined us in the summer. He got stuck in and made some great runs, as well as making his presence felt in defence! It was also great to see our other relative newcomers (Gus and Archie Clarke) putting in another good performance and looking ever more confident on the ball and in defence. A special mention also to Archie Clarke for getting back up after such a high tackle and not being phased by it!
It was also fab to have two of our regular lads back from injury (Archie Palmer, and Jack Wills), who both made telling contributions in attack and defence! Great work lads.
Overall, a very pleased set of coaches. Well done lads.