Here we go again as week 4 of the current National 2 South season comes to Pottington Road. The Chiefs have a lot to make up for after last week’s poor performance and I’m sure they are eager to right those wrongs. Let’s not forget though that this time last season we were 0-3 and had already shipped 122 points, while today we are 2-1 with 2 bonus try points. So let’s call last week what it was a dip in form away to a title contender. Today’s performance will, in my view, go a long way to confirming that and if we produce the sort of rugby we did against Redruth then Pottington Road is going to be the ground teams fear to tread. And that is the key, performance, keeping ball in hand and going through the phases, if we keep the tempo up then I doubt that today’s opponents can live with us.
And so to Bury St. Edmunds and what we can expect. It’s really difficult to decide where they’re strengths lie. They definitely have a new look about them this season beginning with new head coach, former British & Irish Lion and England International Ollie Smith. Ollie’s career has seen him capped for England five times and once for the British and Irish Lions in 2005. He also played for Leicester Tigers at centre. With this will obviously come changes in playing personnel and style which, with approximately 10 new signings they made pre season, will take time to bed in.
Bury St. Edmund are also 2-1 so far this season but have only meet newly promoted sides, losing their first game 16-50 to Tonbridge whilst beating both Broadstreet and Old Reds, the later coming in dramatic fighting fashion after finding themselves the wrong end of a 6-20 score line, to win 28-20. Factor in a 600 mile round trip and you can see why Bury believe that playing The Chiefs is their first real test of the season.
One omission from their team for today’s game is Fraser Honey who started for Bury St. Edmunds last week against Old Reds, yes that Fraser Honey who was signed to us apparently, played in the pre-season games and started at fly half against Wimbledon. Obviously he wasn’t up for the challenge at Barnstaple but here at The Mighty Barum we do wish him well for the rest of the season.
Jordan is still out at the moment due to the concussion rule but should be back with us in a couple of weeks, as hopefully Matt Gohl, nothing official but I believe he might be just weeks away from a return. Bryn is unfortunately awaiting a diagnosis on what’s troubling him so watch this space. On a more positive note Gaz Evans is in the squad for today and I know many of you have already warmed to him. The team for Saturday is
Elsewhere in the league I’d say the pick of the games is Chinnor v Redingensians, whilst the rest of the leading pack should hold no surprises Redruth might just come unstuck to a much improved Worthing. Tonbridge could further enhance their reputation as they welcome Henley to The Slade.
Other club news, Barnstaple Athletic are back in action on the road to Ivybridge, This could be a great test for Scott Warren’s team as both have only played 1 game winning big and not conceding any points. You can next catch The Tic’s at Pottington Road next Saturday as they play host to Cullompton kick off is 2.30
Sunday see’s the U15’s at home against Withycombe, whilst the U14’s campaign gets under way on the road to Brixham. Unfortunately the U16’s game has been cancelled as Exmouth are unable to raise a squad.
Finally we have a couple of events at the club house over the next 2 weeks. An exciting night is in store for Barnstaple Rugby Club as Boxing makes its anticipated return on 30th September. Brought to you by the Barnstaple Amateur Boxing Club entry is £10 on the night.
Ladies day also returns on 7th October where the theme for this year is racing. You will be served by talented jockeys all prepared to do your bidding. Between courses we will be showing live horse racing for you to have a gamble and finally a terrific game of rugby is on the cards as Barnstaple Chiefs take on Clifton. All this and more takes place on 7th October and starters orders is at 12 noon.
Let’s make sure The Barum Roar is very loud this afternoon and make sure it drives the lads on to a great victory.
COME ON YOU MIGHTY BARUM